buffer bloat

Do I need a new router?

Router

Episode 1521

Paul from Sun Valley, CA

Paul runs a utility to test his router and it always fails for buffer bloat. Should he get a new router? Leo says his does as well. When RAM got cheap, the router manufacturers boosted the RAM and it actually had the opposite effect by slowing down the buffer. Leo's opinion is that buffer bloat is over rated. He can ignore it. Eventually router makers have come to realize that buffer bloat can be handled in other ways. Leo recommends getting a second opinion with Netalyzer.

Why is my download speed so slow sometimes?

Episode 1187

Bob from San Diego, CA

Bob is having trouble with his download speeds. They just aren't consistent from computer to computer. Leo says it's important to understand that he's paying for *up to* the maximum download speed. It can vary wildly. But Bob says sometimes is slows down to a crawl on one of his computers. Leo says he can experiment by rebooting the computer and see if it goes back up to max download speeds. If so, that means there's a program running. That's called a "memory leak" and the computer is using up bandwidth by that program.