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I have fibre Internet from BT, but when I browse the Internet (in Chrome or Firefox, on Windows 7 or Linux Mint), images and pages take a while to load (a lot longer than would be expected considering the download speed).

Large sequential downloads such as disk images and movies will max out my powerline networking at about 60mbps

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Could you describe how the device you are using is connected to the internet, is it plugged in directly into the powerline wall plug or using wireless (and if so, the powerline wireless or the BT router wireless)? Also at the other end is the output from the BT router plugged into another powerline wall plug, etc. –  Richard Jun 17 '13 at 12:45
    
Fibre -> BT Fibre modem -> Ethernet to BT Home Hub Router -> Ethernet to powerline wall socket -> MAGIC -> Ethernet to my Realtek network interface on my motherboard –  Rory Jun 17 '13 at 12:46
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A good DNS speed test is here: grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm –  Jan Doggen Jun 17 '13 at 13:02
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You don't happen to have AVG antivirus do you? This has some sort of 'look-ahead' feature (I forgot its name) that actually starts following links on downloaded pages before you request them (you may not even actually request them at all). This was a pipeline hog when we were developing internet filters ;-( –  Jan Doggen Jun 17 '13 at 13:09
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And I would seriously investigate what other software on your side could be intercepting the in- and outgoing data streams. Your browser is a different environment than the speedtest program. –  Jan Doggen Jun 17 '13 at 13:12

2 Answers 2

Speedtest is just a report of how much bandwidth you have, max theoretical download speed, not necessarily the practical throughput, which is what you want. Consider this:

The computer on the other end typically does not have an upload speed that matches your download speed.

You can only pull as fast as the other person can push. Also, there are many factors at work that dictate your true internet speed. Accessing an arbitrary speed server for purposes of verifying speed is different from accessing Willy's Weary Websites (3x times fast) hosted in someone's basement (worst case example), you're going to notice a difference in webspeed pertaining to

1)Your bandwidth speed

2)The other person's bandwidth speed

3)Everything in the middle

Yes, ISP companies beef up their advertisements for the sake of sales. This info doesn't get bigger sales.

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Thanks, I am actually aware of how this stuff works, I just phrased my question is a specificly non-technical manner, to see if I there was anything blatently obvious that I missed. imgur.com is a good example of a site on which images load very slowly. They have plenty of bandwidth. –  Rory Jun 17 '13 at 12:58
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@blazemore they have milions and milions of visitors sharing that bandwith at once –  mirkobrankovic Jun 17 '13 at 13:04

I had the same issue with my internet connection while my download was 50Mbps:
If your DNS lookup is slow you'll not have much use of an high download speed, because converting the URL address into an ip takes too long. This is not the problem with big downloads like an .iso or a movie because the URL gets converted only once. But when you have a website with many images, scripts, etc... you'll notice a big difference.

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The result of the DNS lookup is cached, so the lookup delay will only influence the time it takes to access the website for the first time. The loading time - especially for a website with lots of embedded media - will then depend on your connection's bandwidth and latency. –  n.st Jul 20 '13 at 17:50
    
@n.st Same thing for me: reloading the website is pretty fast but googling and loading new sites is slow. –  Coodey Jul 21 '13 at 14:58

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