Is XP crippling my Telecom ADSL?

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 28-Apr-2006 11:03

Faster broadband, but only for Linux users?

Whilst logged into my Fedora Core 5 system, I downloaded some packages, and noticed the progress bar whizzing along faster than I expected.

A quick trip to confirmed it... i was averaging 3126kbps. Wow! I thought. Perhaps its a quiet time on the ADSL system... or maybe Telecom has fixed their problems and given me the bandwidth im expecting.

A few minutes later I was back into XP on the same box... (dual booting), and downloaded something to find it slow again. So a few more speedtests, then back to Linux, then back to XP.

Fedora Core 5 Linux is averaging 3126kbps.
Microsoft Windows XP is averaging 1826kbps.

I have switched back and forth several times an repeated the results. Using the same computer, same modem, same everything (even the same browser), and it seems that my internet is just plain faster on Linux.

Todays two fastest Linux speeds: 3408kbps and 3301kbps
Todays two fastest Windows tests: 2187kbps and 1739kbps

Some further investigation is required here I should think.

My ADSL plan is 3.5Mbps down, and 128kbps up.

For the record I boot between XP, FC5, Mandriva 06, Ubuntu Breezy Badger & Knoppix 4). For more information about my OSes check my next blog post... (I started writing an explanation here, but it got too long to be a 'note')

Other related posts:
How to move your Drupal 7 site to a different folder on your domain...
HOWTO: Install Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS and get working mailserver
I want broadband, why do I have to wait 3 days to even know if its POSSIBLE?

Comment by chiefie, on 28-Apr-2006 11:56

Is this a PCI-based ADSL card? If so, could try remove the QoS service from your network connection properties.

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 28-Apr-2006 11:59

No, I use a DLINK DSL-G604T 4 port + wifi ADSL router/modem combo

Comment by Jama, on 28-Apr-2006 12:15

MTU, PMTU, TCPWindowSize? Good old XP registry tweaks.

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 28-Apr-2006 12:17

mmmm.... surely in this day and age a PC should analyse its own network connection and adjust accordingly for best performance... Anyone know a good utility that will tweak these settings, and provide a roll-back option ?

Comment by Blair, on 28-Apr-2006 12:51

Give TCP Optimizer a go Set your speed to either 3.5mbit or 10mbit with that util and make sure you select the network card you're using, choose "optimal settings" and apply.. reboot and your XP should be right up there.. The XP defaults suck for high speed links!

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 28-Apr-2006 12:54

thanks... have done that, will reboot later

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 28-Apr-2006 13:02

done: still no faster... retested under Linux, and fast again...

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 28-Apr-2006 13:23

done: still no faster... retested under Linux, and fast again...

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 28-Apr-2006 13:24

Just did some more testing and got the following results under Windows XP (all expressed in kbps) 3212 3321 2428 2967 2646 3113

Comment by juha, on 28-Apr-2006 15:39

You have a bandwidth-jacking trojan in yer Windaz, d00d! :)

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 28-Apr-2006 15:46

hA n0t t4i5 80x mr h4x0r- 1 4m f4r 2 l33t 4 d4t 5hlt 2 h4pp3n 2 m3 Seriously, I am fanatical about virus/worm/spyware etc...

Comment by devnet, on 2-May-2006 01:56

I've also noted this phenomenon with my comcast cable connection (6Megs). This is why whenever I plan on downloading anything of size, I use wget via my server dropping it to a FAT32 shared disk on the network. Much easier. I've also hand hacked my registry to try and increase packet size, etc. Nothing works. I did find something that might be worth a try: Otherwise, a good setup would be to have a standalone Linux box that you can use to wget things...

Comment by Karl O. Pinc, on 2-May-2006 08:00

It's probably Linux automatically adjusting the TCP window size to increase throughput. Without that, the far end will wind up waiting for the ACK datagrams to the datagrams it's sending you that are still on the wire. It all depends on the latency between the two endpoints, I forget the formula.

Comment by Inhibit, on 2-May-2006 08:12

Hehe, self optimized network connections built into the OS (*wipes tear from eye*). That's gold. Seriously though, there's an excellent article on tuning all sorts of OSs for network buffering over at OnLamp, lemme find you the link... I don't know if that'll help, but short of writing my own reference it's the best thing I've found.

Comment by barf, on 16-Feb-2007 17:16

run netstat -n 3 while you're doing your speed test in XP. if there are any established connections to the Internet during your speed test, figure out which application is making them. Often Windows Update or IE will use BITS to saturate your connection, BITS is a multiple-connection download-manager for Windows Update and is included in IE7. It really slows things down, increases overhead and Microsoft should never have released it IMHO. Another thing to try could be the tcpip.sys hack.

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