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Topic # 143282 9-Apr-2014 10:45
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Why is it almost orders of magnitude faster to download from the NSW Australia steam server than a local steam server in Auckland when I live in Auckland?

I think I've tried almost every NZ Steam server in the country to try and find a local one that's fast! It makes sense to use a local one to conserve international bandwidth but I'm not going to do that if it's slower than a server in another country.

Has anyone else played around with the different servers? If you haven't maybe you should because there's one in NSW that's a LOT faster!

NSW server just updated Garry's Mod at 5MB a second sustained speed, only choked by the wifi connection. Tried NZ servers on multiple occasions to see if they've sped up, 500-800KB/s -_- hopeless by comparison. 

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  Reply # 1021073 9-Apr-2014 10:45
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Hello... Our robot found some keywords in your post, so here is an automated reply with some important things to note regarding broadband speeds.

 



 

If you are posting regarding DSL speeds please check that

 



 

- you have reset your modem and router

 


 

- your PC (or other PCs in your LAN) is not downloading large files when you are testing

 

- you are not being throttled by your ISP due to going over the monthly cap

 


 

- your tests are always done on an ethernet connection to the router - do not use wireless for testing

 


 

- you read this topic and follow the instructions there.

 



 

Make sure you provide information for other users to help you. If you have not already done it, please EDIT your post and add this now:

 



 

- Your ISP and plan

 


 

- Type of connection (ADSL, ADSL2, VDSL)

 


 

- Your modem DSL stats (do not worry about posting Speedtest, we need sync rate, attenuation and noise margin)

 


 

- Your general location (or street)

 


 

- If you are rural or urban

 


 

- If you know your connection is to an exchange, cabinet or conklin

 


 

- If your connection is to a ULL or wholesale service

 


 

- If you have done an isolation test as per the link above

 



 

Most of the problems with speed are likely to be related to internal wiring issues. Read this discussion to find out more about this. Your ISP is not intentionally slowing you down today (unless you are on a managed plan). Also if this is the school holidays it's likely you will notice slower than usual speed due to more users online.

 



 

A master splitter is required for VDSL2 and in most cases will improve speeds on DSL connections. Regular disconnections can be a monitored alarm or a set top box trying to connect. If there's an alarm connected to your line even if you don't have an alarm contract it may still try to connect so it's worth checking.

 



 

I recommend you read these two blog posts:

 



 

- Is your premises phone wiring impacting your broadband performance? (very technical)

 


 

- Are you receiving a substandard ULL ADSL2+ connection from your ISP?




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  Reply # 1021089 9-Apr-2014 10:54
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without knowing any detail, my guess would be that it has to do with peering (or rather, lack of peering)

Who is your ISP, and who owns the NZ server?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1021128 9-Apr-2014 12:06
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Basically it sounds like your ISP has awful peering or has crappy backhaul to NZ servers. Sounds like they are focused on providing a fast connection outside of NZ and forget about inside NZ.




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  Reply # 1021171 9-Apr-2014 13:04
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I think Vodafone is the only Steam server in NZ these days, and if your not with Vodafone it's entirely possible its defaulting to the global US servers.




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  Reply # 1021176 9-Apr-2014 13:08
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Lias: I think Vodafone is the only Steam server in NZ these days, and if your not with Vodafone it's entirely possible its defaulting to the global US servers.


Well that's just plain wrong. Take a list of steam servers in NZ, there's roughly 8. Snap have one, inspire net have one, helix have one, orcon have one, slingshot have one, xnet have one. There's plenty.




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  Reply # 1021189 9-Apr-2014 13:36
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charsleysa:
Lias: I think Vodafone is the only Steam server in NZ these days, and if your not with Vodafone it's entirely possible its defaulting to the global US servers.


Well that's just plain wrong. Take a list of steam servers in NZ, there's roughly 8. Snap have one, inspire net have one, helix have one, orcon have one, slingshot have one, xnet have one. There's plenty.


Most of these mirrors do not exist since Steam changed their content delivery system mid last year.




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  Reply # 1022187 9-Apr-2014 14:18
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Inphinity:
charsleysa:
Lias: I think Vodafone is the only Steam server in NZ these days, and if your not with Vodafone it's entirely possible its defaulting to the global US servers.


Well that's just plain wrong. Take a list of steam servers in NZ, there's roughly 8. Snap have one, inspire net have one, helix have one, orcon have one, slingshot have one, xnet have one. There's plenty.


Most of these mirrors do not exist since Steam changed their content delivery system mid last year.


I stand corrected. Most of these mirrors do not exist.
The change of Steam's content delivery system just made the setup different but not impossible to get all your users downloading from your own cache, which is why I'm surprised a lot of these have been decommissioned.

Anyway the remaining servers are 3 Snap servers and Vodafone servers. All other servers are either Australian or Valve.




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  Reply # 1022218 9-Apr-2014 15:27
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also worth noting, with steampipe, caching steam content is alot easier.

i find a fair amount of my data comes off snaps cache rather than steam content servers.



as a regular player of gmod, i dont even notice updates coming down, line hits 7MB/s instantly and green line blinks across, your biggest slowdown on downloads are likely to be your harddrives because of how steam now processes downloads - note the "disk busy" indicator. 




