Fast and Slow

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OOKLA ViaSat (RM5110R) speed test indicates 12Mb down. Test: Download 300 Mb pdf file at ~1 Mb/s (OK) Download 48 Mb mp4 file at 65 kb/s. !!!!! NOT OK! Tests at 6pm, 12:30am, 10:am - SAME results.
Two DIFFERENT sites for mp4 used = same results; Two different PCs = Same results.
What's the problem? / HOW CAN I GET FASTER MP4 DOWNLOAD SPEEDS?
I was getting 150kb/s down for mp4 on DSL!!!
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Robin Rapport

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Robin Rapport

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BTW, ALL downloads of mp4 at 360p.
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Homeskillet

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Your post is confusing, first you say "speed test indicates 12 Mb down" then you say you are getting 65 kbs all the time. Which one is it? How long have you had the service? Did you go over your priority data for the billing period?
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Robin Rapport

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Speed test indicates that the viasat system is running to spec. That's all it was supposed to indicate.
If you read what I did say, you will see that For TEXT files the download speed was consistently HIGH (about 800 kbs to 1.2 Mbs), while the download of the MP4 files was consistently LOW (50-80 kbs). Again: the text files were 150-300 Mb, while the mp4 files were 30 to 80 Mb IN SIZE.
I was trying to understand the discrepancy in download speed between the different types of files.
For information not pertinent, this is the second day after installation of the viasat system. I spoke with both the installer company and viasat tech support - neither could offer any pertinent information - congestion, file size, and time of day had nothing to do with this issue.
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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Speed tests and file downloads are two entirely different things.  Speed tests are designed to show you what your service is capable of at that moment, as it gives a wide open avenue for the test, while using equipment along the route that can also perform at the highest level.  IOW, the slowest things with a speed test will be the internet service you're using.    

File downloads, on the other hand, are going to be subject to many things that speed tests are not.  Slow servers that react badly to high latency, bad providers somewhere down the line (run a traceroute to you PDF source to see), congestion anywhere along the transmission route, etc.

Because of this, speed tests and downloads can provide wildly different results.    
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Robin Rapport

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I am well aware of this. I was not claiming that the file downloads were not measuring up to the expected DL speed. I WAS saying that there IS a significant discrepancy between the download speeds of two different file types -- PDF and DOC files DL quickly (0.8- 1.2 Mbs) while mp4 files are markedly slower (50-80 kbs).
My question was WHY? and HOW CAN I SPEED UP DL OF MP4.
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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Why's already been explained.  How to improve it is anyone's guess.  You may not be able to.  Your mp4 source servers may not react well to the high latency.  It could be a problem along the transmission route.  The servers could be overloaded.  Any number of things.  It could get better on its own, but as for what YOU can do to improve it, there may be nothing.  

A traceroute to the mp4 site may give some indication of the cause.  
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ExSatUser

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It could also be the compression technology. Viasat uses smoke and mirrors to deliver faster speeds (i.e. software algorithms versus hardware). This works better on some files, not others. For instance, run Viasat through a VPN and you will get significantly lower speeds. This is because running through a VPN defeats a lot of the technology Viasat uses to give faster speeds. The same might be true of a MP4 file, which might already be compressed and no more compression can place.

In much of the country Viasat is using hardware technology that will soon be a decade old. You can only squeeze so much blood out of a turnip you know.
(Edited)
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Oliver

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Viasat's video rate limiter gets in the way as soon as it sees any file that is video related. It looks at the headers of files beng downloaded. So if you can only stream in 480p you're going to download at 480p speed.
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Bob Lexus

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I have >100 meg cable service

I have never pulled down any file at that speed from any site besides a speed test site.
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Robin Rapport

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Have you downloaded mp4 videos and pdf files?
If you have, did you notice a significant difference in file download speed BASED UPON FILE TYPE? Not on size.
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ExSatUser

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See my response above. I am guesstimating, but I am thinking that is a contributing factor to your issue.
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bubs

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Are the mp4 and PDF files being downloaded from the same sites?  Are you able to share which sites?
Speed test shows 12 Mb/s.  Not connected to test site=actual file download from unknown site is about 1 Mb/s, unknown site for mp4 is about 65 kb/s.  So, speed test is inflated, and/or websites being downloaded from are severely overloaded.  Or, priority data was gone over, combination of congestion and server load, possibly the mp4 site is being detected as a video site, and the video restricter is going overboard.  Guessing.

Straight downloads, or something like torrents, or one of those file sharing type sites?
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Harvey Mueller

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You're confusing bits and bytes. Speed test reports in megabits per sec. File size is reported on megabytes. 8 bits to the byte so 12 megabit per sec yields 1.5 megabyte per sec data throughput.


I suspect you may be affected by compression type and Viasat throttling video and streaming. Are you watching these mp4 while downloading? Why do yo care about speed if you aren't watching? Cue up 6 or 8 and let em go in the background? Just curious.

Can you d/l the mp4 as a zip file from the same site? What happens if you change the extension on the same file to .doc or .pdf? What's the speed now?
(Edited)
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ExSatUser

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Yes. Could be both. Compression and throttling associated with a video file.

I mean we know Viasat throttles speed to reduce video resolution for certain streaming services. Perhaps the same is done when downloading or playing mp4 content?

If you want to try a test, run through a VPN and see if it goes any faster. A VPN will defeat any compression technology being imposed (which will result in slower speeds), but will also bypass any video resolution throttling that may be occurting (which may then give you higher speeds).

Do some trials and find out!
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Robin Rapport

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Site-specific ?
Downloaded PDF, ZIP and MP4 files from archive.org. ALL downloaded at 1-1.5 Mbs.
MP4 from youtube still cannot be downloaded faster than 85kbs. Yeah, maybe congestion -- but it must be since October 30, because prior to that, all DSL dl from youtube were at 150-250 kbs!
Thanks for thoughtful responses.

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Dances with Woofs

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Yes, site specific. The video stream algorithm used by Viasat (as well as other ISPs) is fragile. It's historically caused some problems with YouTube. 

The technical explanation for those interested:

On secured sites (https) it can't use the encrypted HTTP host or content type headers and relies on the more generalized SNI (server name indication) TLS extension which allows multiple certificates to be hosted off of the same server for scalability  (SNI should not be confused with domain name nor was ever meant to be misused as many ISPs now do for video throttling). As a result any downloads (not simply streaming) are throttled based on SNI - it was demonstrated here a while back and leads to falsely tagging all secure traffic coming off certain well-known servers as video streaming when in fact it isn't.

Using a VPN gets around it because even the SNI is encrypted then (then of course you'll have to deal with the slowness of VPN on satellite).  

For the uber-techies and an academic discussion for those interested (it all started with TMobile and other ISPs adapted TMobile's technique for their own purposes):

https://david.choffnes.com/pubs/bingeon_sigcomm16.pdf 

Technically a download of a video shouldn't be throttled - only video streaming but there's no reliable way to detect all video streaming - even Viasat admits not all video streams can be detected (although they don't admit some non-video streaming is collateral damage and falsely detected in the process).

It probably works fine for non-secured sites, but more and more sites are secured today. If it's secured, they're just guessing as to the content and some guesses are better than others.
(Edited)
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Robin Rapport

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Many thanks for this clarification.
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ExSatUser

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As long as you are just downloading MP4 files and then watching them locally, whether it takes 5 minutes or 50 minutes, you still get the file. But, I get the frustration. Since the bulk of internet usage is now video streaming, Viasat has to do what it can so streaming can even sorta work for many customers.