I have a Linux build server that I frequently download from and I have noticed that the .tar.gz files have download speeds approximately 3 times faster than .zip files. However, to my understanding the file types really shouldn't make a difference in the download speeds.

So here are some details that may be important, I don't know.

file1.tar.gz, size = 438MB, as file is downloaded the file size is known by download manager

file2.zip, size = 195MB, as file is downloaded the file size is unknown by download manager

Why would file1 have download speeds of about 2MB/s and file2 have speeds of about 500KB/s from the same server to the same computer?

It doesn't matter if they are downloaded at different times or the same time, or if one download is started before the other.

  • Were you downloading these files at the sametime? there isn't a technical reason for this. Are the contents the same? – Ramhound Mar 30 '16 at 14:08
  • Both files are in the same partition and/or dir? Is the zip heavy fragmented? – ott-- Mar 30 '16 at 14:13
  • 1
    To add to the above two questions, are both files downloaded using the same protocol (for instance FTP or HTTP)? – JaggenSWE Mar 30 '16 at 14:14
  • Please add the information to the question itself. – Ramhound Mar 30 '16 at 14:15

Transfers can/will compress files before sending (OSI layer 6).

My guess would be that (in this case) the .gz isn't as compressed as the .zip, so the transfer compression works better on the .gz than the .zip, making it appear to download faster.

To test: Make a 10MB Zip file and a 10MB Text file, then download them both, I'd expect the text file to download much faster.

Perhaps check out this similar/related SU question: Does it take longer to download a zipped file than an unzipped file?

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