Apple’s Broadband Tuner


Apple is offering a new software that promises to optimize and add a little zest to your broadband connections. The software called Broadband Tuner , “increases the default values for the size of the TCP send and receive buffers. With larger buffers more data can be in transit at once. A startup configuration file is also updated so that these changes will persist across restarts.” I bet this is more to do with increase in the size of files currently being downloaded to an Apple box. Music, videos and podcasts are hefty files that can clog up your broadband connections, especially the puny ones from US DSL providers. Download it from here. I will do a full review later. (Hat Tip, Niall)


Walter Jeffries

I have MenuMeters on all of our machines which is great for overview monitoring what is happening on the network. If you want to see how this new tuner is affecting things, put MenuMeters on, get to know how the numbers work in the menu graph over a few hours or days and then _after_ that do the install of the tuner and see how it changes things. This does not show you the latency but you do get a very good feel for the connection over time as you load web pages, mail, downloads, stream radio, etc.

Om Malik

i installed it hoping to get a better performance from the connections. i am not sure it really did anything for now. hopefully i can figure out a way to uninstall this sucker.

Victor Blake

One other note — visited the Apple web site. 5Mbps is a measure of throughput, not latency. Latency is a measure of time (measured in milliseconds in most cases).

Disappointing that Apple folks (or individual author) couldn’t use the correct term. I believe what they meant to say was that higher data rate (or throughput) connections usually have lower latency. (Which is true that they inversely correlate). This is because the average time to service frame/packet forwarding is decreased, thereby decreasing latency — in higher data rate connections.

Victor Blake

Hmm. These have been around from third parties for a while. Exercise caution though. Increasing the buffer size will also increase jitter — the variation in latency measured over time. Jitter will have a negative impact (read bad) on streaming or real time applications (like Voice) that do not have receive side buffers. There is — after all — a reason for default values … its the average situation problem …

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