Throttled Downloads from Apple and Windows Update Sites?

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  • Updated 1 year ago
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Hi All,

I have spent the last 3 days during my Free Zone Time (Evolution 3 AM-8AM) trying to download software and updates after rebuilding both a Windows and a Mac machine.

Most of the sites that I am downloading from achieve normal/acceptable speeds of around 2 MB/s (i.e. nvidia.com was 1,904 KB/s); however, everything that I am trying to get directly from Microsoft or Apple slows to a crawl in the range of 3 - 55 KB/s (but mostly on the lower side)

This makes the estimated download time extend to tens of hours (or days), which would obviously defeat my intent of using Free Zone time.

If it were only happening with either Microsoft or Apple, I would think that the problem was on their end, but since it is happening on both, it seems to be too much of a coincidence.

I know people have had issues with Windows Updates unexpectedly sucking up their data allowance, so it seems possible that ViaSat is experimenting with some sort of speed throttling to combat the issue (similar to Video Data Extender).

Is anyone else having this issue, or have suggestions for a solution?

For background/troubleshooting purposes:
I have had this plan for years and have had no problems, and I understand its limitations and normal behavior
To rule out the issue being with my router, I connected a PC directly to my modem with the same results.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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AztekAl

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Posted 1 year ago

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John Oakes

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After a few days talking to Exede support I think we have found the source of my problems. Exede says my dish is out of alignment and they could be right. I have a service visit scheduled for Saturday and I will post back here whether that was successful in resolving the issue I have been experiencing.
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AztekAl

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Good luck, John.  I hope it resolves your issue.
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AztekAl

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Status Update: (sorry in advance for the length)

I did receive a call around 1 PM from the Escalations Dept.; unfortunately, I was out for the afternoon traveling (of course), but we still spoke a bit.
She said she had just tested my modem and was showing X download speed and Y upload speed and that this was within the advertised limits, etc (canned speech).
I agreed that my general speeds were perfectly acceptable, but that this was not my issue.
I explained that my problem related to downloads from particular sites, and that the Tech Premier rep confirmed this, recorded screens to demonstrate this, and said he would pass the documentation to the Network Engineers for a resolution.
I also suggested that if she had internet access, she should review this forum thread to get additional details. - But it sounded like she either didn't have access, or had no intention of checking.
She thanked me for further detailing the problem and said that she would review the Premier Tech text and call me back. - Why she hadn't already reviewed this is unknown.

I received her follow-up call about 30 minutes later (very good) and she said she had reviewed the text and began to tell me about how Windows updates can take a long time to download, process, install etc.  I again agreed with her and said that I understood that operating system update duration would not be an accurate indicator and told her that this is why I went to Microsoft (and Apple) directly to download an individual file, which should give a clearer picture of any issues.
She then asked me to point her to these individual files.  I told her that I was traveling at the moment and could not provide her with the links from memory, but she should see the reference to them in my Premier Tech chat, and also detailed links in this forum.
She said that she would need me sitting at my computer (understandable) and asked if I would be home later in the day.  Unfortunately, I was planning to be out for the remainder of the day and asked if we could schedule a call-back time today instead.  She told me that she would be off today (Friday) and that she could call me on Saturday.  I said that this was not ideal for me as I have already waited 2-3 days for the first escalation call, and preferred not to wait 2 more.  She said that she did not work the day before and that she only received my issue that morning (disappointing that it took so long to get to her, but not directly her fault).  I asked if she could pass my issue to an Escalation Rep who was working on Friday, and she indicated that she was the only one (?!), but said that she would see what she could do.

So it is not clear if I will receive a follow-up call today, or Saturday, or never.  We'll see.
(Edited)
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AztekAl

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Status Update 4/2/18:
No call back from Escalations Department over the weekend.
I called Standard Tech Support Number at 8 this morning - they do not show an open call back from Escalations nor any record of my Level 3 Screen Sharing session and asked me to call later to do a new session when that Department is open (presumably at 9 AM). Before could finish my sentence confirming the next steps, I was dumped into the 2 question customer service survey.

