NetEqualizer News: November 2016


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include a 8.5 Release feature preview, customer testimonials, and more!

 

  November 2016

 

8.5 Release Planning is Underway!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

As we start into the holiday season here in the U.S., I am thankful for many things. First, I want to THANK YOU, our customers, for making this all worthwhile.

fancy thank-you

In my conversations with customers & prospects, I hear over & over how much our behavior-based shaping (aka equalizing) saves you time, money, and headaches. Thank you for validating all our efforts here at APconnections!

I am also thankful that the Presidential Election is over in the U.S., as I am tired of seeing political TV advertisements, which seem to be on every 10 minutes.

We continue to work with you to solve some of your most pressing network problems – so if you have one that you would like to discuss with us, please call or email me anytime at 303.997.1300 x103 or art@apconnections.net.

And remember we are now on Twitter. You can follow us @NetEqualizer.

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: 8.5 Release Features Preview

:: We Want Your Suggestions for the 8.5 Release!

:: Is Anyone Out There Still Suffering From DDoS Attacks?

:: Featured Customer Testimonials

:: Best of Blog: Using NetEqualizer to Ensure Clean, Clear QoS for VOIP Calls

8.5 Release Features Preview

We are staring to plan our 8.5 Release!

We have started putting together initial plans for our late spring software update – 8.5 Release. We have some exciting features in mind! Here is a preview of several features that will be included:

Cloud Reporting

Have you ever wanted to access reporting data for longer than 4 weeks? The reason for the current NetEqualizer limit is that we can only store so much data on the device itself.unnamed-2

Our new Cloud Reporting offering will allow you to store historical NetEqualizer data for an extended period of time. You’ll be able to seamlessly pull this data from the Cloud and display the results on your NetEqualizer, or use it for other reporting and archiving purposes.

Read-only Login Account (customer feature request)

The NetEqualizer has always used basic HTTP authentication for it’s one account, but that is about to change! The next release will have a more standard login page with two roles – the current administrator role as well as a NEW read-only account role. The read-only account will let non-technical staff log in and view reports as well as a few other features.fsdf

NetEqualizer Logout (customer feature request)

We will support web application sessions with both log in & log out. Today we offer login but in 8.5 users will also be able to securely log their session out once they are finished using the GUI.

We are very excited about enhancing our recent 8.4 Release user interface with these changes. Stay tuned to the newsletter for updates on 8.5 features, release dates, and more!

We Want Your Suggestions for the 8.5 Release!

 We want your help! Last call for suggestions for our 8.5 Release.

Now is your last chance for 8.5 Release feature requests!

Many of our best features come from customer requests. For example, for all of you that wanted to have a read-only account for NetEqualizer administration, you’ll be happy to know that we have included it in our upcoming 8.5 Release. Our NetEqualizer Logout is also based on a customer suggestion.

For those suggested features that don’t make the cut, it is not because we did not like them (we like all the suggestions), but we have to filter on features that apply to a large set of our customers. We also keep track of all feature requests, so if yours does not make it into 8.5, it may be scheduled in a future release.

We only know what features you are interested in if you speak up! We have no way of knowing if a feature is popular or not unless we hear from you. So please, think deep and tell us what features would make the NetEqualizer tool more valuable to you!

Here are some questions you can ask yourself or your IT team to come up with ideas:

  1. What feature could I use to help us troubleshoot network problems, perhaps something you need to see in our reports?
  2. What feature would further help optimize our bandwidth resource, perhaps your wireless network has unique challenges?
  3. What security concerns do you have? Anything in the DDoS arena?
  4. What feature could be added to make setup and maintenance more efficient?

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Is Anyone Out There Still Suffering from DDoS Attacks?

What have your experiences been?

Perhaps the Russians have given up on hacking? We are not sure, but we certainly have seen a big drop off in DDoS help requests to our support team – so much so that we have put our DDoS firewall enhancement plans on hold.

We were working on a feature request to block foreign IP’s by connection count as one of our DDoS triggers. It would work something like this:

A NetEqualizer customer sets a white list for public IP’s to let through (not blocked). Any other public IP hitting the network with more than X active connections would trigger an alert or possibly a block based on your preference.

We need to know if such a feature, or another DDoS approach would be better, based on your experience.

Let us know what you have been seeing as far as DDoS attacks on your network!

