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Corporate culture, personal experiences, and unique observations about Giganews, Usenet, Newsgroups, and Usenet related technologies.

Friday, November 03, 2006

SSL Can Increase Your Download Speeds

Giganews recently announced the deployment of Encrypted Usenet Access. This service enables Giganews customers to transfer all authentication, header, and article data over an SSL encrypted connection.

The obvious benefits of this service are increased security, anonymity, and privacy; however, there seems to be one more...

Securing your connection with SSL typically slows down your download speeds. The reason for this is that it takes a little bit of extra time and CPU power to encrypt and decrypt the data on each end. This extra latency in turn decreases your throughput rate; however, many of Giganews' customers are actually reporting faster download speeds.

How can this be?

SSL encryption helps beat ISP traffic shaping!

Through Giganews' newsgroups and support lists we have seen that many ISPs have implemented traffic shaping measures over the last year to curb usage on their networks.

This is typically done at the protocol or port level. For example, if your ISP wanted to curb your newsgroup usage, they could say that any traffic being transferred over the NNTP protocol on port 119 cannot exceed 500 kilobits per second per customer.

In the past the best work around for this problem was switching to port 80 (typically used for HTTP), but if your ISP is filtering on the protocol level (all NNTP traffic for example) switching to port 80 would not do you any good. Your ISP might be looking for NNTP commands and limit your connection when it sees them.

This is where SSL comes in.

Because SSL is encrypting the authentication, header, article, and protocol data passed between your computer and Giganews any protocol-based filtering measures will be ineffective. The speed difference can be very dramatic. Many Giganews customers have already commented that downloading over SSL has made a huge improvement in their Usenet performance.

If you've recently experienced slow download speeds with any NNTP based downloading (Giganews or other) which you suspect is being caused by ISP traffic shaping, try out our new encrypted Usenet service to see if you can get around it.

If you're a new customer, you can try out our 3 day free trial. If you're already an existing Giganews customer, log on to your control panel and select "Manage Service" for special offers just for you.

We're glad so many of our customers are seeing this additional benefit to our SSL service, and we're looking forward to offering even more advanced tools to improve your Giganews experience. If you have any other tips for avoiding troublesome traffic shaping, leave us a comment!

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Anonymous Big Wazoo said...

Yes... my download speeds are INCREDIBLE! However... uploading of binaries is currently broken. This has been acknowledged by Customer Support early in the week and they say they are working on it.

10:30 AM 
Anonymous Donovan said...

Great to see, I am signing up right after I click publish!!

7:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost 50% increase here ;-))

11:36 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had been thinking about asking about encrypted access for a couple years. Good to see that you have it now...

However, I had always held back asking about it because I figured that ISPs could also curve your usage based on destination and volume. Even if the ISP can't distinguish the traffic as being nntp, it can tell that it is news related because (1) it is going to a set of known servers (giganews), and because of the volume (when you download large chunks of data - not typical for SSL nor HTTP traffic). Any comments on this? Am I missing something? Or is it just going to be a matter of time for ISPs to adapt?

Well, having encryption does help privacy (at the very least, the ISP can't exactly tell what you're downloading). Thank you for the new functionality.

1:42 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep have to agree with Anonymous.

My ISP looks like it has your news servers in a list and throttle based on destination as well. At midnight i am back up to full speed. :(

I need to proxy i guess or change my ISP.

1:55 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time Warner Cable is doing the same thing, I never get better than 1.18 MB/s on a 8MB line...

3:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't work with PlusNet, they still know its usenet traffic and shape accordingly.

7:38 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone figured out how to POST via SSL? If so, what program are you using?

9:48 AM 
Anonymous Arthur said...

Hello,
Blueyounder 10m Cable subscription and a steady >9Kbps all day all night.

UNTIL LAST WEEK (JAN 07) i noticed speed was No higher than 7 Kbps

upgraded the giggernews from Platinum to Diamond
and ticked the Use SSL :)

Happy days, now its back to >9Kbps all day all night.

Works for me..... (for now)

12:18 PM 
Anonymous Jerry W Sisk Ii said...

It also seems that Windstream (Alltel) is limiting bandwith. I was running 2.5 Mbps without SSL. Now I am running 2.6 Mbps every once in a while. I don't understand why Alltel says I have 3Mbps bandwith, but they lock it out at 2.5. Giganews rocks either way.

11:18 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My main complaint with SSL transfers is it seems to seriously impact the latency of my DSL connection. Having 2 connections (SSL) at a time gives me a ping time to google.co.uk (I'm in the UK) of about 185-250ms. Using 2 connections without ssl gives me a ping time to google.co.uk of 73-140ms. Why on earth does having 2 ssl connections effect the latency of the account so much?

9:52 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have Cox standard cable at 10mbps and they are shaping at 1mbps. I tried the SSL and no luck there as well. I wish there was a way around this....I wish Cablevision was here b/c I was able to get 5mbps consistently when i was in New Jersey

9:27 PM 
Blogger Stephen said...

if using ssl encrypted connections on this does not work try using something like relakks.com which creates a vpn to a sweedish internet connection.

5:47 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, I have been trwaling through websites for ages, trying to work out why i was only getting 4.5kbps speed, switched my port to 443 and BANG! 760kbps, sweet!

4:20 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Virgin Media in the UK have recently started to throttle the bandwith on my usual port (by a factor of about 30). Swapped over to port 443 and it's now back to where it used to be :-)

2:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Port 563 has been blocked on Virgin media to Giganews now, using normal SSL encryption, only 256Bit L2TP/IPsec, gets around this now, Thanks giganews.

8:55 AM 
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