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NJMike

What Should My Max Bandwidth Be?

29 posts in this topic

I ran a SpeedTest.net test and I came back with:

 2045928524.png

What should I set my max bandwidth slider to based off these results? In case more random information is needed: I'm using Windows 7 Home Premium and a 802.11g wireless connection with my ASUS K73SV laptop. The router I use is a Linksys WRT54G.

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As a rule of thumb you would never want to set your bandwidth in your preferences to more than about 80% of your tested speed (75% is often mentioned and, to be honest, that's probably a better number).  80% of 16 mbps is 12 mbps.  12 mbps is way more than the Linden Lab servers will ever send any individual using SL.......my observations and experiments tell me that the LL servers will not send more than about 1.5 mbps under ideal conditions.  I'm not sure how high some of the viewers allow one to set the bandwidth but the SL viewer lets you set it as high as 5 mbps (which is higher by about 4 times than I've ever seen the servers send to me.........I haven't played with it for a year or so but I'm pretty sure it hasn't changed much, if at all).  I would set the bandwidth to something around 1.2 mbps (1200 kbps) to maybe 1.5 mbps (1500 kbps).  That's about the maximum the servers will deliver so setting it higher is doing you no good what so ever.  My download tested to the LL servers in San Francisco and Dallas are about 27 mbps and 25 mbps respectively..........to the recommended test server for Speed Test I get 30 mbps on a very consistant basis.  To get a truer test do your tests to both San Francisco and Dallas a few times and take the average between both locations.  I'm sure your speed will be close to your local test server (a few megs less but still way more than the LL servers will ever send to you).

The speed of a wireless connection is not what causes people problems.  It's the potential for interference and occassional hiccups with the transmitter/reciever of the wireless set up.  When that happens your bandwidth may be good but your packet loss attrocious......packet loss is very disruptive to maintaining a connection to the servers (more so than slow speeds).  That's why everyone says to stay away from wireless if, at all, possible.  And, if you have to use a wireless network you really should lock down your router.........you are so wide open to thieves and some very unpleasant experiences that you should be scare out of your mind with an open router.  Look in your manual on how to secure your network.

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community.secondlife.com/t5/Tips-and-Tricks/QUICKTIP-Get-less-lag-in-seconds-by-increasing-your-Maximum/ba-p/670217 based on that article, I think it's best to put it on max. Some might said 75% of your max download speed, etc, but putting it on max works best for me. :)

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You may also need to increase your bandwidth slightly if streaming media. Music not so much as most of the time they stream at 128kbps sometimes will stream higher but not that much a maximum of 320kbps but dosn't require much changing if you click play on the music player in Second Life.

Although!

Streaming movies and live video can be a different story and depending on the speed they are uploading depends on how much you will need to increase the slider to let it in.

Whenever I watch a feature length film in Second Life it's recommended to have atleast 2500kbps minimum bandwidth (recommended by the people who I buy the films from in Second Life)

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The 75% number often mentioned is for people with marginal speeds.  Say your speed tests out at 1,000 kbps and the LL servers actually deliver that much to your viewer.  Your connection will handle that just fine.......until you try to view media or use voice.  The LL servers are going to send you that 1,000 kbps as your viewer is requesting be sent.  The media and voice requirements will not have enough to work.........LL is taking it all.  Media and voice are delivered from sources outside the LL servers (the servers know nothing about what else you want to have delivered to your computer).  Setting the maximum with a mimimal connection will cause those services not to work (they may even crash your viewer)........that's the reason for the 75% setting.  If you have more than about 2,000 kbps download then you probably can set your bandwidth to the maximum without problems (unless, for some reason, the LL servers start sending you that maximum.....then you have the problem of not having the overhead to deal with voice or media).

I also want to add one more thing to my first post about wireless connections.  All routers designed for home use are wireless.  So even if you connect with an Ethernet cable (a Cat5e cable) your router will still transmit and recieve wirelessly......you need to lock down the router regardless of whether or not you actually connect wirelessly.  Anyone with a wireless computer or smart phone within the range of the router can connect if it's wide open........and you probably would not know it unless you actually looked (which most will never think to do).  You neighbor who lives in a basement (and you never see or even know about) could be downloading child pornography on your connection.........the FBI comes knocking your door, not his.

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You're San Francisco test it pretty bad considering your local speed.......I would be calling Comcast tomorrow for answers.  But then you might test again in a few hours to see if it's some problem with the test servers.  Still the big different from the Philidelpha server to the Dallas and San Francisco is way out of line, in my opinion.  You're ping times are enormoust too considering PA to CA is 3000 miles (not necessarily how far in cable miles).........for the Internet that is not really that far.  Eurpeans get pings times in that neighborhood and they are much further away from the LL servers than you are.