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Featured Testimonials

What our customers are saying…

We take great pride in ensuring our customers are happy with their NetEqualizer! You can find all of our customer testimonials on our website under the “Customers” menu.

Here are just a few testimonials that we’ve received in 2016:

Reed Collegeunnamed-6

“We’ve had NetEqualizers on campus at Reed for several years and continue to be very happy with the product. We have a very small staff and don’t have time to “tune” a device like a Packetshaper. Instead the NetEqualizer is protocol agnostic in the way it shapes traffic for most users but also allows us to quickly prioritize some traffic if necessary.

Over the years the NetEqualizer has saved us countless hours of staff time. We did lose some visibility into what is happening on our border network but our IDS/IPS replaced that functionality. NetEqualizer is an excellent product.”Gary Schlickeiser – Director of Technology Infrastructure Services

Thanks Gary for your kind words!

Edmonton Regional Airport Authorityunnamed-7

“We presently use two NE3000 units for Internet traffic control and monitoring in a redundant setup. At present we have a maximum of 600 Mbps Internet throughput, with over 300 IP addresses in use in some 120+ address Pools.

The NetEqualizer is a very useful tool for us for monitoring and setting speeds for our many users. Most of the feeds come straight off our Campus network, which is spread over a seven kilometer distance from one end of the airdrome to the other. We also feed a number of circuits to customers using ADSL equipment in the older areas where fiber is not yet available. Everything runs though the “live” NE3000!

Controllability and monitoring is key for our customers, as they pay for the speed they are asking for. With the RTR Dashboard, we continually monitor overall usage peaks to make sure we provide enough bandwidth but, more importantly, to our individual customers. Many customers are not sure of how much bandwidth they need, so using the Neteq we can simply change their speed and watch the individual IP and/or Pool usage to monitor. This becomes especially useful now as many customers, including ourselves, use IP telephony to remote sites; so we need to maintain critical bandwidth availability for this purpose. That way when they or we have conference calls for example, no one is getting choppy conversations. All easily monitored and adjusted with the Dashboard and Traffic Management features.

We also have used the Neteq firewall feature to stop certain attack threats and customer infected pcs or servers from spewing email or other reported outbound attacks, not a fun thing but it happens.

Overall a very critical tool for our success in providing internet to users and it has worked very well for the past 8 or more years!”Willy Damgaard – Network and Telecom Analyst

Thanks Willy! We are happy to help.

Cooperative Light & Powerunnamed-8

“Our company is an electric utility and we have a subsidiary WISP with about 1,000 unlicensed fixed wireless customers. We purchased our first NetEqualizer about a year ago to replace our fair access policy server from another company. The server we replaced allowed burst then sustained bandwidth so we weren’t sure if “equalizing” would work, but it works extremely well as advertised.

The NetEqualizer is stable and actually requires very little maintenance after initial configuration. In our case, we wanted to limit the upper end of what a customer could use (max burst). We were able to set that parameter in our wireless CPE’s. Then we set the equalizing pools for the size of our APs. The NetEqualizer can do a burst then sustained then burst at equal intervals, but to our surprise we actually didn’t need to use it.

We also purchased the DDoS Firewall and that is working nicely as well for quick identification of attacks. Perhaps the most important thing to note is the support is excellent. From sales to engineering the team is very responsive and knowledgeable. We were so impressed that we actually purchased a second NetEqualizer to handle the rest of our network. This company is A+.”Kevin Olson – Communication Manager

Thanks Kevin!

It is wonderful to hear such glowing feedback from one of our newer customers! If you would like to share your feedback on the NetEqualizer, to be highlighted in a future NetEqualizer News, click here to send us an email.

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Best Of Blog

Using NetEqualizer to Ensure Clean, Clear QoS for VoIP Calls

By Art Reisman
 
Last week I talked to several ISP’s (Note: these were blind calls, not from our customers) that were having issues with end customers calling and complaining that their web browsing and VOIP calls were suffering. The funny thing is that the congestion was not the fault of the ISP, but the fault of the local connection being saturated with video. For example, if the ISP delivers a 10 meg circuit, and the customer starts two Netflix sessions, they would clog their own circuit.
Those conversations reminded me of an article I wrote back in 2010 that explains how the NetEqualizer can alleviate this type of congestion for VoIP. Here it is…

Photo of the Month
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Hiking Near Caribou Ranch
It’s been unseasonably warm in Colorado this fall. We’ve been taking advantage of this by hiking in the mountains amidst the changing leaf colors. 
APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 

Crossing a Chasm, Transitioning From Packet Shaping to the Next Generation Bandwidth Shaping Technology


Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.07.59 AM.png

By Art Reisman

CTO, APconnections

Even though I would self identify as an early adopter of new technology , when I look at my real life behavior, I tend to resist change and hang on to   technology that I am comfortable with.   Suffice to say , I  usually need an event or a gentle push to get over my resistance.

