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314 posts

Ultimate Geek

# 97661 19-Feb-2012 15:06
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Hi guys, I was wondering how my data reaches it's destination overseas and what route it takes.
I orignally thought, that all my data originating for offshore goes via the SX cable to the USA and then from there to it's destination. I was just wondering, I'm using a VPN Based in Switzerland atm. If the data doesn't go from NZ via Australia, and then on to Asia, and then onto Europe. Instead of going through the USA.

Not that it matters, I'm just very curious.


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2460 posts

Uber Geek

  # 583449 19-Feb-2012 15:23
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Short version: Magic.

Longer version: All depends on what transit your ISP buys and where that goes. For the most part, most NZ ISPs will buy transit to AU (via SXC) and then transit to the US.
So if you want to get to Tokyo, it'll go up to the US then across the pacific to Japan.

There doesn't seem to much transit to europe via asia at the moment. I'm sure there are cost/bandwidth issues there..

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Uber Geek

  # 583502 19-Feb-2012 18:01
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Why does it go via .au when SCX heads to .us from

Promote New Zealand - Get yourself a domain name!!!

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2460 posts

Uber Geek

  # 583512 19-Feb-2012 18:26
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DonGould: Why does it go via .au when SCX heads to .us from

I think the OP is asking why it doesn't go via asia? Instead of going via asia it's going via the US.

220 posts

Master Geek


  # 583875 20-Feb-2012 13:55
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Depending on your ISP, their transit provider---or providers, ultimate destination, time of day, traffic load, sunspot activity, cable-seeking trawlers, hacker cabals, fat-fingered operators, etc. etc...

...your packet gets to Auckland and either heads West toward Australia or North East towards Hawaii.

From Australia:
  • North into Asia, or possibly 
  • West  towards Africa. 

From Hawaii:
  • West to Japan
  • East to Los Angeles

From Los Angeles, off into the America hinterland (including North & South America) or over East and thence to Europe. 

Or, as already answered... "magic". 

Note that the ISP has surprisingly little it can do to determine the forward path, and even less control over the return path.

Basically, packet forwarding, which is to say "the Internet", depends on the random kindness of strangers. And that is a good thing.

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Uber Geek


  # 584098 20-Feb-2012 18:44
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DonGould: Why does it go via .au when SCX heads to .us from

One side goes from Whenuapai to Sydney, and other side from Takapuna to Hawaii (unless I'm mixed up) but your ISP may choose to route some data to/through Oz and some directly to San Jose. Really depends on where and how they buy their bandwidth. Either way, the most efficient way to get data to Europe will be via USA, so a VPN to europe is relatively inefficient with high latency compared to a VPN to the states or ozzy.

Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

8035 posts

Uber Geek


  # 584105 20-Feb-2012 18:51
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You see the internet is a series of tubes....

3889 posts

Uber Geek

  # 584113 20-Feb-2012 19:09
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Ragnor: You see the internet is a series of tubes....

Except in New Zealand where it's a bunch of straws... oh, hold on, straws are tubes aren't they... ok.. you're right.

Promote New Zealand - Get yourself a domain name!!!

Check out mine - -


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Uber Geek

  # 584266 20-Feb-2012 23:31
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straws with sponges placed randomly :P

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