Shortly after the 1Mbit service went live some users were reporting speeds about 20-30% slower than this. They fixed it as follows:
Using Internet Explorer, visit http://www.pcpitstop.com/pcpitstop/autofix.asp?file=IntSpeed.hta
Run the auto-fix from that location, select the "Low Latency" button, and you should be in business.
Having a firewall may knock a couple of points off your download speed, but hardly anything.
To test what speed you are getting, the best way is to do a long download from a local server and time it. However, there are a number of easier but less accurate ways to do it, including:
Remember that your speed is dependent on the server you're downloading from - try a few before reaching a conclusion. Some people have also suggested that speeds could be lower if you're a long way from the local BT exchange.
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