Geolocation Not Always Good For Cdns

I just started downloading Opera 10 for Linux with my 1.2 Mbps connection at a ridiculous rate of 5 kbytes/sec


Because most CDNs use only the geographical distance from the client, to pick the best mirror for downloading.

In my country, Uruguay, this typically leads to picking a mirror from Brazil which is far from optimal, because:

  1. Brazilian servers are slow (compared to US ones)
  2. traffic from Bazil travels to US and back. This is more ridiculous than the CDNs policies, but it's what we have.

I wonder if CDNs could be made more intelligent though, using traceroute information, for instance. Perhaps the largest ones (such as Akismet) already have some better algorithm in place. And I'm sure Google already has this sorted out :)

So... I just cancelled the download and manually used a US server, even though the guys at Opera managed to make that specially hard to do :)

5 responses

I couldn't agree more. Geolocation usually just blindly picks a mirror in Brazil and manually picking another mirror is not always trivial. I never know where to download Ubuntu from and usually get stuck with 15KBps :(

Yeah, those annoying CDN policies are everywhere. The first thing I did, after I installed my Ubuntu, was to edit /etc/apt/sources.list and replace all references to by

Tired of getting forcing me to download from Curitiba, PA (Brazil), I've set Voxel as my preferred mirror. Any server in the U.S. will be far better than others from Brazil or Chile.

Debian —and derivates, offers netselect-apt and apt-spy in order to generate a source.list based on bandwidth. Until we have a local repo here in Uruguay, I think USA is the fastest source.


I somehow agree with your post but I normally have good transfer speeds from the Federal University Of Parana ( I think that maybe when you were downloading Opera the peer with Brazil was at it's full capacity (I think that Antel has some peers with Fiber Optic with Brazil).

On the other subject about local mirrors of any Open Source project I think that is a shame that Antel doesn't support any company to mirror this kind of projects, and having an UruguayNet carrier connection is just INACCESSIBLE for anyone (USD 1000 for a 512Kbps connection). If someone at Antel reads this (Which I think it will never happen) I will be happy to offer a spare HP server that I have at home with 500Gb of storage to host the most popular Open Source projects.

Take care Pablo and congratulations for the quality of your posts, I really enjoy them :D

Best regards,
Andres Montalban

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