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Digital downloads - why so slow?


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Initial post: Dec 26, 2010 9:53:30 AM PST
Holly Cramer says:
This is the first time I have tried downloading a game from Amazon and it is incredibly SLOW! It is taking over 2 hours to download a 7.26 GB game. I have a very fast Internet connection and a powerful PC, but I am wondering if the good price of the game is worth the slooooowwwwwww speed of the download.

So, is this unusual (as in the servers are being slammed) or is this common for digital downloads from Amazon?

Very disappointing for my first experience with Amazon digital - I'm thinking maybe I should stick to Steam!

Holly

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2010 10:46:12 AM PST
ĴĴ says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2010 4:32:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2010 4:36:00 PM PST
Mark Lahren says:
7.26 GIGABYTES?!?
In that case, 2 hours sounds about right for most folks.

Download services vary, and I can sometimes manage 6 to 8 gigs a hour on a good day. But I've never tried downloading a huge game like that from Amazon. Doesn't sound unreasonable however.
BTW, which game are you talking about here?

Posted on Dec 26, 2010 8:45:49 PM PST
John Adams says:
2 hours is pretty fast for a game that huge. It would take me over 24 hours to download that much.

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 8:51:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2010 8:57:39 AM PST
Holly Cramer says:
I stand corrected; you are right, the file was quite big but for some reason I thought the download should only take about 20 min. :o :D I must have been thinking in MB terms instead of GB terms. I think this is probably the first time I have downloaded such a large file so my expectations were set unrealistically high. I paid no attention to the estimated download time that, as JJ mentioned, is shown right on the product page: "Download time: 3 hours - 12 hours on broadband." I should be happy that it actually only took a little bit over 2 hours, instead of whining about how slow it seemed! I'll know better next time.

I have a high speed cable broadband connection; the cable router is connected directly to my main desktop computer with a WiFi router (Apple Extreme) connection for my other computers. Downloads are normally very quick indeed, but, again, this was a large file....

This is the game I downloaded: BioShock 2 [Game Download] (Note that unlike the negative reviews the download version received from some, I was able to install it and begin to play it with no problems at all, though I agree that having to open a Windows Live account is a bit lame - I am just playing the single player version thus far so just set up a local profile, which was quite easy to do.)

Thank you all for your responses. I need to learn to be more patient!

Holly

Posted on Dec 28, 2010 5:01:52 AM PST
Michael says:
You know, you can redeem the code on steam.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2010 8:09:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2010 8:10:26 AM PST
Holly Cramer says:
"You know, you can redeem the code on steam."

I'm not sure what you mean - I can use the code I got from Amazon to download and install the game from Steam, without having to pay Steam for it? That would be cool, though I am not sure what the advantage would be - Steam vs Windows Live?

I was originally planning to purchase the game from Steam but it was about $8 cheaper here on Amazon.

Holly

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2010 4:04:44 PM PST
TGD says:
He means you can import it into your Steam game library, after downloading it through the Amazon game downloader, I think. This can be done with very limited games though, so check the following link before you try:

https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7480-wusf-3601

If it's not on that list, it cannot be imported into Steam.

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 8:09:57 AM PST
R. Spencer says:
Another thing that can be confusing is bits vs bytes in connection speeds. If you have a 1.5 mbs or 1500 kbs download speed from your ISP, it is normally measured in bits rather than bytes. There are 8 bits to a byte, so your real download speed is about 187 kilobytes per second, which translates to about 700 megabytes per hour, about what a blank CD will hold. If you have a 3 mbs connection, then you can double that to 1.4 Gigabytes per hour, 6 mbs to 2.8 GB, etc.

A 7.6 GB download would take about 11 hours on a 1.5 mbs connection and that is with all your bandwidth devoted to that, not watching youtube in the background or other activities - to get it in 2 hours you would need a connection speed that exceeded 7 mbs. That's not counting other factors, such as network congestion along the way or anything else that would slow the transfer down.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2010 8:32:32 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 29, 2010 8:34:05 AM PST
Holly Cramer says:
"If it's not on that list, it cannot be imported into Steam."
Bioshock is not on the list; thank you for the info, Turin Turambar.

"to get it in 2 hours you would need a connection speed that exceeded 7 mbs."
Thank you, also Spencer. My connection speed must be faster than I thought!

Holly

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 1:04:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 29, 2010 1:04:57 PM PST
Pecos Bill says:
You can try a website like "speedtest.net" to test your download and upload speed to various locations.

