Bandwidth speed test comparing DSL, Palm Treo 700p Sprint EVDO over USB and Bluetooth on a G4 Powerbook running OS X Tiger 10.4.7

After upgrading to the latest version of USB Modem (Version 1.5 that now adds support for connection via Bluetooth for Treo 700p), I decided to do a speed test using my regular DSL connection and the two available connection methods for the Treo 700p – Bluetooth and USB. I’ve been using the USB modem connection method and wanted to see if there would be a noticible connection speed difference using Bluetooth instead of USB as the connection method.

These tests were run using a G4 Powerbook running OS X Tiger 10.4.7 and the Palm Treo 700p and USB Modem software version 1.5 connected to Sprint’s EVDO network in St. Louis, Missouri.

Using DSL: results

8/27/2006 11:27 PM GMT 2487 kb/s 350 kb/s 138 ms Dallas, TX ~ 550 mi

Using Treo 700p as a USB Modem: results

8/27/2006 11:52 PM GMT 1161 kb/s 95 kb/s 262 ms Dallas, TX ~ 550 mi

EVDO speeds are pretty fast, especially compared to an old-school dialup connection. About half as fast as my DSL line.

Using Treo 700p as a Bluetooth Modem: results

8/27/2006 11:55 PM GMT 478 kb/s 84 kb/s 280 ms Dallas, TX ~ 550 mi

Using Bluetooth was significantly slower than using USB cable. Nice to be able to connect without any wires though, and still basically fast enough to use. Warning: Nasty Bluetooth Reboot Required Bug When using Bluetooth as the connection method, when the connection gets disconnected or interrupted, you may get a Disconnecting... message that never stops. Apparently this is a known bug for which there is no good solution. After getting this message the only solution seems to be to reboot your computer, which pretty much stinks. This is NOT the fault of the USB Modem software, I found tons of references to this bug dating back to regular dial-up days.


You can now use Bluetooth along with USB Modem software, and it works, but the OS X bug that requires a reboot to connect again when you use Bluetooth makes it significantly less attractive to use this feature.

I plan to continue using the USB cable connection method since it is significantly faster and does not suffer from the Bluetooth bug above. It also has the bonus feature of charging the phone at the same time.

If anyone has a suggestion for a solution to the Bluetooth disconnecting message bug other than this Applescript (didn’t seem to work for me), please let me know via the comments.

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6 responses to “Bandwidth speed test comparing DSL, Palm Treo 700p Sprint EVDO over USB and Bluetooth on a G4 Powerbook running OS X Tiger 10.4.7”

  1. I concur with the above tests.
    I’ve run tests on both my Macbook Pro 17″ and my dual G5 using sprintpcs DUN, OS-X 10.4.9.
    Average speed was 45kbps on and 89kbps on
    I suspect it’s actually somewhere in-between depending on their packet size transfered.
    I’ve pinged my own IP port with varying packet sizes to see the delays and packet loss; Loop count was only 50 on each set.

    -s 1024 round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 830.896/1943.383/5049.928/936.855 ms
    for an avg 52kbps transfer rate at 1024 bytes ea.

    -s 2048 round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 1127.729/2748.468/6209.484/1159.734 ms
    for an avg 74kbps transfer rate at 2048 bytes ea.

    -s 4096 round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 1158.480/2010.545/3208.014/501.574 ms
    for an avg 203kbps transfer rate at 4096 bytes ea.

    -s 8096 round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 1596.178/2480.570/3713.313/544.755 ms
    for an avg 306kbps transfer rate at 8096 bytes ea.

    MacOS-X likes greater than or equal to 4096 byte packet sizes.
    Too bad we can’t adjust the driver accordingly.
    These tests don’t reflect any latencies from other Internet sites.

    Would be nice to get a faster speed out of the USB port with the Treo 700p since it’s speed should be faster than the BT connection.

  2. Note that the speeds fluctuate a lot from moment to moment… so, for any accurate comparison, you need to do a LOT of repeated tests and average the results.

    So far, my fastest times are actually with Bluetooth rather than with cable. However, that could easily be due to chance… I have definitely not done enough tests.

    Nice pair of web pages on this great technique!

  3. hi, cool web site and good articles.
    The The first step is to learn how to find out what your Internet speed is.The Internet speed is determined by 2 components: the download rate and the upload rate of data which are usually measured in Kilobits per second.
    Then after you know the upload and download rate, you can use tools or tweaks to improve your internet speed, or take the decision to change your ISP.

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