Our Uncapped ADSL accounts are designed to deliver the best possible overall experience to all our clients.
We believe that using real times services like Web Browsing, VoIP (Skype), Streaming (YouTube), Internet Banking and Gaming are the most important services for our clients. We therefore ensure that these services are given the highest priority on the network at all times. We give lower priority to downloads, particularly torrents and Peer 2 Peer services, but we continually strive to deliver the maximum amount of bandwidth to downloads without affecting real time services. This is also to ensure that congestion does not result in high latency and packet loss affecting all users and services on our network.
We continually and dynamically adjust shaping on the network to give the best overall experience to uncapped users, no matter what services are being used, but rest assured that your priority real time services should always run at the best speeds possible. Generally downloads will achieve better speeds in off-peak times, when the demand for bandwidth by realtime services are reduced and spare network capacity can be allocated.
Why should I pay for an Uncapped account when I don't get full speed on downloads?
Uncapped products are advertised as semi-shaped on all our marketing material, including our website, but you can be assured that you will get premium real time services (as opposed to throttling down your entire linespeed like in the past or what our competitors do), no matter what time of the day or how much bandwidth you've moved. If your concern is having access to maximum download speed at any time, one of our Unshaped products, like Business ADSL or Capped ADSL, may be a better option for you.
I am experiencing very slow browsing speeds (on SpeedTest.net) or can't connect to Gmail / Internet Banking, etc. Is this due to QoS?
Our QoS (Quality of Service Prioritisation) only affects downloads and not real time services such as banking, gmail, youtube etc. If you are experiencing slow speeds across the board, chances are that this may be an issue related to something else - like a fault on your line, router or Telkom exchange, and we will need to troubleshoot the problem to assist you better.
Am I being shaped or throttled because I downloaded to much, and how much should I download in order to avoid shaping?
We do not use pre-defined download thresholds, so there is no "target" amount. Our QoS policy is implemented on the basis of available capacity, and not on set values.
Does Afrihost have enough capacity to satisfy it's client's needs?
When we changed networks, we ordered over 30% additional network capacity to ensure we had sufficient bandwidth available. However when it became clear that our client's bandwidth needs had grown (possibly due to Telkom upgrades over the October/November period) we immediately ordered additional capacity from Telkom. We are waiting for this to be installed by them, and we have made all the necessary upgrades on our side to ensure we can make full use of the additional capacity as soon as it arrives end of February 2013.
What can I do to get unshaped?
There may at times be traffic prioritisation, particularly during peak times like Office Hours, but we will always give the best possible bandwidth speeds when demand for real time services decreases. The degree to which downloads may receive lesser priority is determined by the demand for real times services, and downloads, at any given point. Only an unshaped product like Capped accounts are unshaped 24/7/365.
Will I ever get line speed on my downloads?
We are constantly giving back as much bandwidth to downloads as possible as we see demand for real time services decreasing. During low demand periods (generally after hours, and overnight) downloads will run at much better speeds, often at full line speed.
What do you mean by peak and off-peak times? What are those times exactly?
Peak and off-peak refer to the level of demand, and therefore cannot be fixed times. Trends and events which determine the demand for services will differ from day to day, though general Office Hours are consistent with peak network usage, and after hours and overnight are off-peak hours and generally times when demand for bandwidth decreases overall.
Why does it feel like throttling? I get a consistent download rate during hours when my downloads are shaped.
We split our Uncapped user base into groups according to their usage patterns (not threshold totals) and this determines the degree to which their downloads receive priority. This is dynamically managed, though if the user does not move in between groups, the downloads speeds may appear constant. But there is no way to predict download speeds as they can potentially change at any given moment, based on available capacity.
Why do some people not get shaped as heavily as others?
We analyse usage patterns of the individual user, which in turn groups them into batches of users who are given different levels of priority. Users can be changed from group to group in a short space of time, which is dynamically managed by the system, but users on the extreme end of the spectrum will have differing experiences, i.e. heavy users will consistently get slower downloads during peak times, while light users may not experience this to the same degree.