Aussies Download From Steam At Under A Megabyte Per Second

Aussies Download From Steam At Under A Megabyte Per Second

Ever wonder why your download of DayZ or Fallout is taking ages? As a country, our average Steam download speed is 6.6Mbps, or about 0.825 megabytes per second.

Steam’s global traffic map and download stats only collates data from the last seven days, but it’s still a decent look at how our ‘net performs — purely because its sample size is so large, with 1500 terabytes of Steam data making its way into Australian PCs in the last week.

That 6.6Mbps average download speed is an aggregate of all the ISP results across Australia, but front runners include Telstra with 7.1Mbps and Optus with 8.1Mbps, although the iiNet-owned TransACT tops the list with 9Mbps — not surprising, since it’s predominantly fibre-to-the-premises and high-speed VDSL2 across its install base.

Those numbers are interesting; as a whole, they’re a long way from the 16.3Mbps download speed that Ookla’s NetIndex suggests is the average across the country. Steam has no reason to measure uploads, obviously, so there’s no comparison there.

The difference in Steam’s speeds from the broader Internet might stem from the fact that a bunch of Aussie ISPs maintain their own local Steam caching servers. 3FL, Internode, Telstra, IX, Adam Internet, Gamespace and EGN all have their own local hardware and storage, which hosts at least the most popular files for users of Steam to access, sometimes without impacting their download quotas.

Whether caching servers are a good thing or not depends on who you ask — since they’re locally hosted they have the potential to be much faster than downloading from overseas, but in peak times their relatively small bandwidth and data throughput makes them more vulnerable to saturation, actually slowing down gamers’ download speeds.

In terms of sheer volume, Aussies have downloaded 1.5 petabytes of data from Steam in the last week — that’s around about 1500 terabytes — but we account for a mere 1.8 per cent of global traffic to Valve’s content servers. We’re eclipsed by the US, obviously, with 16.8PB and 16.7Mbps average speeds, and similarly Japan’s 33.5Mbps average beats ours although Australia does more Steam traffic. Unsurprisingly, there’s no data available on downloads from Antarctica or Cuba.


    • 400kbps? Man, I’m complain about my 800kb connection so I feel like a bad guy. Let me send you a free copy of Terraria so I can make up for all of my whinging.

      • Fairy Meadow in wollongong gets around 90-150kbps simply because we have a large distance to the nearest exchange

    • My top end ADSL2+ connection never ever hits 400kb/s yet TPG say it is fine. Meanwhile people on TPG on the same exchange but further are getting higher speeds.

      My point is more that NBN is needed as every single area has huge differences is speed per house despite the averages for the country. It is a lottery with the copper. Though TPG can go jump in fire too. Useless techs…

  • As one of the ‘former TransACT now iiNet’ people getting 12MB/s steam downloads, I am happy to be doing my part to lift the average.

    But seriously though, I weep for the old NBN concept,

    • As I understand it quite a few rural areas have faster on average internet. My girlfriend who lives an hour of the city has double the download speed as I do, even with the same internet package.

      • Depends on how Rural you go. “Hour from the City” rural may be faster, but “Sixteen Hours Inland” rural is slow as hell. I download Steam games at a staggering 350kbps.

        • I get that in a huge housing estate in Sydney with a short distance to the exchange on the top ADSL2+ plans. It is a joke.

        • My parents in Kempsey (NSW mid north coast) get about the same speed that I do in metropolitan Sydney – probably not surprising as they are about the same distance to the exchange. I suspect distance to exchange matters more than distance to Sydney.

          I get around 12Mbps from Steam, but that’s using a cached server.

  • On average I will download at 1.5Mb/s I don’t have NBN though, I think it rolls out where I am soon though.

    • I pretty much have that same speed too and not on the NBN, however the NBN is already here in my town but only in the “New” area.

    • The fastest I’ve ever gotten is 1.9Mb/s, but most of the time I’m travelling anywhere between 1.4Mb/s and 1.8Mb/s. I’m not on NBN either. Haven’t even heard a peep about the NBN for my area… but I’m not holding my breath – I’m not exactly in a classy neighbourhood…

  • Before I moved out of home a few months ago though, the best my house could get was 3Mbps (which was like 600kbps downloading on a good day) with Telstra ADSL. We couldn’t even get ADSL2, and it’s not like my parents were living in an out of the way area. :/

    Now I get 36Mbps with Telstra cable (which means about 2 – 4mbps when downloading)! I remember the first time I downloaded a game from Steam with those speeds. I was so used to 1GB taking about an hour to download; it was like magic when the little 1GB game downloaded in about 10 minutes. o.o

  • Strange, I pull between 8-11mb/s consistently.

    I am on Optus Unlimited Cable with a speedpack. Connection speed is 135mbps down/2.5mbps up, less than a km from the exchange.

  • I get about 13mbps on my connection which translates into a max 1.5 megs per second. can anyone explain to me why these measurements are different?