Given that technology change is uncomfortable,  what follows is a gentle push, or perhaps  a  mild shove, to help anybody who is looking to pull the trigger on moving away from Packet Shaping into a more sustainable , cost effective alternative.

First off, lets look at why packet shaping (layer 7 deep packet inspection) technologies are popular.

“A good layer 7 based tool creates the perception of complete control over your network. You can see what applications are running, how much bandwidth they are using, and make  adjustments to flows to meet your business objectives.”

Although the above statement appears idyllic, the reality of implementing , Packet shaping, even in its prime was at best only 60 percent accurate.  The remaining 40 percent of traffic could never be classified, and thus had to shaped based on guess work or faith.

Today, the accuracy of packet classification continues to slip. Security concerns are forcing most content providers to adopt encryption. Encrypted traffic cannot be classified.

In effort to stay relevant companies have moved away from deep packet inspection to classifying traffic by the source and destination ( source IP’s are never encrypted and thus always visible).

If your packet shaping device knows the address range of a content provider, it can safely assume a traffic type  by examining the source IP address.  For example, Youtube traffic emanates from a source address owned by Google.  The draw-back with this method is that savvy users can easily hide their sources by using any one of the publicly available VPN utilities out there.  The personal VPN world is exploding as individual users are moving to VPN tunneling services for all their home browsing.

The combination of VPN tunnels and encrypted content  is slowly transforming the best application classifiers into paper weights.

So what are the alternatives ?   Is  there something better ?

Yes,  If you can let go of concept of controlling specific traffic by type,  you can find viable alternatives. As  per the title , you must “cross the chasm,” and surrender  to a new way  of bandwidth shaping, where  decisions are based  on  usage heuristics, and not absolute identification.

What is a heuristic based shaper ? 

Our heuristic based bandwidth shapers borrow from the world of computer science and a CPU scheduling technique called shortest job first (SJF).  In todays world,  a “job” is synonymous with  an application.  You have likely  unknowingly experienced the benefits of a shortest job first scheduler when you use a Linux based laptop, such as a MAC, or Ubuntu.  Unlike the older Windows operating systems where one application can lock up your computer, such lock ups are rare on Linux .  Linux uses a scheduler that allows  preemption to let other applications in during peak times, so they are not starved for service.     Simply put,  a computer with many applications using SJF will pick the application it thinks is going to use the least amount of time and run it first. Or pre-empt a hog to let another application in.

In the world of bandwidth  shaping we do not have the issue of contended  CPU resources , but we do have an overload of Internet applications that vie for bandwidth resources on  a shared link.   The NetEqualizer uses SJF type techniques to pre-empt users who are dominating a bandwidth link with large downloads and  and other hogs. Although the NetEqualizer does not specifically classify these hogging applications by type , it does not matter. The hogging applications such as large downloads , and high resolution video, by their large foot print alone , are given lower priority . Thus the business critical interactive applications with smaller bandwidth resource consumption get serviced first.

Summary

The issue we often see with switching to this heuristic  shaping technology is that it goes against the absolute control oriented solution offered by Packet Shaping.  The  alternative of  sticking with a deep packet inspection and expecting to get control over your network is becoming impossible, hence something must change.

The new heuristic model of bandwidth shaping accomplishes priority for interactive cloud applications , and the implementation is simple and clean.

 

 

Why is Your Internet Connection So Slow?


By Art Reisman

CTO – APconnections

Have you ever been on  a shared wireless network, in a Hotel , or Business, and noticed how your  connection can go from reasonable to completely unusable in a matter of seconds, and then cycle back to usable ?

The reason for this , is that once a network hits its bandwidth allocation, the providers router usually just starts dropping the excess packets. Intuitively, when your router is dropping packets, one would assume that the perceived slow down, per user, would be just a gradual shift slower.

What happens in reality is far worse…

1) Distant users get spiraling slower responses.

