Does anyone have any experience of ISPs that offer larger data caps in return for filtering? I used http://www.telme.org.nz to search for a new ISP and the ones with the largest data caps also have traffic filtering. Slingshot, for instance, prioritises traffic in the following order (from http://www.slingshot.co.nz/popupspeedinfo): 1. VOIP 2. Gaming 3. Browsing 4. Streaming 5. Local traffic 6. File sharing, including Peer-to-Peer (P2P)
What does this mean in real terms? Are videos slow to load? When I use P2P for completely legitimate reasons (e.g. downloading game patches) is it incredibly slow?
Effectively Slingshot buy less international transit than other ISP's per customer (higher contention ratio) in order to offer lower pricing.
To preserve good performance they've invested heavily in caching everything they can, so they can serve it domestically to reduce the load on their international links.
For example: They run appliances that cache p2p and other file sharing traffic, if the patch is a public torrent that's been cached by their system it will come through pretty fast (domestic speeds), if it's not it will be pretty slow.
They run a Steam mirror, akamai and Google/Youtube caches too for the same reason.
You generally only notice issues when you access content that is un-cached international eg: private torrents, https downloads, real time international streaming - stuff that can not be cached etc.
Lots of people on AYCE or their large data cap plans and are pretty happy with the performance.
However, periodically they seem to have issues where customer growth outstrips their capacity and it can take awhile for them to catch up / sort it out. You see the occasional thread about performance issues every now and then.
If you are going to go with them you need to accept you are trading off possible peak time international performance vs lower cost.