Internet Speeds between Hokkaido and Alaska

Upon my recent return to Alaska after years spent living in Japan, one of the largest annoyances for me has been the slow, expensive internet access.

Well, this week I’ve been back in Japan where I have been using our home connection. It’s gigabit fiber, fast and hard to max out. The bandwidth bottlenecks are typically at the remote server, or our own in-home wifi.

I just thought I’d chronicle the speeds I am getting here, both with servers inside Japan and to UAF.

Tests with a domestic (Japanese) server:

1. Computer connected to the fiber router  via  ethernet cable (gigabit):


(this is an old test from last year, because my current laptop doesn’t have an ethernet port)

2. Computer connected via 802.11n wifi:


3.  computer connected via 802.11a/b/g wifi:


Test with a UAF server:

1. Connected via 802.11n wifi:


As you can see, the connection with UAF is quite good. It’s just fast enough to warrant being on an 802.11n network. The first test is simply a proof-of-concept and I doubt users will see those speeds for actual content, although it’s maybe possible for services delivered directly by our fiber line provider, NTT, or our ISP NTT Plala. We are paying a total of 6,500 yen per month for unlimited access, although  I do believe that our ISP engages in some traffic shaping, which is legal in Japan, which has deregulated and opened up lines to any provider who wants to sell service on them. Anyway, it’s been nice to use this connection while I am here this week.

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