How to best use your 100 megabit Internet Pipe

In a previous article we made the following statement:

“ISPs are now promising 100 megabit per second consumer  service, and are betting on the fact that most consumers will only use a fraction of that at any given time.  In other words, they have oversold their capacity without backlash.  In the unlikely event that all their customers tried to pull their max bandwidth at one time, there would be extreme gridlock, but the probability of this happening is almost zero. “

So I ask the question, what would it take to make full use of your 100 megabit pipe?

A typical streamed movie consumes about 4 megabits. You would need to watch 25 Netflix movies at once all day every day to fully utilize your pipe.  Obviously watching 25 movies at once all day every day is not very practical, you would need multiple Netflix Accounts and 25 devices to watch them on.

Big files:  A 100 Gigabyte file, that’s a good size download for a consumer right?   Well, that would take approximately 4 minutes to download on a 100 megabit pipe, and then you’d have to find another one.

For convenience maybe you could find  a 1,000 Gigabyte file? That would take only 40 minutes, so you are still kind of left with a good deal of spare pipe for most of the day.  How about a 10,000 Gigabyte file (10 Terabytes)?  That would take 400 minutes.   By my calculations, in order to make use of  your 100 megabit  pipe completely for 24 hours, you would need to download a 40 Terabyte file!

Where could you find such a file?

I did some poking around and there are a couple of sites that have gigantic files for no particular reason, but the only practical file with a reason to download was this one:


“Some time ago I was interested in creating custom maps of the Earth, and I realized that the data files needed for this are pretty large; and the more zoom you want, the larger are the data files.

OpenStreetMap has a huge file of the Earth which is 82GB compressed and around 1TB uncompressed according to the OSM wiki, and it will become larger. You can find it updated here.”

So this very large file that maps the entire earth is 82 Gig in compressed form for download, a tiny fraction of the full 40 terabytes you would need to download in one day to fill up your pipe.

What is the moral of the story?

Internet providers can safely offer 100 megabit pipes, full well knowing that even their heaviest users are likely not going to average more than 5 megabits sustained over a long time period.  You would actually have to be maliciously downloading ridiculously sized files all day every day to use your full pipe.

Gmail Gone AWOL

By Art Reisman



I have  a confession to make. Even though we have a corporate e-mail server at my company, I have been using Gmail for my primary business e-mail going back to 2002.  I  love the ability to search old records and conversations from the past.   With Google’s technology , searching gmail was second to none. Sometimes , I searched just for nostalgia  purposes, like the final e-mail conversation I had wih my Mom when my dad was taken off dialysis in hospice, and sometimes for business reasons.   Unfortunately my world has recently been shattered.   All my e-mail prior to 2008 is completely gone, and I have searched far and wide for a policy from Gmail that might explain why.  I pay a monthly fee for google storage and was well below my limit, I have tried their support forums and so far  just silence. If you are a long time e-mail users I suggest you try to search  your archives.  Ten years seems to be the cut off where things got dumped or lost.


And no ,  have not been corresponding with any Russian operatives!

NetEqualizer Reporting Only License now Available for Purchase

For about half the cost of the full-featured NetEqualizer, you can now purchase a NetEqualizer with a Reporting Only License.  Our Reporting Only option enables you to view your network usage data in real-time (as of this second), as well as to view historical usage to see your network usage trends.

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 3.59.43 PM

Live Screen Shot Showing Overall Bandwidth In Real Time

 Reporting can help you to troubleshoot your network, from identifying DDoS and virus activity, to assessing for possible unwanted P2P traffic.

You might consider a Reporting Only NetEqualizer for a site where you would like better visibility into your network, and also think you may need to shape at some point.  It could also help you to assess a network segment from a traffic flow perspective.

And the great thing is, we always protect your investment in our technology.  If at a later time you do decide you want to use our state-of-the-art shaping technology, you have not lost your initial investment in the NetEqualizer.  You can always upgrade and only pay the price difference.

What features come in Release 1 (R.v1) of the Reporting Only NetEqualizer?

  • Reporting by IP , real time and historical usage
  • Reporting by Subnet , VLAN  real time and historical usage
  • Reporting by Domain Name ( Yahoo, Facebook etc) Real time and historical
  • Real-time spreadsheet style snapshot of all existing connections

Troubleshooting Tools

  • Top Uploaders & Downloaders
  • Abusive behavior due to Viruses
  • DDoS detection
  • P2P detection
  • Alerts and Alarms for Quota Overages
  • Peak Bandwidth Alerting

More features to come in our next release, please put in your request now!

Reporting Only prices include first year support.  Prices listed below are good through 3/31/2018.  After March 2018, contact us for current pricing.

NE3000-R 500Mbps price   $3000
NE3000-R 1Gbps price      $4000
NE4000-R 5Gbps price       $6000

Note that Reporting Only NetEqualizers can be license-upgraded in the field to enable full   shaping capabilities.

The New Bandwidth Paradigm

For years the prevailing belief was that consumers would always outstrip bandwidth supply.  From our recent conversations with several land line operators,  their experience suggests that in the near-term, that paradigm may not be true.

How could this be?

The answer is fairly simple.  Since streaming HD video became all the rage some 10+ years ago, there has not been any real pressure from any new bandwidth-intensive applications.   All the while, ISPs have been increasing their capacity.  The net result is that many wired providers have finally outstripped demand.

