Monthly Archives: June 2015

Slow Downloads from Egypt

Beside the slow internet speeds we get in Egypt, many servers are located far away with no mirrors or CDN that we can’t download files at a humane speed.

Recently I was trying to install Umbraco, and the download was very slow, just 15MB but it would take forever, then eventually fail.

So I ran a trace route to see where the server is hosted (which country), it seems the site is hosted on Azure Blob Storage

Side Note: anyone else notices that Office365 is so slow in Egypt as well?

>tracert umbracoreleases.blob.core.windows.net

Tracing route to blob.am2prdstr07a.store.core.windows.net [168.63.3.46]

over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 3 ms <1 ms 1 ms . MY_ROUTER

2 31 ms 29 ms 42 ms SOME_SERVER [163.121.171.184]

3 82 ms * 91 ms host-163.121.211.134.tedata.net [163.121.211.134]

4 * * * Request timed out.

5 242 ms 235 ms 119 ms 10.37.242.30

6 59 ms 34 ms 44 ms 10.35.2.157

7 * * 95 ms 10.37.242.181

8 106 ms 55 ms 109 ms 10.37.242.169

9 44 ms 36 ms 40 ms 10.37.241.25

10 84 ms 83 ms 81 ms msft-decix-01-fra.ntwk.msn.net [80.81.194.52]

11 210 ms * 139 ms ae12-0.fra-96cbe-1b.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.84.121]

12 271 ms 94 ms 107 ms ae6-0.ams-96c-1b.ntwk.msn.net [207.46.42.52]

13 169 ms 333 ms 125 ms ae11-0.amb-96cbe-1b.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.81.179]

14 160 ms 123 ms 95 ms ae14-0.ams04-96cbe-1b.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.82.184]

15 * * * Request timed out.

16 * * * Request timed out.

17 * * * Request timed out.

18 * * * Request timed out.

..

So it seems Umbraco are not using a CDN (Content-Delivery Network) or mirroring for their downloads. My download request goes from Egypt to France to the Netherlands then it times out. Till now, I do not know in which country the server resides.

According to YouGetSignal, here is the complete visual route, I don’t think it is perfect, but it does not contradict with tracert output

Tor to the rescue

So I decided to try Tor, They offer a customized version of Firefox that connects to the Tor network automatically, it is dead simple to use. It is basically a glorified secure proxy

Tor’s users employ this network by connecting through a series of virtual tunnels rather than making a direct connection

From <https://www.torproject.org/about/overview>

Tor circuit step two

Now the download was completed in less than a couple of seconds!

Without Tor (4 KBps)


With Tor (180 KBps)

PS

I tried again today to download Umbraco without Tor and the speed improved dramatically, no idea why!, probably because I don’t need it urgently today 😀