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

I also want to add one more thing to my first post about wireless connections.  All routers designed for home use are wireless.  So even if you connect with an Ethernet cable (a Cat5e cable) your router will still transmit and recieve wirelessly......you need to lock down the router regardless of whether or not you actually connect wirelessly.  

It seems to me that if one isn't using the wireless capability, the best thing to do is to turn it off.

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I did a re-rest for all three, this time while logged off SL (friend told me I shouldn't be on SL when doing tests like this). I also tried all of the servers for each area, just to be sure I wasn't conencting to one that was being crappy for the day.

2046047683.png

San Francisco Server #1:2046042292.png

San Francisco Server #2:2046048682.png

Dallas Server #1:2046052658.png

Dallas Server #2:2046051112.png

Dallas Server #3:2046053644.png

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That's true but most people have a smart phone, tablet or printer that they want to connect to the network with.  I have a smart phone and my significant other has a smart phone and an iPad plus my printer is shared by myself and my significant other....it would be a mess if I had to connect everything with an Ethernet cable.......not to mention that would require a switch in addition to my router.  Wireless has it's use (and without it, you're really limiting yourself).  Just secure your network.......and don't try to use SL with it.  :)

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You should be okay with pretty much any bandwidth setting you want in preferences and have plenty or overhead for voice and media.  Like I said, I use 1200 kbps and that allows 30 FPS in all but the most busy or areas (where I consistantly get around 20 FPS).  Once you get as much as the servers will send you're whistling in the dark by trying to get more (it just ain't going to make a spit's worth of difference....except maybe to make you feel good).

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The resident who provided the previous content, if any, has replaced it with this generic statement.

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

The 75% number often mentioned is for people with marginal speeds.  Say your speed tests out at 1,000 kbps and the LL servers actually deliver that much to your viewer.  Your connection will handle that just fine.......until you try to view media or use voice.  The LL servers are going to send you that 1,000 kbps as your viewer is requesting be sent.  The media and voice requirements will not have enough to work.........LL is taking it all.  Media and voice are delivered from sources outside the LL servers (the servers know nothing about what else you want to have delivered to your computer).  Setting the maximum with a mimimal connection will cause those services not to work (they may even crash your viewer)........that's the reason for the 75% setting.  If you have more than about 2,000 kbps download then you probably can set your bandwidth to the maximum without problems (unless, for some reason, the LL servers start sending you that maximum.....then you have the problem of not having the overhead to deal with voice or media).

I also want to add one more thing to my first post about wireless connections.  All routers designed for home use are wireless.  So even if you connect with an Ethernet cable (a Cat5e cable) your router will still transmit and recieve wirelessly......you need to lock down the router regardless of whether or not you actually connect wirelessly.  Anyone with a wireless computer or smart phone within the range of the router can connect if it's wide open........and you probably would not know it unless you actually looked (which most will never think to do).  You neighbor who lives in a basement (and you never see or even know about) could be downloading child pornography on your connection.........the FBI comes knocking your door, not his.

Many of the ISP's now preset their routers with randomly generated access keys.  I believe Comcast does this now.  I know AT&T does.  It's a good thing that the days of "admin" as the default passkey are gone.  I don't know if this holds true for store bought routers.

The last place I lived (I moved about a year ago) there were five wireless networks within my range and I couldn't access any of them.  Currently there where I live there are six and none of them are accessible either.

But you are absolutely right, no one should have 'admin' or other similar defaults as their passkey.

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This is what I get from Milan, Italy to Dallas at 6 PM with a 100 Mbps fiber-optic connection:

SpeedTest2046994504.png

 

And this is San Francisco:

SpeedTestSF2047008939.png

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The first San Francisco server listed with SpeedTest.net is definitely crappy. This is what I get from Milan, Italy with it:

SpeedTestSF2047008939.png

The second listed server gives this result:

SpeedTestSF22047023318.png

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

I also want to add one more thing to my first post about wireless connections.  All routers designed for home use are wireless.  So even if you connect with an Ethernet cable (a Cat5e cable) your router will still transmit and recieve wirelessly......you need to lock down the router regardless of whether or not you actually connect wirelessly.  Anyone with a wireless computer or smart phone within the range of the router can connect if it's wide open........and you probably would not know it unless you actually looked (which most will never think to do).  You neighbor who lives in a basement (and you never see or even know about) could be downloading child pornography on your connection.........the FBI comes knocking your door, not his.

 

Yes, I just want to point out this is patently false. It's liike saying all red cars are Ferraris. There are a wide array of routers for home use, fully wireless, fully wired, and some with both wired and wireless.

