Does a firewall slow down the download speed?
Question: I have either Norton or Windows firewall (I need to check which) running. My question is, does running it slow my down download speed? I am supposed to be receiving about 2.5 mb/s, and instead the best speed I get is about 180 kb/s, never exceeding that. I have had downloads from multiple servers, and I also tested my speed at dsl reports, and all of those give my speed about 200 kb/s. When I called my ISP, he said that I probably have a firewall running which is slowing down my connection. I wasn't fully convinced, so any help would be helpful here. Thanks! It is indeed annoying that they can't give a better reason. Now I just checked my download speed and it still says (I'm looking at the modem ISP) I should be getting aroundn 2496 kbps. If that "b" there means bits, Ammu, thanks. If it means bytes, I guess I need to continue looking. Thanks for the answers, though, all. RAM is 2 gigs, CPU is 1.7r GHz core 2duo.
Best Answers: Does a firewall slow down the download speed?
If your connection from your ISP is 2.5mbps, you have to remember that this is in Megabits, not megabytes. The difference is that there are 8 bits to a byte. So, 2.5mbps would mean that you'd download stuff at a max of about 312KB/s. This is a MAX speed, and will be affected by things like traffic: the more use the network is giving when you try to download, the slower your speed will be (although it shouldn't be as significant a drop as you say). What likely is happening is that you are downloading from sites with rather crappy servers, and are not giving you your max download speed. Although I've never heard of a firewall being the reason for internet speeds to be slow, but I guess it could be possible. I'm sorry I can't help you beyond that. It's kinda annoying though that the ISP can't give a reason better than your computer being the cause, huh? With your new speed test results, 2496kbps is 312KB/s. You should be able to reach that when downloading from at least the best servers (Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, etc). As I said, the firewall affecting the download speed just doesn't seem likely. I'd call the company and tell them that you haven't been getting the service you were promised (2.5mbps download) and that you think it's something to do with your connection. If they're a decent support person they'll try to help. If they aren't, you'll get runaround answers.
Your realized download speeds are correct. Internet speeds are measured in bits per second (bps). The results you get from speedtest is the speed in bps. However, in the real world files are not measured in bits, they are measured in Bytes, KiloBytes, MegaBytes, etc. So, when downloading actual files, your download speeds will be much lower. There are 8 Bits in a Byte There are 1024 Bytes in a Kilobyte There are 1024 Kilobytes in a Megabyte There are 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte etc... For example if you have a 2 Mbps Internet connection, it downloads at approximately 244 KB/s.(Kilobytes per second) Server loads and overhead can drive this speed much lower as described below. The speed and load on the server you are uploading to or downloading from also has to be accounted for. There is much overhead involved. The web server may be located in China. There may be 10,000 people simultaneously trying to access the same web server. Your connection may have to be routed through 15 or 20 hops (different locations) to reach the server, etc. Online torrents and game download servers such as STEAM are notorious for being extremely slow. They have thousands of users sharing the limited speed. Each user gets a small portion of the total speed. A rough estimate of actual download or upload speed can be made by dividing your Internet connection speed in bps by 10. For example a 20 Mbps cable Internet connection downloads at approximately 2 MB/s. I wrote an article http://isp1.us/article/internet-speeds/ that explains Internet download speeds in much more detail. Your Internet connection may be much faster than 1.8 Mbps. A poor WiFi signal can slow your connection immensely. Wireless signals are affected by many factors including distance, wall density, electrical interference, directional antenna range, etc. All of these factors will affect your actual wireless range, speed and connection quality. For serious gaming or video streaming your best bet is a direct Ethernet cable connection. Ethernet is unaffected by wireless interference and will give you a rock solid, stable network connection with very low latency (ping). If it is not feasible to run Ethernet cable the next best option would be a set of powerline network adapters http://isp1.us/reviews/netgear-xavb2101-powerline-adapter/ You plug one in by your router and one in the room where you need access and connect them to the devices with standard Ethernet patch cables. The network signals are transmitted over your existing home electrical wiring which will not be affected by wireless interference. There is still overhead in the connection but it is much more stable than WiFi. Try a speed test from a laptop or PC directly connected to the router via a Ethernet cable to see how much speed you are giving up for the convenience of a wireless connection. Remember, even if you use a Gigabit network such as Google fiber https://fiber.google.com/about/ that can transfer at a maximum of 1,000,000,000 bits per second, which equates to 1000 Mbps, you are still limited by the speed of the download server which could be as slow as molasses. Good Luck...
From my opinion, i don't think firewall will slow down the download speed. This is not a same topic. Firewall just check the data whether its allowed to pass or not, after the data allowed to pass then your computer instantly will download the data to the maximum speed at that time. The problem is, if your internet connection ratio is not 1:1, this is a matter that will slow down the download speed.
Defrag your hard drive, run any spyware programs to clean out any spyware (I use IOBIT software. It's free, and can check for spyware), and check for any viruses. (I use AVG anti spyware. That, too, is free.) To defrag your HD, right-click on "C:\", and select "Properties". Click the "Tools" tab along the top, and click "Defragment Now ... ". Then follow the on-screen prompts. Good luck.
It shouldn't. A firewall is to prevent what you don't want going out or coming in over the internet so you shouldn't notice any appreciable difference in speed. I've used the Kerio firewall for years and never noticed any slowdowns what so ever.
Apart from having sufficient RAM and processing speed below are the few tips to deal with slow internet: 1. Try and user Google chrome Its light weight and fast you can get it for free from the following URL http://www.google.com/chrome 2. Download any good System Cleaner such as Reginout from Intel Software Directory (http://ibx.intel.com/directory/ ) to clear Browser history and cache because when the cache gets full, your browsing will slow down. 3. Make sure system is free of Mal wares and viruses use Avast free and Malware Bytes (FREE) 4. Sometimes your DNS server is not fast enough you can experiment with some third party DNS server Such as OpenDNS http://www.opendns.com. I tested this with two ISP connections found it very useful with One of them, didn’t get much difference in case of second ISP. 5. Always try and use a download manager. There are many free options available 6. Make sure your system firewall in enable and managed to stop unwanted internet traffic You can control access of programs to internet using windows Firewall
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