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Questions and answers

Why is the internet connection in my room really slow?

IT Services uses tight controls to moderate the use of certain types of peer-to-peer file sharing software on the campus networks. This is because it leads to heavy traffic that can affect the speed of the network for other users. Examples of such software are BitTorrent, Kazaa, eDonkey, and Gnutella clients.

You will only be affected by these controls if:

  • you are running peer-to-peer client software, or
  • Skype software is operating as a "supernode", or
  • your computer is infected with certain types of malware, a spambot or lots of spyware

In all cases, the effect of the new controls will be to restrict your computer by slowing down its connection to the network. This will only affect your own computer. Other computers in rooms next to you will not be affected. This loss of service to your computer may look like a network fault, but it is simply the network protecting other users from your computer and the problems it is causing.

Check if you have been restricted

To check if your computer has been temporarily restricted, login to the Sussex Network Support site using your IT Services userid and password:

and look at Recent Events (on the right hand side of the page). If your computer is still restricted you will see entries relating to 'bandwidth restriction' in the table showing the last five recent network events.

How to resolve the problem

You should stop using peer-to-peer software to exchange copyright materials on the residential network. Such behaviour is explicitly against the University's regulations on the use of computing facilities, and you have acknowledged that you accept those conditions as part of your registration to use the network. If you have legitimate reasons to use peer-to-peer software, you should seek help from ITS Enquiries, who will arrange an appointment for you with a senior member of ITS.

If you use Skype, check that the configuration of your Skype software matches that described in FAQ 1478 (otherwise your computer may be acting as a "supernode").

If you think your computer may have been infected by malicious software, contact the IT Service Desk in Shawcross. Your machine will need to be cleaned up before it can be used on the roaming and residential networks, and ITS Enquiries can arrange this for you.

The restriction on your computer's network connection will be lifted automatically, but if the problem recurs or continues your connection will be restricted again, and this pattern will continue until the problem is resolved by you or with our help. 

You should also check the main ITS Latest News web page for news of general network issues which may affect your service.

Controlling the use of networks at Sussex

We also use a network service, known as NetEnforcer, to automatically optimise and manage the speed of the network for the benefit of everyone using the network. NetEnforcer works on both wired and wi-fi networks to automatically prevent excessive use of resources.

NetEnforcer works to identify excessive usage and apply selective controls to slow it down, freeing up more resources for others.

Reporting a fault

If none of the above apply to your problem then it is possible that there may be a fault on the network. Please see FAQ 1218 for instructions on how to log a fault.

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This is question number 1217, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Amy Walker on 26 April 2006 and last updated by Tom Stanton on 14 August 2015