Naturally in the event your router does have wireless capability, you should secure it. Most Dual wired/wiress routers ship with wirless off by default, but don't bank on that.

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

You're San Francisco test it pretty bad considering your local speed.......I would be calling Comcast tomorrow for answers.

Yeah.

Speedtest for me gives 39 down with Comcast. Getting 0.94... you might as well switch to dialup... :)

 

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"...

In there it says that max bandwidth is not about steaming media and audio.  So believe it or not.  Media and Audio don't come from LL servers so it makes sense to me.

...

-----------------------------------------

Absolutely.  The max bandwidth setting in your viewer has nothing to do with media or voice.  The veiwer's setting tells the LL servers how much bandwidth to send to you when your turn comes up for data depending on where you are on the grid, your view distance, and other factors that require the servers to send to any viewer.  If your tested speed in 1,000 kbps and you have your viewer set to recieve 1,000 kbps then the servers will send 1,000 kbps (when it's possible since the servers are serving more than just you).  If you are recieving that max bandwidth that you set in preferences and you want to view some streaming media, use voice (and even listen to some internet radio station) you won't be able to do it.........you will likely get disconnected and possibly even crash.  Your tested speed won't handle the extra bandwidth those services require.  That's the reason you should always allow for some overhead so that you have the bandwidth available for those services.  If you are close to 1,000 kbps tested speed it matters........if you are like me with consistant 25,000 kbps it really doesn't matter what I set the bandwidth to in preferences (I have a couple thousand times the required overhead for those services).

The bandwidth setting in preference is a source of many misconceptions (as well as confusion).  In the older viewers LL had a max setting of 1500 kbps.....that was realistic since the servers can probably deliver that much and a decent cable connection can certainly handle it easily.  Now you have settins on the bandwidth meter that go upwards of 1,000 mbps (that's a gigabit.........a billion bits per second!!!).  The servers will never send that much to.......especially when the servers are servers multiple accounts and sims have thousands of textures and objects.  Viewers with such high settings are like that old VW Beetle with a speedometer that showed 120 mph...........down the Grapevine on the Bakersfield side of the Cajon pass, maybe with your foot solidly planted on the accellarator all the way to the floor board (maybe even denting the floor board).  It's disceptive in that it implies you can get more by simply setting the meter higher....that's not true.  You'll never get more than the servers will deliver.......you won't get more than your connection speed allows either.  And if you tell the servers to send data that excedes your connection speed and the servers actually send that much, you wind up with problems.  Problems that usually cause a disconnect and sometimes will crash your viewer. 

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I own my router (and my modem too).  My router is a Linksys and I just got it about a month ago.........it has both a network name (it doesn't say "Linksys" like the ones I've had in the past did) and a passcode for wireless connections.  It's defaulted to secure instead of wide open like the older routers.  And yes that is a good thing.....configuring routers used to be a real pain in the butt (but I suffered through that pain to lock the routers down every time).  The nice thing about this router is that I have a setup up disk that is copied to a flash drive so I can easily add another computer......and change the name and passcode at will.

I always changed the "admin" password when I replaced my router or had to reset it to factory defaults.  I hated doing that so I'm happy now that I don't have to do it (well, I still have to change passcodes but it's easy now :) ).

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With purchasing 5 routers over the last 10 (maybe 11) years, every one was wireless and ever one was ready to go wirelessly.  You have to go into the setup utility to turn wireless off........it's on by default.  If it weren't on then router techs would be pulling their hair out with calls from almost every purchaser of the router.  Wireless is hyped to death...........and if the customer had to enter setup to turn it on, the comsumers would be livid.

I'm talking about routers for a home network.  I know commericial routers come in different flavors.  I've been in a very large server room (one that served the entire western United States with network and cable television).......nothing was wireless.  And the routers had 48 to 96 RJ-45 connections for the servers to connect to...........and then those routers were feeding into more routers.  Thousands of servers all brought down to a single fiber optic cable to go out to the entire world.  It's impressive.

It's not patently false.  Most home routers are both wireless and wired (usually with 4 RJ-45 output connectors and up to 20 wireless connections.  That's the typical router most people would use.  Wireless in on by default............the newer routers are secured by default (but the older ones have to be manually "locked down" using the configuration ulitiy in the router's setup).

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

I own my router (and my modem too).  My router is a Linksys and I just got it about a month ago.........it has both a network name (it doesn't say "Linksys" like the ones I've had in the past did) and a passcode for wireless connections.  It's defaulted to secure instead of wide open like the older routers.  And yes that is a good thing.....configuring routers used to be a real pain in the butt (but I suffered through that pain to lock the routers down every time).  The nice thing about this router is that I have a setup up disk that is copied to a flash drive so I can easily add another computer......and change the name and passcode at will.

