The hidden cause of slow Internet and how to fix it

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The culprit is a TCP-related phenomenon known as 'bufferbloat'

In 2010, Jim Gettys, a veteran computer programmer who currently works at Google, was at home uploading a large file to his work server. His kids came into his study and said, "Daddy, the internet is slow today." Wondering how his upload activity could be affecting downloads by his kids, he began to investigate.

By experimenting with pings and various levels of load on his internet connection, he discovered that latencies were often four to 10 times larger than what should have been expected. He termed the phenomenon, "bufferbloat." His conclusion was that critical data packets were trapped in buffers that were excessively large.

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