Why do things download so slowly on game consoles?


Imagine a PS4 that uses the same wifi as anything else in the house, but it downloads so much slower. I can’t figure this out, is the PS4 throttled intentionally, or is there something else going on? I don’t understand how it works.

In: Technology

Many factors affect download speeds. The PS4 has a wireless-N adapter where some modern devices have wireless-ac, which is much faster. The download origin is a factor as well. If a lot of players are currently downloading from Sony’s servers, you might not get as much bandwidth. The server could also be farther away than whatever other device you are comparing the PS4 to.

There is a possible bug in the PS4 firmware that causes slow download speeds related to the round trip time between client and server. Some people have found that setting up a proxy in your house can fix this as it greatly decreases the round trip time.

Of course there are various other factors, and this bug may be fixed by now, although I did hear reports that it was also present on the PS4 Pro at its release.


define slow
last time I checked on the xbox side of things it barely peaked at 200-250 Mbps
PS was a bit quicker on average but that was in the ps3 era
steam is usually chugging at 700-900 Mbps

point is – if its around 250Mbps it seems to be par for the course for console services