I always changed the "admin" password when I replaced my router or had to reset it to factory defaults.  I hated doing that so I'm happy now that I don't have to do it (well, I still have to change passcodes but it's easy now
:)
).

I hated setting up Linksys routers!  They used to be the most stubborn, un-intuitive, cantankerous pains in the butt for me to set up.  What would take me an hour to do with a Linksys I could accomplish in 10 minutes with a Belkin.   It's nice to know they have simplified things.

But back to the subject at hand, Torley used to have a video on this subject that I can no longer find.  It appears to have been replaced with another video.  In that original video he had the statistics bar up as he played with his Bandwidth settings.  He did state that it was a very unscientific video and that he himself did not really understand the subject.  But it was interesting to note that in that video when he maxed his bandwidth settings out there was a drop in his Frames Per Second.  And Torley has a pretty dang nice computer. 

As far as general advice to people, always opt for the best connection you can get. 

On a final note, I think sometimes people get confused as to what is meant by  a wireless connection.  I'm not even sure the exact correct terms to use sometimes.  Connecting over wireless to your modem is different than connecting to your ISP with a wireless modem. I do know someone who uses wireless internet to connect to SL, but it sure is laggy.

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Use your max bandwidth to the Maximum ( 10000 kbps)  by default  .

If you use other programs connected to internet , set a lower value  to share your connection between second life and the other program .

That s all .

 

Everything else is wrong 

 

Test 1 : i have an internet connect with 800 kbp /seconds  ( it s my router who tells it , and it s a bit lower when i test with speedtes ) 

i set the max badnwidth to 100 kbps :

i verify with the statistic tools control+shift+1 my bandwidth displayed inside second life

Results :

the connection is capped  , the textures takes awfully long time to display

the FPS are high , but who cares ? everything is either grey (textures ), either invisibles (alpha , meshes, scupts)  !!! What is the goal to have a high display who doesn t display anything ?

Test 2 : 

i set max bandwidth to 10000 kbps

i verify with the statistic tools control+shift+1 my bandwidth displayed inside second life

Results :

You think it will be 800 kbps ( the absolute max of my  internet connection ) but it s wrong .

The bandwidth displayed in the statistics window goes around 1700 kbps !

I guess that these bandwidth inside second life is a bandwidth of uncompressed datas . But the datas  between SL and my viewer may be   sometimes compressed .

My FPS fall of course . But only while it loads  . And who cares ?  It s temporary , and after some seconds my FPS go back to the normal value .  It s normal that more your viewer  has to load from the nework  in a short time , more your viewer  needs to work and process these datas  and takes some time . But it s its job . Don t busy your CPU with your viewer if  your viewer is lazy 

 

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

It's not patently false.  Most home routers ...

Yes, now that you changed the wording from "All" to "Most" I can agree. :)  There are still plenty of consumer routers that do *not* have wireless. (I should know, that's the only kind I buy!)

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There is lots of different information floating around SL about what the Max Bandwidth should be. Few understand what it actually does. Even fewer are aware there is a gotcha in the viewer code just now.

See: Understanding the Maximum Bandwidth Option in the Second Life™ Viewer to understand what the setting affects.

In general the safe settings range is 500 to 1,500kbps. There is a UDP gotcha that can fail when you set Max B over 1,900. The Phoenix/Firestorom team has an article on that problem in their wiki and an SL JIRA item.

Another factor in the equation is the SL server. You and the server need to stay close to the same communication rates. The further apart those rates get the more likely one or the other will time out and fail the connection. So, the 500 to 1,500 range is a good setting to stay close to lightly and heavily loaded servers.

There is only one way to find your best Max B... experiement. There is no one setting that works best for all systems and certainly not for all locations. Also, don't expect to set it and forget it. The net is changing over from IPv4 to IPv6. That changeover started in earnest this year. See: Happy World IPv6 Day. This means it is VERY likely some piece of hardware between you and SL will change everyday.

Whenever you suddenly see things rezzing slow, figure something in the network or the SL server has changed. Try another region. If it is slow too, consider changing your Max B. Consider reseting your model, router, and computer. Above all remember that everything may change in the next hour or 24 hours. So, if you do NOTHING it may fix itself and start rezzing normally.

 

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I'm running at a max bandwidth setting of 5000 for over a year now. My connection speed is 20000. Absolutely no issues.

I noticed that the servers deliver around 1500 with rare peaks above. I checked my fps with different settings too, but there is no influence on fps. (for me) I can set bandwidth to 10000 it makes no difference. At 1000 no noticeable difference although textures should load slower. But I cant check it with a stopwatch. :)

So I assume if you have enough bandwidth this setting is meaningless, as long as it's set high enough.

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