LiveBrianD, on 08 August 2011 - 10:50 AM, said:
Recently I got a letter in the mail that comcast made improvements to the internet speed and I had to reboot my equipment to get the best speed, so I did. Now, on my desktop, pages seem to load quite a bit faster than usual - just a second or two usually. I pay for 15mbps down 3mbps up. I got around 27mbps down 3.7mbps up. (they have TurboBoost, which makes the first little bit of a download faster) When I download a file first, wearing off the effects of turboboost, it's around 17mbps down 3.7mbps up. On my laptop, it's the same. However, whether ethernet or wifi, pages still take the same amount of time to load. (could that be due to the slower CPU? The CPU usage spikes towards 90-100% while loading a page for a second) It doesn't matter if I use comcast's default dns or opendns...
How does your ISP's advertised speed compare to what you actually get?
There could be little difference due to a number of reasons.
Then you need to keep in mind that your ISP (Comcast in your and my case) only controls a very small part of the browsing experience. You can kind of think of it like the subdivision road that many people live on. On that local subdivision road, there is not going to be much traffic and it is easily controlled to keep this flowing well. This is kind of like what Comcast controls. At some point, however, you leave the subdivision or local roads and get out into roads with a LOT more traffic. This is like your Internet connection. At some point, you go beyond Comcast's network and they no longer have any control over how faster or well your data travels. Their advertised and/or provided speeds only apply to what they control (i.e. typically it is essentially your connection speed from your house to one of their main switching stations). This is why you will tend to get different speeds with Speedtest.net depending on the server you choose...the level of traffic your data has to navigate will vary based upon its path.
Then there is the server that you ultimately connect to. Not all servers are equal. Some will take longer to serve up the data after you make the request for it (i.e. click on the link). So, while your request might get to the server in blazing fast speed and the server might actually send data back to you in blazing fast speed, it might still take the server a second or two to "process" the request and respond.
So, you combine all that with the fact that webpages typically are VERY small amounts of data in the grand scheme of things (i.e. compared to videos or ISO downloads or even MP3/music downloads) and you are faced with the fact that the actual transmission of the data of a typical webpage is a relatively minor part of the process and can be overwhelmed by the time needed for the server to process the request and also for your computer to process the webpage data and display the page. Kind of think of it like you decide to call up a friend just to say "Hi" and you get their voice mail. Even though your data that you send (i.e. a message of "Hi, just wanted to see what's up! Call me.") is relative small and does not take long to transmit (i.e. that phrase would be all of about 1 second to speak), you spend a LOT more time dialing the number, waiting for the system to actually process the call (if a cell phone), the phone ringing, listening to the message, and then you friend has to do a similar process to get the message. Most of the time has nothing to do with the actual transmission of the data.