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Factors limiting bandwidth

This page calculates the theoretical maximum TCP throughput based on the specified parameters. You are unlikely to achieve this speed in the real-world due to other protocol overheads and competing traffic.

Based on window sizes:

RTT ("ping") ms
Window size Bytes
Minimum Window Scale 0 Bits
Bandwidth delay product (BDP) 1,051.20 Byte seconds
Maximum tcp download bandwidth 292,000.00 Bytes/s
2,336,000.00 Bits/s
200.00 Packets/s

Based on packet loss (TFRC)

Delayed acks Count
MSS Bytes
Bytes/ack 2,920.00 Bytes/ack
RTT 60.00 ms
RTO 240.00 ms
Delayed Acks 2 acks
Packet loss %
Maximum tcp download bandwidth 660,451.52 Bytes/s
5,283,612.19 Bits/s
452.36 Packets/s

Based on upstream ack bandwidth:

Upstream bandwidth Bits/s
Upstream bandwidth 16,000.00 Bytes/s
ACK size Bytes
ACKs/s 400.00 packets/s
Maximum tcp download bandwidth 1,168,000.00 Bytes/s
9,344,000.00 Bits/s
800.00 Packets/s

Limit (based on all the above)

Maximum tcp download bandwidth 292,000.00 Bytes/s
2,336,000.00 Bits/s
200.00 Packets/s
Limit reason Window Size


  • Windows uses 40 byte acks, Linux 52. if ethernet is run on the slowest link, the minimum size for an ack becomes 46 bytes. (ethernet has a 60 byte minimum packet size, and a 14 byte header)
  • You'll NOT get the theoretical maximum throughput as limited by upstream bandwidth, as this assumes one tcp connection under perfect conditions. Multiple connections will be slower
  • Linespeeds are often serialisation rate, over the top of that you have framing, FEC, and other crap. What bandwidth you'll actually recieve is not obvious.
  • Most hosts send delayed acks every 2 acks, some every ack (1). When dealing with massively assymetric links, hacking your stack to support 3 would seem to be the best solution (and it's a reciever solution, not a sender one too as an added bonus)
  • Default Window sizes for various OS versions
    Windows 98 8192
    Windows 2000 17520
    Linux 262,144
    FreeBSD 65535
    Windows XP* 17520
    MSDN** 8760
    * windows XP apparently has some undocumented way of selecting this
    ** This uses the algorithm from an MSDN article which seems waay too low.
  • Windows size limited downloads are limits per TCP connection, so P2P apps can exceed this limit.
  • windows 2000+ and linux can both have windows larger than 64k, 98 can't,
  • MSDN article including the selected window size for windows 2003
  • How to tweak your window sizes
  • Throughput calculation formula
  • RFC3448: TCP Friendly Rate Control (TFRC): Protocol Specification. -- Formula used for Throughput under packet loss.