Martin Roth, a colleague of ours who founded one of the top performance analysis companies in the world, provided this explanation:

“Any device which is dropping packets “favors” streams with the shortest round trip time, because (according to the TCP protocol) the time after which a lost packet is recovered is depending on the round trip time. So when a company in Copenhagen/Denmark has a line to Australia and a line to Germany on the same internet router, and this router is discarding packets because of bandwidth limits/policing, the stream to Australia is getting much bigger “holes” per lost packet (up to 3 seconds) than the stream to Germany or another office in Copenhagen. This effect then increases when the TCP window size to Australia is reduced (because of the retransmissions), so there are fewer bytes per round trip and more holes between to round trips.”

In the screen shot above (courtesy of avenida.dk), the Bandwidth limit is 10 Mbit (= 1 Mbyte/s net traffic), so everything on top of that will get discarded. The problem is not the discards, this is standard TCP behaviour, but the connections that are forcefully closed because of the discards. After the peak in closed connections, there is a “dip” in bandwidth utilization, because we cut too many connections.

2) Once you hit a congestion point, where your router is forced to drop packets, overall congestion actually gets worse before it gets better.

When applications don’t get a response due to a dropped packet, instead of backing off and waiting, they tend to start sending re-tries, and this is why you may have noticed prolonged periods (3o seconds or more) of no service on a congested network. We call this the rolling brown out. Think of this situation as sort of a doubling down on bandwidth at the moment of congestion. Instead of easing into a full network and lightly bumping your head, all the devices demanding bandwidth ramp up their requests at precisely the moment when your network is congested, resulting in an explosion of packet dropping until everybody finally gives up.

How do you remedy outages caused by Congestion?

We have written extensively about solutions to prevent bottlenecks. Here is a quick summary of possible solutions

1) The most obvious being to increase the size of your link.

2) Enforce rate limits per user. The problem with this solution is that you can waste a good bit of bandwidth if the network is lightly loaded

3) Use something more sophisticated like a Netequalizer, a device that is designed to specifically counter the effects of congestion.

From Martin Roth of Avenida.dk

“With NetEqualizer we may get the same number of discards, but we get fewer connections closed, because we “kick” the few connections with the high bandwidth, so we do not get the “dip” in bandwidth utilization.

The graphs (above) were recorded using 1 second intervals, so here you can see the bandwidth is reached. In a standard SolarWinds graph with 10 minute averages the bandwidth utilization would be under 20% and the customer would not know they are hitting the limit.”

———————————————————————-

The excerpt below was a message from a reseller who had been struggling with congestion issues at a hotel, he tried basic rate limits on his router first. Rate Limits will buy you some time , but on an oversold network you can still hit the congestion point, and for this you need a smarter device.

“…NetEq delivered a 500% gain in available bandwidth by eliminating rate caps, possible through a mix of connection limits and Equalization.  Both are necessary.  The hotel went from 750 Kbit max per accesspoint (entire hotel lobby fights over 750Kbit; divided between who knows how many users) to 7Mbit or more available bandwidth for single users with heavy needs.

The ability to fully load the pipe, then reach out and instantly take back up to a third of it for an immediate need like a speedtest was also really eye-opening.  The pipe is already maxed out, but there is always a third of it that can be immediately cleared in time to perform something new and high-priority like a speed test.”
 
Rate Caps: nobody ever gets a fast Internet connection.
Equalized: the pipe stays as full as possible, yet anybody with a business-class need gets served a major portion of the pipe on demand. “
– Ben Whitaker – jetsetnetworks.com

Are those rate limits on your router good enough?

A Packet Shaper Alternative


We generally don’t market the NetEqualizer product as an alternative to any particular competitor. NetEqualizer  stands on its own; however many of our customers are former Blue Coat, PacketShaper users. and their only complaint with our product is that they wish they could have found us sooner.

If you are looking for something simpler , lower cost , with a rock solid track record of solving congestion issues on Network Interfaces, you have come to the right place.

The basic premise of our technology is shaping by behavior based heuristics. Although that might sound a bit different from shaping by application, it is really quite effective and easy to use.  More importantly , it is becoming the best option in a world where the layer 7 techniques used by Blue Coat Packet Shaper, Allot NetEnforcer, Exinda  are unable to identify signatures due to increased content encryption.