Yes, many video content options have popped up for both real-time streaming and recorded entertainment.  However, when we drill down on consumption, we find that almost all video caps out at 4 megabits per second.  Combine a 4 megabit per second self-imposed video limit with the observation that consumers are averaging 1 movie for every 3 connected households, and we can see what true consumption is nowadays – at or below 4 megabits per second per house.   Thus, even though ISPs now advertise  50 or 100 megabit per second last mile connections to the home, consumers rarely have reason to use that much bandwidth for a sustained period of time.   There is just no application beyond video that they use on a regular basis.

What about the plethora of other applications?

I just did a little experiment on my Internet connection leaving my home office.  My average consumption, including two low resolution security camera’s, a WebEx session, a Skype call, several open web pages, and some smart devices, came to a grand total of 0.7 megabits per second.   The only time I even come close to saturating my 20 megabit per second connection is when I download a computer update of some kind, and obviously this is a relatively rare event, once a month at most.

What about the future?

ISPs are now promising 50 or 100 megabit per second connections, and are betting on the fact that most consumers will only use a fraction of that at any given time.  In other words, they have oversold their capacity without backlash.  In the unlikely event that all their customers tried to pull their max bandwidth at one time, there would be extreme gridlock, but the probability of this happening is almost zero.   At this time we don’t see any new application beyond video that will seriously demand a tenfold type increase in bandwidth, which is what happened when we saw video come of age on the Internet.  Yes,  there will be increases in demand, but we expect that curve to be a few percent a year.

The Benefits of Slow Internet

By Art Reisman



A few weekends a year I spend time at our rural retreat out in the middle of high plains of Kansas.  My internet options are very limited.  We have Wild Blue as a Satellite provider. Their service is on average worse than dial-up when it is working, and there are many reasons for it to randomly go out. Including heavy rain, woodpeckers destroying the plastic cap on the center of the dish, and just random congestion that can occur at any time of the day.  There was also the time I accidentally used up my data quota after leaving the Internet radio on for a week.  In response, they shut off my service without any notification.

As a back up to the wild blue, I have a 40 foot repeater antenna on the roof that picks up a 3g signal from the local wireless provider. If I sit right under the repeater, in a closet, I can get a data signal on my phone for those emergencies when I must respond to an e-mail, so technically I am not completely off grid.


When the Internet goes down , I will  fight for hours resetting routers and checking cables, just like my  1-year-old grandson screaming for hours when overtired. I will not give up my Internet access without a fight.


But then it happens. At some point I give up.  The Internet is unusable or completely gone.  With great relief, I look over at my night stand, where I have a stack of unread nature books that sits for months at a time. Much like the island of misfit toys, these books just need to be read.  My favorite nature  writer Richard Coniff  lulls  me into  a wonderful world without politics, without doomsday weather events for which I have no control, no angry customer e-mails :) For several hours I can enjoy nature and the glorious rhythm of life without the Internet.

No Patents for This Bandwidth Shaper

By Art Reisman


I often get asked if our NetEqualizer Technology is Patented. And the answer is NO.  The Netequalizer secret sauce is buried deep within our code , and is protected by copy right law.

As for patents, I have a disdain for software patents which was exemplified in this 2007 article that I wrote for Extreme Tech Magazine which explains my position.  Here is an excerpt

The problem with this patent, like many others in a misguided flood of new filings, is that it describes an obvious process to solve a naturally occurring problem.

For the full article click here “Analysis  Confessions of a Patent Holder

6 Tips for Installing a Wireless Network

I have been involved with supporting thousands of wireless networks over the past 14 years. From large professional sports arena’s to small home networks, I have seen successes and failures alike.  What follows are my learnings from living  with the pain and the success of these networks.


  1. Do not cut corners on coverage. The biggest and most egregious mistake that our customers have made over the years is shopping price over coverage.   The fewer access points installed the lower the net cost of the install. You may not realize  this mistake during initial trials.  Once your network is at full capacity coverage issues can be a nightmare for both customer and vendor.
  2. Use the best available  technology.  There are many different flavors of technology when installing a wireless network.  Note, the best technology may not be the most expensive, and the newest technology may not be the most reliable. As for specific recommendations on technology , I will include information in the comments section as information becomes available.
  3. Don’t let the advertised SPEED of  access point specifications overly influence your decision.  There are many factors that ultimately affect the end-user connection speed. In many cases the top advertised speed of an access point is unattainable. For an analogy would you pay an extra $50,000 for a car that could go 200 MPH when the speed limit is 75?    I have seen buildings with a 100 megabit  link to the Internet , purchasing 20 1 G access points.  Even for future expansion purposes this is way too much overkill,
  4. When choosing an IT company to help with the install, The midsize or small company in your area is likely a better bet than the large IT company.   I have personal experience working with a company that went from a great company to work with to a nightmare over a period of years. The reason was as they got bigger and hired more employees,  their talent pool become more diluted ,their prices got higher, while their work quality become a sore point with their customers.
  5. For large complex installations think about paying for a simulation. A company like Candelatech , specializes in simulating various loads on wireless networks and is well worth the up front investment prior to build out.
  6. Congestion control. Disclaimer: Yes we make a bandwidth controller and yes we are biased toward this technology. On many networks the best design and best wireless equipment are rendered irrelevant if there is not enough bandwidth to feed the animals.  A wide open heavily used network will come to  a halt without  some form of intelligent bandwidth control.
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