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Sfor

Windows 98 network HTTP connection speed.

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I've noticed a difference in download speed between Windows 98 and Windows 2000 on the same computer.

I'm using WGET to download files through scripting. While I'm getting full 240kb/s on Windows 2000 the Windows 98 goes up to 178kb/s, with the same file.

Since I did not tested it on other computers, I can not say for sure the difference comes just from the OS used. I can get the full connection speed on Windows 98, as well. But, I have to use two simultaneous file downloads, to get such a score.

The first impression is, the Windows 98 adds a significant delay to the TCP traffic. When added to the overal response times of the HTTP server the top possible single connection speed can decrease below the ISP connection speed.

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I've read somewhere that OS on ISP server may limit download speed for Windows 98. Hovewer I never tried other than dial-up connection on Windows 98 even now and don't know much about this.

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It may be difference in MaxMTU settings. Windows 2000 is a newer system and its TCP/IP drivers recognize more connection types than Win98 ones do. You can change MaxMTU settings manually.

Other possible differences are in firewall, antivirus or other security suite installed in the system. These settings you can also change, but you cannot change memory management - and it works much better in Windows NT family.

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As far as I understand the TCP, MTU seems to be related to the size of outgoing packets. Since, the issue is in slow receive, the MTU setting should not have any effect in this case. In other words, the MTU does not affect the size of incoming packets, so it should not affect download speed.

I had an opportunity to make yet another experiment considering file transfer through Microsoft Networking using LAN. A 2.4GHz P4 Windows 98 and a 1GHz PIII Windows 2000 were used, both having the same amount of RAM (512Mb). While sending files from 98 to 2000 it went twice as fast as the other way around. So, Windows 2000 seems to be twice as fast when working as a server. So, the 98 seems to be able to send data fast, while being slow on receiving them.

On the other hand, I did some experimenting with network efficiency in Windows 98. It seemed the fastest way is to use Windows 2000 as a server, while using NetBeui on Windows 98. A 98 NetBeui client sometimes worked faster than 2000 client. The 98 TCP client was slower than the 2000 one. It seemed the 2000 does not care if NetBeui or TCP is used, the result was exactly the same. The tests were done through the time measurements of a certain network database application tasks (not SQL). The application is sensitive to the workstation CPU related power. So, it is possible to conclude the TCP is more CPU demanding on Windows 98. But, it is just a guess, since the test was not designed to prove such a theory.

Edited by Sfor

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Have you tried the RWin value?

Honestly, a LOT of factors appear to come into play. Take a look at "TCP Optimizer" and you'll see a LOT of things that can be tweaked.

Edited by submix8c

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As far as I understand the TCP, MTU seems to be related to the size of outgoing packets.
Wrong. Transfer direction is irrelevant. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_transmission_unit
Since, the issue is in slow receive, the MTU setting should not have any effect in this case. In other words, the MTU does not affect the size of incoming packets, so it should not affect download speed.
Of course it should. Set MaxMTU for your Windows 2000 connection to 576 (settings for dialup), restart Windows and see what will happen.
I had an opportunity to make yet another experiment considering file transfer through Microsoft Networking using LAN. A 2.4GHz P4 Windows 98 and a 1GHz PIII Windows 2000 were used, both having the same amount of RAM (512Mb).
You tried to compare apples and oranges. Use the same PC with dual boot for both Win98 and Win2000 systems and test transfer speed for the same download. At least start tests with different PCs, but with the same NIC cards and the same NIC drivers.

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Have you tried the RWin value?

RWin/TCPWindowSize calculations may be tricky. They are based on MTU value, so MaxMTU should be set properly before playing with RWin.
Honestly, a LOT of factors appear to come into play. Take a look at "TCP Optimizer" and you'll see a LOT of things that can be tweaked.
Do you mean SG TCP Optimizer from speedguide.net or another software? Many "internet optimizers" only change settings for DNS servers, some of them are malware.

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The article "Windows TCP/IP Registry Entries" from Microsoft says:

The entries in this section must be added to the following registry key, where n represents the particular TCP/IP-to-network adapter binding.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\netTrans\000n

MaxMTU = 16-bit integer

Data Type: String

This specifies the maximum size datagram IP that can pass to a media driver. SNAP and source routing headers (if used on the media) are not included in this value. For example, on an Ethernet network, MaxMTU will default to 1500. The actual value used will be the minimum of the value specified with this parameter and the size reported by the media driver. The default is the size reported by the media driver.

Since in my system there is no MaxMTU registry key, the default should be 1500, unless the media driver takes it down. I do not know how to test the media driver value, however.

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Can you describe your connection type? Is it Ethernet, DSL dialup or anything else?

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It's a plain ethernet. To be exact, it is a city wide network with fiber optic skeleton and 10/100 ethernet inside buildings.

In any case, exactly the same syptoms are visible on a cable TV connection, as well. Still, there is ethernet between computer and modem.

Edited by Sfor

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It's similar to my connection. I have dual boot Win2000 and Win98SE so I can do some test in the nearest future.

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I just installed Windows 2000 on another computer. It was working with just Windows 98, so far. The Windows 2000 is still faster with downloads from some servers. The hardware is completely different from the previous one, so the speed difference must be comming from OS itself.

Edited by Sfor

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