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Issue with FTP download speeds from Ubuntu server when outside my network


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#1 mike689

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 10:45 PM

So I'm not sure if this is exactly where this post belongs, if there is somewhere else more appropriate for it or even if you know of another site this might be better posted on please feel free to let me know.

 

This essentially whats going on. I have an Ubuntu 17 server box at home I use to run various utilities. It has a VSFTPD server installed on it so I can connect to it via FTP.]

 

The off thing I've noticed, is when I am inside of my own home network with the server, my FTP download speeds can use my full bandwidth. However, when I am outside of my home network my FTP download speeds cap out at 1.4mbps.

 

I'm not sure why this cap is happening. Could it be my ISP that is throttling FTP traffic somehow? Is there a setting I need to change in my router or firewall to fix this?

 

I've searched and searched but have yet to find any relevant solutions. Please help!

 

Thanks!

 

EDIT: I've asked this on the Ubuntu forums as well only to get crickets sadly: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2381006&p=13724156#post13724156


Edited by mike689, 05 January 2018 - 10:46 PM.


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#2 mremski

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 03:27 AM

Not surprised about nothing from the Ubuntu forums, it's more of a basic network problem (that's not really a problem).

 

I'm guessing your home network is something like:
fromISP to a cablemodem to a router/firewall to a switch and all home computers are plugged into the switch.
Traffic from A on the home network to the Ubuntu server goes through the switch, does not hit the ISP network at all so will have the full bandwidth available (if the switch, A and the Server have GigE network interfaces, they have Gig Bandwidth available.  If they all have 100Mbps interfaces, they have 100M available).

From the outside world traffic is fromInternet to ISP to cablemodem to router/firewall to switch to server, from server to switch to router/firewall to cablemodem to ISP to Internet.

Residential broadband is typically capped so ISP to your house is slower than theoretical bandwidth, so you start out with requests hitting your server slower.
Residential broadband is usually asymmetrical (except FIOS maybe) so bandwidth from your server back to the outside world is slower than theoretical.  Something like Comcast 50/10 means that the max going into your network is 50Mbps, the most coming out of your network is 10Mbps (that is theoretical max, actual max is likely lower by a few percent).

So what you are seeing is not at all surprising, especially for residential service.  You also need to keep in mind units of speed.  Most network interfaces talk about "bits per second" while other things report in "bytes per second" (factor of 8 right there).

Could the ISP be throttling traffic?  Sure, their network, their rules.  Is it likely?  Offhand I'd say no.  I think your simply seeing the effect of asymmetrical broadband link.

Is there "...a setting I need to change..."  Again, probably not.

Relevant point:
Full bandwidth on your home network is drastically different than "full bandwidth" once you hit the ISP network (ISP network starts at the broadband interface device which is the cable modem or the FIOS box or the DSL interface.  You may own that device, but hooking it up to the ISP network gives them permission to control it which includes configuring it and perhaps setting ratelimiting in it).

Bonus Security Soapbox:
From a network security aspect you really shouldn't be exposing an FTP server (please tell me it's not an anonymous FTP server) to the Internet at large unless you really have it isolated from the rest of your private network.  DMZs, routers, firewalls, tight access lists, etc.  You'd be much better off configuring an inbound VPN to your home network (or just the server) so that at least you start off from a much more secure place.  At a minimum, use sftp instead of regular ftp (sftp is the ssh equivalent so it's more secure).  But, your network, your data;  I'm simply making a suggestion.


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#3 mike689

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 03:35 AM

That's what I was beginning to suspect, that it was just the norm. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

 

Everything is secure, not anonymous, and originally i was using SFTP and will continue to. It's just a shame I have to be restricted to those slower download speeds from my FTP server. I hadn't had that issue in the past, but that was before my ISP merged with and changed into another one So who knows.



#4 mremski

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 04:19 AM

No problem.  Sorry about the soapbox, didn't mean to imply anything, but too many folks blindly follow instructions "they find on the internet".   A lot of times ISPs have very fine print (like maybe 0.01 point) restricting residential service from running servers simply because they want you to buy business grade.


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#5 mike689

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 11:05 AM

No worries at all, I'd rather someone just tell me whats what hah.

 

I just recall previously, I used to get great speeds from my home FTP server to outside of my network when I had (overpriced) internet that was only through Brighthouse. But then I stopped using it for a while.

 

I've since started again since they've become "Spectrum" and now sadly I have this transfer cap. I was hoping it was a setting I could tinker around with a fix, but I guess it's something they've put in place.



#6 NickAu

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:31 PM

Have you tested you upload/download speed?

 

While I have good ( for where I live ) download speed my upload speed sucks.

 

ms88YyS.png

 

Can you imagine trying to down load something from my PC at that speed?


Edited by NickAu, 12 January 2018 - 09:33 PM.

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#7 DeimosChaos

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:49 AM

Going with Nick on this. Check your download/upload speeds. A lot of providers give you good download speeds but upload is usually atrocious. I get ~80 down on Comcast with like a max of ~5 up. So when you are off network you are using that upload speed. I'm guessing you upload speed isn't so great.


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#8 mremski

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 09:50 AM

That's what asymmetric service is all about.  Cable has always been more down than up which makes sense in the bulk of cases.  Residential?  Everyone's downloading, with few uploads so the down bandwidth is greater.  Heck even most business uses it's more download than upload.  ISP mergers are a great point in time for reevaluation of infrastructure usage, so it is highly probable that the new company decided to enforce upload caps that may have always been there, but not enforced.  As a customer, not much you can do about it because their domain starts at the output side of your broadband device.


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