When fast Afrihost ADSL slows to a crawl

I’ve noticed some pretty slow DSL speeds on my Afrihost 50GB line lately. I haven’t made the move across to an uncapped line yet for two reasons. The first is that it may work out better for us to stick with the capped line because it allows for 5 concurrent connections. This means I can use the account at home and at the office down the road (well, when our office line is installed). The second reason is that line speeds are being pretty heavily throttled if you have an uncapped line. This is what happens is you have a 4MB line from Telkom:

I want to use this account to download heavily – How is my usage going to be throttled if I do download heavily?

This is how we are currently dealing with our Uncapped 4096kbps accounts:

PLEASE NOTE: These are our current settings we plan to use – however, they may change in the future.

This is our first iteration of a brand new product and we are learning as we go – We are hoping to refine this and over time make the limitations less

On signing up to our Uncapped product you will get our standard ADSL service. (i.e. certain ports are shaped somewhat and web and email are prioritised.)

After you have moved 30 GBs you will be moved into a different category whereby certain ports will be shaped more aggressively. However, web and email will still be prioritised.

After moving a total of 60 GBs you will be moved into a different category where your line speed is throttled to 1024 kbps per second and certain shaping protocols are in place.

After moving a total of 90 GBs then you will be moved into a category where you will be throttled to 512 kbps. Certain shaping protocols will also be in place here.

After moving a total of 120 GBs you will be moved into a category where your line will be throttled to 386 kbps. Certain shaping protocols will also be in place here.

After moving a total of 150 GBs you will be moved into a category where you are throttled to 128 kbps.

You will never be capped.

If you use this account for heavy downloading then you WILL be throttled at some point in the month so please think about whether this account is for you.

While I understand that the networks can’t offer a truly uncapped and full speed service to everyone, this sort of throttling points out the limitations of uncapped ADSL in SA. To add to this the service is shaped so you don’t have full line speed in all applications.

What I am wondering about right now, though, is whether Afrihost’s capped services are also being throttled as more bandwidth is used. I have the 50GB package from Afrihost which is currently expanded to 100GB. We are about 5GB away from our cap and I have noticed that our line speed lately has been very erratic and slow. I don’t know if this is due to some sort of underlying infrastructure issue or if Afrihost is throttling my line speed too?

I ran a speed test this morning which gave me two results. This is the faster of the two:

Notice the ping time and the download and upload rates? They are terrible and based on the location of the testing server, the international line we are seems to be the Seacom line. I have noticed that turning our router off and on does give us a temporary speed boost but then we come crashing back down to a crawl.

So what’s going on? Is there an issue with the underlying network or does Afrihost throttle DSL users on capped packages too?

Update: I got some feedback from Afrihost’s Gian Visser:

Gian Visser tweet about capped throttling.png



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  1. HB avatar

    I’ve encountered a similar issue…

    While the speed test does give a decent rating (4.15Mbps), the international ping is absolutely shocking (340ms). I think this is a problem with Internet Solutions as I also have an account with Axxess and the same issue arises.

    Clearly it’s a SEACOM problem. I also use SAOL.com and they give me a 31ms international ping. But they use SAIX…

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