My cable internet just tested 20 Mb/s download speed, so it can go pretty high. FIOS can be a good deal faster.

Notes on wireless -- check your router and wireless connector to see what protocols they support:

802.11b is old and does 11 Mbps so could potentially be slowing down a connection.
802.11g is pretty common and does 54 Mbps -- more than anyone here likely gets from their ISP anyway.
802.11n is up to 300 Mbps, which could be useful if you need to transfer stuff between computers on your own network.

A typical wired router is 100 Mbps. You can get wired connections that are much faster but mostly only large businesses use them.

Anyway, yeah, 7.6 gigabytes in 2 hours is pretty good. Lots of people will be a lot slower and may just want to download a game overnight.

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 5:37:35 PM PST
Mark Lahren says:
Another thing to keep in mind: No matter how fast your connection is on your end, you are limited by the speed of the server on the other end as well. I've got a 20 Mb/s connection, but I don't think I've ever managed to max that out. It's still amazing to me that I can get even close to that though. 10 years ago, I'd have laughed if you'd have told me that 1.) We'd have 10 gig games (or larger) as a common occurrence, and 2.) We'd be able to download such a game in an hour or two.

14 years ago, I was on dialup, and remember it taking 20+ hours to download the 35 meg demo for "Shadow Warrior". I actually had to do it twice, since my first attempt failed halfway through. Good times!

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 8:27:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 30, 2010 8:30:30 AM PST
Holly Cramer says:
"My cable internet just tested 20 Mb/s download speed, so it can go pretty high. FIOS can be a good deal faster."
"I've got a 20 Mb/s connection...."

Your connections are very fast indeed, Pecos Bill and Mark - my download speed was only 9.86 MB/s, but it's faster than dial up so I am not complaining. Oh yes, I remember the days of dial up! Way fun, as Mark said - the best part was listening to the sounds of the modem handshaking with the modem on the other end! :D Then you would have to read a book or leave the room to do something else to entertain yourself while your download went on and on and on.

Of course, with my first computer, I think I scored an amazing upgrade of an 8 Mb hard drive and thought that was the best thing since sliced bread. The first time I heard of someone having a 1 GB hard drive I was in awe. Things have indeed changed for the better.

Holly

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2010 11:11:54 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2010 8:41:48 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2010 8:42:21 AM PST
Holly Cramer says:
Thank you so much for your rude response - very helpful. If you had bothered to read the the thread, perhaps you would have seen that everything had already been resolved in a nicely civilized manner.

Holly

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2011 11:04:42 PM PST
WolfPup says:
I wouldn't do either. Both have activation, Amazon you have to contact them if you install it too many times. Steam's backup system doesn't actually work.

And 7.26GB in two hours? It takes me over 17 hours to download that.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2011 8:13:29 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 7, 2011 8:14:06 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2011 10:31:48 PM PDT
WolfPup says:
Steam's activation is bad, but not as bad as Amazon's, so...I'd stick with them (when not avoiding activation all together).

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2011 12:53:24 AM PDT
What do you mean "Steam's backup system doesn't actually work?"

It works just fine for me. I make a backup, then I don't have to download the game when I transfer it to a different PC, like my laptop. I install from the backup while logged in to Steam, the game is ready to play with minimal downloading.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2011 12:56:33 AM PDT
WolfPup says:
I've discovered it does seem to work if you only do one game at a time (?), but not for multiple at once.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 4:53:50 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 23, 2012 6:18:58 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012 3:24:28 AM PDT
Sean says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 11:22:04 AM PDT
A. Emerson says:
I'd like to see the screenshot of such download speeds? I have a 20mb internet speed and have only seen 2.91mb downloads on steam.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 3:44:02 PM PDT
Mark Lahren says:
Totally varies by the day. I recently downloaded "Sniper Elite V2", which is roughly that size, from Steam, and I had it in just under half an hour, but try it on a busier day, and you might not get that kind of speed. Same can be said for any DD service. If they get hit hard, the service will be slower, but I've had some blazing speeds from all services that I've tried at one point or another, whether it be Steam, GamersGate, Amazon, or Good Old Games.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 4:29:43 PM PDT
Sudeley says:
I can get 2.7-3.0MB/s on steam. Guess it depends on your provider and maybe where you are.
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Discussion in:  PC Game forum
Participants:  45
Total posts:  90
Initial post:  Dec 26, 2010
Latest post:  Apr 20, 2014

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