Feel free to contact us , or any of our reference customers who have switched over to our technology to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

NetEqualizer News: October 2016


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include our new NetEqualizer Online Demo plus Demo Guide complete with the 8.4 Release, tips on when to use QuickEdits and Bulk Edits in the new GUI, and advice on how to speed up Windows and Apple updates on your network.

 

 October 2016

 

New NetEqualizer Demo, and more!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

art photo for NL

Fall in Colorado always seems so short compared to the other seasons. While still technically autumn, the more consistent colder temperatures make it feel like winter. By Halloween, we’ve usually had our first snow.

Just like the sun is setting on that fall feeling, we are finishing up everything that goes along with a major NetEqualizer software release. One of those last steps was updating our Online Demo with the latest code. We are excited to announce that it is now live! If you are curious about the 8.4 Release, check it out! We’ve enhanced our Online Demo to even more accurately reflect the value NetEqualizer provides and how the GUI supports your bandwidth shaping mission.

If you have any questions or want to update to the 8.4 release, feel free to contact us anytime!

We continue to work with you to solve some of your most pressing network problems – so if you have one that you would like to discuss with us, please call or email me anytime at 303.997.1300 x103 or art@apconnections.net.

And remember we are now on Twitter. You can follow us @NetEqualizer.

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: New Demo NetEqualizer

:: Product Demo Guide for 8.4

:: 8.4 GUI: QuickEdits vs. Bulk Edits

:: Best of Blog: How to Speed Up Windows/Apple Updates

New Demo NetEqualizer

Announcing a brand new NetEqualizer Demo – Updated with our latest (8.4) code!

One of the final steps in solidifying the 8.4 Release was updating our online Demo machine with the latest code, as well as meaningful data that can be used to see examples of the NetEqualizer in action.

key

Above is the new 8.4 Dashboard for the Online Demo. You can see from the green information buttons that our demo is set up with for a 1Gbps license. The blue buttons show that this is NetEqualizer1, loaded with the 8.4 DEMO version.

graph

This screen shows the General Traffic Graph for the Online Demo. As you can see, the traffic load is consistent with the 1Gbps license.

With the new Demo machine, we’ve enhanced our sample data to be more accurate so that clicking through the interfaces realistically shows you what it’s like to run the NetEqualizer on your network. You can run reports, see active connections, analyze graphs, run commands, and make edits to the configuration, all while you explore the features of the NetEqualizer.

Check out the new interface here – and let us know what you think!

7cfb789e-ff7b-4b14-90b5-4efac931b576

Product Demo Guide for 8.4

 The Product Demo Guide for 8.4 is here!

Our Product Demo Guide has also been updated along with our new NetEqualizer Demo machine. The Demo Guide helps walk you through key concepts and interfaces within the NetEqualizer.demoguide

The Demo Guide is not just for potential NetEqualizer customers! If you want to see a preview of the 8.4 Release prior to upgrading, or just re-familiarize yourself with the NetEqualizer’s primary value-adds, this quick walk through is a great resource.

To view the updated guide, click here or click on the image to the right.

If you are interested in a more technical walk through with our engineering staff, contact us today!

8.4 GUI: QuickEdits vs. Bulk Edits

When to use each and why!

One of the most useful and interesting new features of the 8.4 Release is the ability to edit all of your NetEqualizer rules at once – something we call “Bulk Edits”. With Bulk Edits, you can perform several edits together, such as adding a rule, updating another rule, and deleting a third rule. You only have to save your new configuration one time, when you have finished all of your edits.

bulkedits

mpxGG3D

It is important to note that with Bulk Edits, your Equalizing process will be restarted when you save your new configuration. It only takes 10-20 seconds for the restart to complete, but during that time your network will not be shaped. For congested networks, it’s best to make bulk edit changes during a maintenance window or when the network is quieter.

The reason that we restart the equalizing process is that certain changes require the NetEqualizer to re-read in the new rules, and because Bulk Edits involve making arbitrary changes, we restart the Equalizing process to ensure all the adjustments are properly accounted for. Bulk Edits are great for large-scale changes and initial setup of the NetEqualizer!

