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!

2 Responses to “How to Speed Up Windows/Apple Updates”

  1. Gavin Pyle Says:

    We had a similar issue while updating iPads while connected to a Mac using iTunes. I believe the NetEqualizer is detecting the download as P2P and because we are using the P2P limiting feature of the NetEqualizer it is slowing down the iOS download. There’s a check box in iTunes (under downloads) that reads “Simultaneous Downloads”, if you uncheck that box, iOS downloads much quicker, but only from a single source.

  2. NetEqualizer News: October 2016 | NetEqualizer News Blog Says:

    […] How to Speed Up Windows/Apple Updates […]


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