Autobahn Accelerator – Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

dashboard   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?When I came across Autobahn (for Windows/Mac) and read about what it is capable of doing, I immediately wanted to install it and try it out. According to the website, it “optimizes your Internet connection to provide blazing fast downloads and video streams.”

In the past, I wrote about how to tweak Vista to improve Internet speeds, and Mahendra wrote about finding the fastest DNS to optimize your Internet speed. Everyone is looking for ways to get a little bit more out of their bandwidth these days. And as more and more people watch streaming video for free, and stream music and movies, download speed becomes more of an issue. However, as many commentators on those articles pointed out, you only have so much download speed, and unfortunately you can’t exceed your ISP’s speed limit.


If the claims of what Autobahn can do are true, it would solve the problem of optimizing bandwidth for people who are not terribly tech-savvy. In order to test the software, I decided to try comparing my actual baseline Internet speed with the speed after installing Autobahn. To perform those tests, I decided to use the Flash Internet speed apps provided for free by DSLReports.

My Internet Speed Baseline

The first order of business is to check what my current baseline speed is before installing or tweaking anything. I decided to run tests from my house to various points across the country. Since a lot can depend upon what you’re doing at the time that you run the tests, various points would offer a better baseline to start from. Any improvement to overall Internet speed should improve the throughput on all of them. First, I tested my connection speed to Washington, DC.

speed1   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

Then, my connection speed to New York City.

speed2   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

And finally, my normal connection speed to Los Angeles, all the way across the United States.

speed3   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

Now, these values give me something solid for comparison after installing the software. So our starting Internet speed values are: Washington DC (7187 Kb/s download, 249 Kb/s upload),  New York (8025 Kb/s download, 404 Kb/s upload) and Los Angeles (5998 Kb/s download and 392 Kb/s upload).

Installing the Software

Installing Autobahn is crazy simple. You visit the website, click install, and it’ll walk you through the install procedure.

speed4   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

All you have to do is click the big green “Go!” button. I’ve highlighted the claim that I want to test. If the actual Internet connection itself is optimized, then I should see better throughput overall. Throughout the install, you never have to leave the Autobahn web page. Once it’s installed, the site recognizes a successful install and informs you of such as shown here.

speed5   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

Now that I have Autobahn optimizing my system, let’s see what this baby can do. Kicking open the DSLReports page, I run the same three tests as earlier. First, Washington DC.

speed6   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

Then my new connection speed to New York.

speed7   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

And finally, my new connection speed across the U.S. to Los Angeles.

speed8   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

So now, my new Internet speed rates are Washington DC (7459 Kb/s download, 471 Kb/s upload), New York (7756 Kb/s download, 411 Kb/s upload) and Los Angeles, CA (5474 Kb/s download, 335 Kb/s upload).

So, overall results of Internet speed caused by installing Autobahn appear to be an increase of 272 Kb/s download and 222 Kb/s upload from here to Washington, DC, a decrease of 269 Kb/s download and increase of 7 Kb/s upload from here to New York, and a decrease of 524 Kb/s download and 57 Kb/s upload from here to Los Angeles. Since transfer speed can pretty much vary to this degree on it’s own, depending on what other activities you’re doing on your PC, these values reflect no substantial overall gain or loss of speed due to Autobahn.

Testing Streaming Video

These results don’t mean that the software doesn’t work, it just means that it doesn’t accomplish greater streaming quality or speed through an optimized overall Internet connection. As readers noted in the comment area of my Vista tweak article linked at the start of this article, streaming video can be optimized when you configure the system to give it higher priority on your connection.

It could be possible that the Autobahn software simply optimizes the stream – providing faster/better downloads and streaming quality. I decided to test the download speed at YouTube before and after installing Autobahn. For my test, I used the new Apple iPod YouTube advertisement that’s about 8 minutes long. I started the video at 2:00:23 and the full video was downloaded and buffered by 2:06:30 – almost 6 full minutes to receive the full 8 minute video.

speed9   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

Once I was finished, I re-installed Autobahn and ran the same streaming video. The download of the video stream started at 2:12:06 and completed at 2:18:04. About a six minute buffer/download time and essentially the same exact throughput. Video streaming quality was essentially unchanged.

On the Autobahn website, I noticed that MLB TV was noted as one site that’s affiliated with Autobahn, so maybe Autobahn is especially efficient for that particular site. So I tried the same test as above at MLB TV. Without the software installed, I started downloading a video of game highlights at 2:30:12, and the full video completed loading by 2:32:02, about a 2 minute load.

speed10   Autobahn Accelerator   Faster Streaming Video and Downloads for Free?

After reinstalling Autobahn, I refreshed my cache, cleared my history and tried the download again. This time the start was 2:34:40 and the finish time was 2:36:35. Again, about a 2 minute load time and essentially unchanged by the installation of Autobahn.

Not to be deterred by these results, I wanted to try one last test. I’ve heard that Autobahn can significantly improve downloading on iTunes. So, I uninstalled the software and fired up iTunes. I found an old L.L. Cool J song I used to love as a kid that was just over 5 minutes long. I purchased the song and watched the download speed closely – the start was 2:55:00 and the finish was 2:55:18 – about 18 seconds.