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  Reply # 1022221 9-Apr-2014 15:33
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I'm with Telecom. ISP seems to make no difference because I have tried on University Wifi.

On my Telecom broadband NZ servers seem to 50% utilize my line speed but NSW server, maxes it out.
On the University WiFi, I achieved about the same performance with NZ servers, but on NSW server it maxed out the WiFi connection 5MB/s. Makes me wonder, how fast can that NSW server go? It can sure rip up some bandwidth!

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  Reply # 1022223 9-Apr-2014 15:35
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This should give you an idea of how much throughput content servers have
http://store.steampowered.com/stats/content/




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  Reply # 1022229 9-Apr-2014 15:40
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Just to top it off. I tried a Los Angeles server after I tried every NZ server. And the speed was marginally faster than NZ servers. Was just touching my max line speed.

I guess it's just one of those qwerky things that goes against common sense.

Or maybe the NZ servers just have 100Mbps connections with terrible contention ratios. I know some speedtest.net servers in NZ still have 100Mbps connections.

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  Reply # 1022249 9-Apr-2014 16:23
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As others have mentioned this sounds like an ISP issue. I doubt ISPs in NZ that do still host Steam caches are going to go out of their way to send data from their caches over expensive transit links to non peering ISP customers. That bandwidth could be better used serving their own customers.
Regardless of which region you set Steam to use it will download from multiple other nearby servers as well. It has always been this way.
It's quite possible that your University has the same issue, depending on who their ISP is and how their network is configured. They could also simply be limiting your transfer speeds to prevent a single user from using too much of their WAN link.

A while ago Valve changed the way the Steam content delivery network works. Previously it used a proprietary transfer method, and required dedicated Steam content servers. Anyone could apply to Valve to host a cache, as long as they supplied the hardware, bandwidth and power. Anyone hosting a cache could not control how it was set up nor what it hosted, it was all managed by Valve.
Steam now uses HTTP for content delivery. This means Valve can use any CDN, and if someone wants to they can more easily cache Steam updates without proprietary software.
If there are still old content servers running they are not going to serve users with any new content, as Valve no longer use it. They may still serve old games, but I have no evidence of this happening.

FWIW my Steam is set to use the "New Zealand" server and it downloads from Snap, Vodafone and a couple of different CDN IPs in Australia, all provided by Valve. Updates/games always download as fast as my line allows.



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  Reply # 1022271 9-Apr-2014 17:10
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Lorenceo: As others have mentioned this sounds like an ISP issue. I doubt ISPs in NZ that do still host Steam caches are going to go out of their way to send data from their caches over expensive transit links to non peering ISP customers. That bandwidth could be better used serving their own customers.
Regardless of which region you set Steam to use it will download from multiple other nearby servers as well. It has always been this way.
It's quite possible that your University has the same issue, depending on who their ISP is and how their network is configured. They could also simply be limiting your transfer speeds to prevent a single user from using too much of their WAN link.

A while ago Valve changed the way the Steam content delivery network works. Previously it used a proprietary transfer method, and required dedicated Steam content servers. Anyone could apply to Valve to host a cache, as long as they supplied the hardware, bandwidth and power. Anyone hosting a cache could not control how it was set up nor what it hosted, it was all managed by Valve.
Steam now uses HTTP for content delivery. This means Valve can use any CDN, and if someone wants to they can more easily cache Steam updates without proprietary software.
If there are still old content servers running they are not going to serve users with any new content, as Valve no longer use it. They may still serve old games, but I have no evidence of this happening.

FWIW my Steam is set to use the "New Zealand" server and it downloads from Snap, Vodafone and a couple of different CDN IPs in Australia, all provided by Valve. Updates/games always download as fast as my line allows.



I just had a thought. Could it be a characteristic only Telecom has because Telecom own 50% of the international cable. Along with international traffic actually being cheaper than national traffic in NZ (which is an interesting business model).
3 years old, might not be relevant but, ref:   http://www.computerworld.co.nz/article/495811/southern_cross_cable_bottleneck_brewer/
"

 

“[International] today can be cheaper than national capacity,” he says. “The Commerce Commission regulated backhaul between cities on a Mbps price as a part of the Unbundled Bitstream Access Standard Terms Determination.

 

“This regulated product can be more expensive than international.”

 

He points out that a 100Mbps connection between Dunedin and Auckland costs $17,500 a month but a similar connection between Auckland and international is priced at $12,000 a month.
"

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  Reply # 1022295 9-Apr-2014 17:25
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charsleysa: 
Anyway the remaining servers are 3 Snap servers and Vodafone servers. All other servers are either Australian or Valve.


As per snap's website:

 

Steam is an online content delivery system that allows Internet users to purchase games and other online content and download it directly to their PC.

 

This content is no longer hosted at snap and will no longer be unmetered.

 

http://www.snap.net.nz/support/content/3/63/en/what-is-the-steam-content-server.html

So.. Vodafone :-)




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