Apple releases Broadband Tuner 1.0

Apple releases Broadband Tuner 1.0

Summary: Apple's Broadband Tuner increases the default values for the size of the TCP send and receive buffers, in theory, increasing the speed of your Internet connction.

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TOPICS: Broadband
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Apple's just-released Broadband Tuner allows you "to take full advantage of very high speed Internet connections that have a high latency (5 Mbps or greater). The installer tweaks some system parameters."

According the the Read Me file the program increases the default values for the size of the TCP send and receive buffers. The theory is that larger buffers allow more data can be in transit at the same time. A startup configuration file is added so that the new values stay intact even after restarts.

The system parameters are sysctl variables that are set as follows:
net.inet.tcp.sendspace: 131072
net.inet.tcp.recvspace: 358400
kern.ipc.maxsockbuf: 512000

This change has a system wide effect and is applied even if the network is not high speed connection with a high latency, with the exception of modem connections for which the system uses small default TCP buffer sizes.

If you want to tweak you settings by hand, edit the file /etc/sysctl.conf:
net.inet.tcp.sendspace=131072
net.inet.tcp.recvspace=358400
kern.ipc.maxsockbuf=512000

I tried it on my Verizon DSL connection at home and it seems to make a difference, but obviously, your mileage may vary. 

 

Topic: Broadband

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  • I agree

    Just tried it and there does seem to be a speed increase.

    It's interesting to speculate why Apple came out with this - is it
    directed to future video downloads or just a way to make the
    internet faster?
    Ken_z