    My mate in the US speed tested his net and got about 18mbps which translated to 18 megs per second download. His test results are somewhat accurate to his possible download speeds.

    • Mbps stands for megabits per second, a bit is 1/8th of a byte so a 13Mbps connection translates to 1.625megabyte per second download speed (actually a little less because there’s always some overhead so your 1.5 speed is spot on).

      I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with your friend, either the speedtest he did listed MBps ( capital B would mean bytes rather than bits) which would be strange since connection speeds are always measured in bits or there’s been a misunderstanding somewhere.

      • Oh thanks, that does make sense.

        What doesn’t make sense is that both me and my mate in the US used the xboxone Internet speed test. I got 13 and he got 18. But he siad he was currently downloading at 16 plus mbps. So we used the same test…

    • I believe that connection speed is measured in BITS per second while your downloads are at BYTES per second. There are eight bits in a byte so 13 megabits does equate to around 1.5 megabytes.

      As far as your mate’s connection in the US is concerned, I’m not sure exactly how they measure their connection and download speeds.

      If you already knew all this I apologise I wasn’t trying to patronise or anything.

  • Was downloading at 2.5- 3mb around 6 – 8 months ago with Telstra Cable.

    Now getting just under 1mb per second – Since more people in the neighbourhood are switching to cable everything gets slower being a ‘shared’ service.

    I’m keen to move into the new house where we have newly installed NBN
    iinet nbn come at me!

  • I used to live 1km from the CBD of Perth in Western Australia and the fastest speed I ever saw from Steam was 350kbps…..

    Now I live 25km from the CBD and I’m download off Steam right now at 700kbps, while using the internet without any lag… Thanks a lot Tony.

  • after a mindfudge of 2-5kbs downsy speeds. a TPG employed techie removed the telstra surge arrester. blisteringly fast 2mb speeds… which our city council sais were not possible. are now possible. and they still say our areas not to be upgraded beyond the stone age… never ever never…nevernevernevernever EVER!!

  • I was getting horrendous download speeds until I bought one of those powerline ethernet socket things so I could get faster internet at the other end of the house. I went from 4mb/s over wifi to 14mb/s which is 3.5x faster (total speed, not Steam download speed. I’ve LOVE to download stuff from Steam at 14mb/s!)

    So I wonder if it’s more about modem / wifi issues speeds than actual internet speeds.

  • I normally max my Telstra adsl connection on steam (around 2.2mb a second) which can mean around 7-8GB an hour.
    I don’t think Telstra have been offering their own steam servers for a while now though. I know when I used their servers in the past, I was lucky to get 400kb a sec.

  • Telecom engineer here;

    Please, dont ever refer to data transfer rates in bytes/sec, it just adds to confusion.

    Data is stored in bytes.
    Data is transfered in bits.

    • Professional programmer here;
      Refer to them as whatever you want as long as you specify.

      Fuck people who don’t understand, they can suck my ass.

  • Steam’s measure of speed should be regarded as a minimum bound, since its quite likely that there is plenty of time over the course of a download from steam that a person would be downloading stuff from other places. Surfing youtube while waiting for a steam download probably sucks a fair bit of bandwidth.

  • Got fibre to the door 6 months ago here in NZ now on 200/200mbps which don’t get me wrong is amaaaazing but it does turn you into an internet snob especially when at other peoples houses and you relize how good your internet is compared to theirs.

  • So many confusing comments on this article. Watch your capitalization, there’s a huge difference between MB/s and Mb/s.

  • I have internet depending on when the mouse pulls the string between the two cups in the wall. *sigh*
    Thanks Liberals with all the ‘for profit’ business interests vested in you at the expense of what’s best for our country.
    What? We should tie our future to coal you say??

  • I get around 1.8mbs when Im lucky, usually steam has the best connection though. Others days it varies around 1-1.8mbs.

    Is really wish for a higher speed internet because I do a lot of downloading, though I’m in unlimited so I cant be too upset.

  • “The difference in Steam’s speeds from the broader Internet might stem from the fact that a bunch of Aussie ISPs maintain their own local Steam caching servers. 3FL, Internode, Telstra, IX, Adam Internet, Gamespace and EGN all have their own local hardware and storage, which hosts at least the most popular files for users of Steam to access, sometimes without impacting their download quotas. “

    Telstra no longer maintains a Steam content server, as of the GameArena closure in October.

  • this make me sad Q_Q, NBN……….take that time , Meanwhile South Korea is set to unveil 10Gbps broadband Internet

  • 10 mins out of the Adelaide CBD and we get no better than 450kb.

    Building a house 10 mins further out in an area that can get FTTP NBN, with fibre ready connections in the house. Just gotta wait.

  • 600-800kb for me. I hate it but I know there are plenty out there who would kill for that speed. Ugh. NBN!!!!

  • FYI 1.2 Mbs on ADSL2 in the country… I deserve it for all the years I could only get net at dial up speeds on a wireless connection; couldn’t even use steam then.

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