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 😀

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