I called back just after 9 AM.  Went through L1, then L2, and was ultimately put into a screen-sharing chat session with an L3 Tech (again).  As a lucky coincidence, it was the same L3 Tech as the first time, and he was surprised that my issue had not yet been resolved.  We carefully re-documented the slow file download speeds, etc. and he said he would personally follow my issue through the next steps and help toward a resolution (Thanks, Sherwin!).  Unfortunately normal response time from here is 24-72 hours, so hopefully I will be where I need to be if / when they contact me.
(Edited)
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James Daniels

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I am using Exede as well and have the same problems downloading the 10.3.4 update from Apple and slow speed while trying to download the latest Microsoft update.  My speed is capped at around 60 KB/s for these particular downloads, but download from other sites is around 2,000 KB/s.  I have never had any issues downloading updates from Apple until now.  I also tried to use the Microsoft media creation tool to create a USB stick of the latest updates, but it took 20 minutes to reach 1%, however I found a solution from Microsoft to change settings in Microsoft Edge browser to fool their server and let me download an iso of win 10 x64, a file that is 4.5GB in size only took about 20 minutes to download, I also tried to download Microsoft KB4088776 which is only 704MB and download speed is capped around 60KB/s  and the Apple 10.3.4 update which is 2.3 GB at a speed of around 60KB/s will take well over 10 hours. I don't know where the problem exist, but I did have an issue with Exede before where my regular time was extremely slow and that was resolved.  I do belive Exede have throttled the connection to these two specific downloads.  I have been searching and have not found other users having a problem downloading the update from Apple. You and I are both getting slow speeds from Microsoft and Apple trying to download the same updates, and both on the same ISP seem to point at the ISP, but they will probably never admit it.
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AztekAl

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Hi James,
From your description, it sounds like we have the same issue.
I have been experiencing this for about 2 weeks now, and today will mark the 72 hour point since I have last been in contact with their tech support.  If I don't hear from them, they will hear from me.  If you don't mind saying, which plan are you on, and what is your physical location? - I am on the Exede Evolution - Web+Email and am in South Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, NC. Thanks!
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James Daniels

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Hi AztekAI

I am in the West Central Alabama.  I have been with this provider since 2012.  My plan is Essential 10, with free zone from 3 am to 8 am. I have been downloading Apple updates since 2012 and have never had this problem before.  I really believe this slowdown is a result of throttling specific download links since I was able to download the entire Win 10 ISO (4.5 GB) in about 20 minutes. This would suggest that it is not a Microsoft issue and because I am able to download from other sites with speeds up to 2 Mbps, this is not a problem with my router or sat modem.
Later
James
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AztekAl

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Thanks James.  I have also been with Exede since 2012 and regularly download updates and files during my 3-8am Free Zone.  I have never have any difficulties with this before 2 weeks ago.  I am not sure if we are on the same "beam" / proxy / routing table, but the problem behavior seems be be identical.  I will post back later with status update.
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James Daniels

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I am currently downloading the update from Apple on my cell phone.  Not sure what speed, but the estimated download time is 25 minutes.  This definitely proves that the slowdown is at Exede and not Apple.
James
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johnny c

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Hope you all get this worked out, I don't see a Viasat objective in specifically throttling Apple or Microsoft updates.  The user and Viasat benefit from a computers that are working efficiently and securely.

I think it might more of a demand (Microsoft/Apple) on their ability to provide the update.  I haven't experienced this issue with 4 Microsoft, Windows 10 computers and the only apple updates are for the iPhone and no issues their, naturally supported by my wifi.
(Edited)
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AztekAl

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@James Daniels: Agreed...and if you use a VPN with Exede it will probably download faster as well.
I got the 3-day free trial from NordVPN (now expired) to do some testing and the file download speeds were around 10 times faster.  I have also seen VyprVPN recommended in other Viasat forums for even better speeds, but I haven't tested that.  It is a potential temporary work-around, but definitely not an acceptable long-term solution.  I am confident that issue is with Viasat traffic routing / throttling. Whether this is intentional or a technical error is another question.
(Edited)
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Just a wild guess, some are wilder than others and appears it hasn't yet been mentioned (although I only performed a cursory scan of this lengthy conversation)  ...

If your plan has the video data extender option, have you tried to turn it off to determine if it makes a difference in the download rate? Can't turn it off for unlimited plans but stranger things have happened and there have been some past reports that the algorithm may and does falsely detect certain content as being "video streaming" when it can only rely server name indication.  Again just a guess and probably worth a shot for the minimal amount of effort required to test.
(Edited)
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AztekAl

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Thanks Old Labs. That's a reasonable theory, unfortunately it had already crossed my mind and I checked that my data extender is off.  I don't remember if I had also tested with it switched on, but I will play around with it to check.  Stranger things have happened.

Results:

turned extender on, restarted modem, same download speeds
turned extender back off, restarted modem, same download speeds

So it seems like it is not a glitch with the video data extender

It was worth a shot...