For those looking to make singular adds or deletes to their rules, we also have a Quick Edits interface available. The advantage of Quick Edits is that you can add or delete a rule without having to restart the Equalizing process. Quick Edits are great when you just need to add or remove a rule!

quickedits

8.4 perform_quick_edits

If you have any questions on Bulk Edits vs. Quick Edits, and are current on your NSS (NetEqualizer Software and Support), please contact us any time!

contact_us_box

Best Of Blog

How to Speed Up Windows/Apple Updates

By Art Reisman
 
I discovered a problem with my download speed while trying to recover my un-responsive iPad. Apple’s solution required me attach my iPad to my Mac, and then to download a new iOS image from the Internet, through the Mac and onto the iPad.
Speed should have been no problem with my business class, 20 megabit Internet connection from a well-known provider, right?…

Photo of the Month
devilscauseway
The Devil’s Causeway
This land bridge in the Flat Tops Wilderness area near Steamboat Springs, CO is one of Colorado’s most unique natural wonders. Reaching the Causeway is a popular day hike for locals, but actually crossing it is not for the faint of heart. At it’s narrowest the bridge is 3 feet wide with 800 foot drops on each side. A nice cross breeze and rocky terrain makes your knees a little wobbly. If you are ever in the area, visit this park and make the trek, as this is one of the most beautiful remote parks in the state.
APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 

Together We Can Put an End to Pop Up Advertisements


Normally I would not advocate something like I am about to propose, but those pop up video advertisements are just killing me. Especially when I am using my wireless device as a hot spot,  these unwanted annoyances add insult to injury by draining my precious data usage. Yes, I have ad blockers on my browsers, but it is only a matter of time before they are subverted with some new technology. There is a better way to put an end to Pop up Advertisements but it will take a village to make a difference.

Believe it or not, the best way to put an end to unwanted advertisements is to click on them and then quickly abandon the resulting web page. Abandonments are the bane of the Marketing world. Here is why…

In traditional media a marketing team plays an advertisement/commercial for a known demographic at a fixed price, whether it be Television, Newspaper, Magazine, etc. They then measure the effectiveness of the advertisement by the increase in leads or sales over the period of time that the advertisement runs.

Digital pop advertisements are a bit different. It is a pay-for-click scheme where the advertiser gets charged by the click.  They blast these annoying advertisements to perhaps a million people with no real cost consequences, (other than fraud, but that is another story) because they do not pay unless people click on their ad.  As the people who click on the advertisements are very likely their target audience, this model is very efficient.  Advertisers love this model, as it allows them to essentially only pay advertising dollars to a self-qualified audience. After all, who clicks on an advertisement unless they have some level of interest in the product to start with?

However, if we consumers and web users rise up and just simply click on one or two web pop up ads a day that we have no interest in, the practice of bombarding us will come to end.

Why?  Because the cost of these extra clicks will make their advertising campaign much less efficient. The advertiser is looking for a return on investment, and the more clicks with no follow through sale that happen, the more unpalatable pop up ads will become.

If you too are annoyed by pop up ads, please share this article. Let us see if we can drive these advertisers back into the margins of our web pages, and get them out of our faces. I cannot do this alone.

How to Speed Up Windows/Apple Updates


I discovered a problem with my download speed while trying to recover my un-responsive iPad.  Apple’s solution required me attach my iPad to my Mac, and then to download a new iOS image from the Internet, through the Mac and onto the IPad.

Speed should have been no problem with my business class, 20 megabit Internet connection from a well-known provider, right?

So I thought.

When I started the iOS download, the little progress timer immediately registered 23 hours to go. Wow, that is long time to wait, and I needed my iPad for a trip the next morning.  I tried a couple of speed tests in parallel, and everything looked normal.  The question remained – where was the bottleneck on this iOS download?  Was it on Apple’s end or a problem with my provider?

Over the years I have learned that iOS  and Windows updates are the bane of many Internet Providers. They are constantly looking at ways to prevent them from gumming up their exchange points.  They will try to identify update traffic, either by using the source IP, or if that does not work, they can actually examine the download data to make a determination. In either case, once they have tagged it as an update, they will choose to slow it down to keep their exchange points clear during peak traffic hours.

To thwart their shaping and get my speed back up near 20 megabits as promised, I simply had to hide my intentions. This can be accomplished using any number of consumer grade VPN applications.

I turned on my  IPvanish, which automatically encrypts the data and original source of my iOS update. Once up and running with my VPN, my IOS update loaded in 23 minutes. A 60 fold speed increase from my previous attempt.

If you would like to read more, here are a couple of other posts about ISP’s throttling data:

There is something rotten in the state of online streaming.

How to get access to blocked Internet Sites.

Good luck!

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