After reinstalling Autobahn, clearing my cache and attempting the same download again, I had a start time of 2:58:05 and a complete of 2:58:18 – about 13 seconds, and a 5 second improvement.

My Results

According to the website, the FAQ explains that Autobahn “optimizes your incoming bandwidth” for better downloads and streaming. It reports that it doesn’t use the peer-to-peer transfer or upstream “stealing” that other software uses. While this seems to be true, it also appears that at least if your system is already running at fairly well-optimized speeds, the software can’t do much to improve your existing video streaming quality, or the speed of your downloads.

Have you ever tried Autobahn or any other Internet speed “accelerator” software? How well did it work for you? Share your results and experiences in the comments section below.

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14 Comments -

Ryan

I installed this on my mac laptop and was wondering what location it downloads so I can uninstall it if I have to. Where did you go to keep reinstalling and uninstalling?

Ryan Dube

Hey – I actually just used windows add/remove programs as it showed up in there. Although, you can also just use cntrl-alt-delete and kill the process. If you’re using mac though, I’m really not positive where it’s installed as I use Windows.

blackwhite

i downloaded apps for my new pc with magic downloader , all the software downloaded through it do not require installation , which means no trouble for the uninstallation , its very handy , also u may know ninite , but this one is much better than it i think

Adrian

does it work?

jnhng

at least it doesnt works for me.
from malaysia.
before install, youtube crawling at around 20kBps, after install, around 20kBps as well.

Peter

A couple of speed tests that might interest people are a) from the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7416471.stm and b)http://www.bandwidthplace.com/

The latter requires me to relax my security, so I’m not very keen on it.

FAO MUO hacks, why do you have so much stuff on your pages? I have a 6 Mbit cable connection and they’re always slow loading; monitoring my CPU reveals no extreme activity, and it’s mostly your pages that take so long to load (We7 is another example of a slow loader). Web 2 can be a good thing, but only if the widgets are used judiciously.

Just in case you’re interested in retaining the interest levels.

Aibek

Hi Peter

Just wanted to ask you something regarding your recent comment on MakeUseOf.com. It’s been a week since we took another step in optimizing our server. Do the pages load faster for you now?

Thank you
Aibek

meg

i tried tuneup utilities for just this but didn’t work…just made my connection slower…too many options for a newbie i guess.. i haven’t tried this, will see if i dare.

Peter

It’s worth spending a few minutes looking through your internet explorer options (if you use it) and those for your browser (if you don’t). It’s important to make sure that you have your networking options (found in the control panel) set properly. I’ve not found anything that did the job better than a human can. This may be due to the fact that I use a fairly unusual email package, and have a lot of security packages/settings.

I recommend that you use something like OpenDNS.com for your nameserver (google supply one, but I am somehow reluctant to use the search giant, for obvious reasons). Nameservers, if you didn’t know, translate domain names (e.g., makeuseof.com) into dotted IP numbers (216.92.56.91). Very often the bundled package from an ISP is not very good. Also, people like Open DNS offer protection from a variety of nuisances and security threats, even using the free package. So, for example, sites known to be presenting a conficker threat were automatically blocked by them.

Other things you can do include entering domains like adservers into the exclusion list for your anti virus or firewall packages (actually I do it for both), but not in the custom option for Open DNS; you will receive a https message where the blocked item appears on the page, and that will require your attention, if you have that option set in your browser.

If you use Firefox there are a number of absolute musts for cutting down unwanted trash, such as adverts and unwanted scripts. These will speed up browsing. These include Adblock Plus, NoScript, Trackerwatcher, WoT (wall of trust, which tells you how reliable a page is), Better privacy, CookieCuller, Perspectives; also useful are McAfee site advisor (which will rate your search results and show you which sites are associated with threats) and PhishTankSiteChecker. There are many unreliable Firefox addon packages that may even constitute a security threat; I’ve seen those above recommended by TechRepublic, so they ought to be OK.

The idea behind using stuff like the above is that they filter out a lot of clutter that will slow you down and also clean out your cache of unwanted trash, when you exit the package. I’m fairly sold on them.

I use Comodo firewall/HIPS and Avast antivirus. Both are free, very good, and I have plumbed a long list of forbidden sites into them. All in all these things save me time and reduce threats.

Happy browsing.

Tad

[Your results before] –> [Your results with Autobahn] = [Difference]

Download-
D.C.: 7187 Kb/s –> 7459 Kb/s = 272 Kb/s faster
N.Y.: 8025 Kb/s –> 7756 Kb/s = 269 Kb/s SLOWER
L.A.: 5998 Kb/s –> 5474 Kb/s = 524 Kb/s SLOWER

Upload-
D.C.: 249 Kb/s –> 471 Kb/s = 222 Kb/s faster
N.Y.: 404 Kb/s –> 411 Kb/s = 7 Kb/s faster
L.A.: 392 Kb/s –> 335 Kb/s = 57 Kb/s SLOWER

The results don’t seem too appealing.

Ryan Dube

Hi Tad – you’re correct, they don’t!

mandy

now you can use software like ninite to speed up your installation ,but i had tried a different one , all the apps u downloaded from the directory is free and no need to installation , its very cool .www.magic-downloader.com

Ryan Dube

I agree – as you can see from my tests in this article, it doesn’t appear to have much of an impact at all.