Now crossing the 72 hour threshold for Tech Support call back...it's time for me to get dialing.
(Edited)
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Gregory Davis

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In my case, I'm sure other Viasat users, have the problem with after the TIME spent downloading and the BIG byte out of our data, the update FAILS.  This has been the case with the 1709 update (read GBs) as well as smaller updates.  Not only do we have to ask our ISP why but also look to the server software that should be verifying a VALID update transfer.  Sure we're living with a LAG which leads me to believe that it's also a "timing" and "handshaking" issue between the host server software and our Windows 10 machines.  Currently have two "production" machines we use to control "Industrial Quality" Quilting machines that have Windows 8.1 "Enterprise Edition and Windows 10 "Enterprise Edition.  Having problems with the CAD software we use requireing that these machines be connected to internet/software vendors server.  Trying to control when updates are delivered and installed is not straightforward - different with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.  At least in Windows 8.1 I can set it to "NEVER:.  Int the Windows 10 Enterprise version I can "defer" updates within a 12 hour period - currently set between 9 AM and 9 PM - not ideal.  Just discovered that in my Windows 10 Pro machine i have the flexibility of an 18 hour window.  I would love to have an 18 hour window on our Windows 10 Enterprise edition.  We've have this machine do an "Install/reboot" right in the middle of a production run - NOT FUN.
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Aztekal. Good luck.
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Jab

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RE: Microsoft update

On Windows 7, several nights ago, some 45 minutes passed of Microsoft apparently checking out if I had this/that.  MS would load this/that "gizmo," and then the computer would be scanned, or whatever.  In the end, there was nothing new to be installed.

In essence, there were few downloads coming from MS, it was programs to evaluate what was on the computer.

Q: Todays Microsoft updates taking a really long time to download stuck at 78% KB3213986

Someone suggested doing a chkdsk c: /r (DOS Command with Admin priv) before doing an update
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AztekAl

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Status Update 4/5/18:
I patiently waited the 72 hours and received no call back.
I called the standard support number, quickly made it though L1 and was transferred to someone in Tech Escalations.  She got up to speed with my issue, rebooted modem, spoke with some network folks and after about 40 minutes sent me back into a screen sharing support session with an L3 Tech.

This was not the same tech as my previous 2 sessions, so it took a little time for him to review the issue, do his modem checks, speed tests, etc.  Eventually we got the the part where I demonstrate the download speeds of the 3 files. After which, he agreed there was an issue and continued troubleshooting.  He changed my DNS server to a fixed address, but there was no improvement.

I then mentioned to him that I had tried using a VPN for troubleshooting purposes (thanks again Bradley) and that the speeds improved.  He asked about which one (NordVPN) and then immediately opened my chrome browser (I had been using the new Viasat browser) and installed the UltraSurf add-on / extension from the Chrome Web Store.  We then tried the same file downloads and the speeds had significantly improved to around 800 KB/s.
He said this confirms that there is an issue that needs to be solved by their network department (NOC).
He recommended that I use the Chrome extension as a temporary work-around to the file download problem until the root issue can be resolved.  He said I should hear something back from NOC in 1-2 days.
I mentioned to him that I was chronicling my issue on this forum and that at least one other user (James D) was having what seemed to be an identical issue.
He copied the link from the forum topic and said he would pass the info on as well.

So in the mean time I will use the UltraSurf extension to directly download the update files during my free zone time, but this will not help when trying to run the update process from Windows (or Mac OS X), using the Windows Media Creation tool, or doing anything else that connects to these domains outside of the Chrome browser.
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Michael McDowell

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Don't know if this will be any help but it is interesting.

https://www.howtogeek.com/347711/how-to-limit-any-applications-bandwidth-on-windows/
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James Daniels

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I was able to download the Apple update this morning at 1.6 Mbps.  Not sure what corrections the NOC made but after three weeks I was able to get the updates installed.
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AztekAl

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Hi James, that is great news.  As of this morning, my file download speeds were also back to normal.  I was holding off on posting a status update here because I haven't received a call-back from them, and therefore have no idea what the correction was.  I am hoping to still hear back so that we can officially close the issue.  Fingers crossed that the normal speeds continue.
(Edited)
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I doubt you hear anything back. But one never knows.
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John Oakes

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I am able to confirm the problem with the Xbox updates is now corrected as well. The realignment did not fix it but I think whatever the NOC did fixed it. Thanks to everyone that commented on this thread.
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AztekAl

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That's great John.  Glad it resolved your problem as well.
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AztekAl

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Status Update 4/7/18:

I am pleased to report that as of yesterday morning, my file download speeds have returned to normal, including running updates directly from the Windows or Apple Mac OS X Operating systems.  (as well as being able to update the iOS in my iPhone over wifi)

I was hoping to be able to end this thread with a technical report about what NOC found and what they did to resolve it, but unfortunately I never received a call back from them to confirm that my problem was solved or to close the support ticket.  Maybe it will still happen, but probably not.

Thank you to everyone that followed my issue, provided testing & feedback on your own situations, and gave useful suggestions for troubleshooting.

I am happy to see that others were helped through this resolution as well.

Best Regards!
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Doubt you will hear anything back. Just hope it is fixed and the problem doesn't come back.