slow and unreliable downloads from Apple Content Distribution Network (App store)

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Resident

Had the same issue, 5 hours plus to download 5G??  Called telus and they claim they had not heard of this issue.  Suggested they get together with their IT department and resolve.  I went to a neighbour and used their Shaw Internet service and downloaded and installed Yosemite is less than 1 hour.  Interesting!!

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Friendly Neighbour

My download estimates have been in the 3-5 DAYS range for the 5GB Yosemite update.

On chat with TELUS now... "I sincerely regret for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We are aware of the issue and our back end support has an ongoing investigation about this concern."

 

 

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Community Power User
Community Power User
@zzyzyman
If you are on your own account, and have access to your router / gateway, you could try a service such as unblock-us which is easy to set up, and free for a week, then $5 per month.
NFtoBC
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Resident

I can confirm that I have been experiencing this problem for many days now as well.  I initially thought it was that Apple's servers were overloaded so I kept trying.  Then I went on a business trip to Denver and brought my Macbook along to see if I could do the Yosemite update.  It downloaded in just over 1 hour, whereas from home (over Telus) it kept saying 5+ days and would always crap out.

 

When I got back from the business trip I tried again with another device, thinking the Apple backlog had cleared, but same problem.  That got me to checking the forums and I found this forum as well as another on Apple forums that confirmed that this seems to be a Telus specific issue.  I tried the Google DNS suggestion that seems to be solving the problem for some out there, but to no avail.

 

I broke down and called Telus technical support.  The first level support had not heard of this issue, but I offered to email him the forum links I found on the topic which confirmed many people were experiencing similar issues.  This got him to escalate it to their Premier support, who was aware of the issue and they had apparently already logged a ticket with Apple because the belief is that there is a connectivity issue between Telus and the Apple servers, but they aren't sure where the source of the problem lies.

 

My gut feeling is that Telus may be throttling traffic to/from Apple with the expectation that a lot of people would be downloading Yosemite and IOS 8.  Why can't Canada get its act together and enforce net neutrality?  

 

I would encourage any and all of you who are experiencing this problem to report it to Telus so they get innundated with calls about the issue.  Also, if you're so inclined you could report it to your local MP to get net neutrality on the government's agenda.

 

UPDATE:  I tried the recommendation of using the UK DNS (84.45.85.23) as a last ditch effort, even though I had already tried the Google DNS servers without any luck.  I'm happy to report that using the UK DNS resolved the issue.  I hope this helps Telus to find out the source of the problem.

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Community Power User
Community Power User

If Telus was throttling connections to Apple servers only, which it is not, then changing DNS would have zero effect. VPN more than likely. If the Google DNS still didn't work, then it's not just a Telus issue. 

 

I'm using stock Telus DNS and my downloads from Apple are 2MB/s consistently, including the one I've got running now.

 


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Community Power User
Community Power User

@Nighthawk All my downloads from Apple except their OS update servers (Yosemite & iOS 8.1) were full speed, including App updates.

 

Are you having success with Yosemite & iOS 8.1?  I had none until I used a VPN last night.

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Connector

KyleMW wrote: 

I do find it curious that actual "app" downloads from the App Store (Garageband and iPad apps etc) do not seem to be affected.  However,  system downloads (OS updates, security updates, iTunes updates) for either iOS or Mac OS X are suffering from the slowdown.

 

That would imply that there are, at least, two distribution channels from Apple and Telus' connection to one of them is severely lacking in performance.

 

this was my experience as well a few days ago - downloads of Yosemite, iTunes and security updates were excruciatingly slow, but meanwhile other app store updates like iWork, Garageband etc were all normal speed.  only connecting via VPN restored normal speed to the OS and iTunes updates.

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Resident

I can confirm that switching my DNS to the UK address (84.45.85.23) has fixed the problem for me. Nothing else worked. I haven't experienced slow download speed like this since having dial-up 15 years ago!

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Friendly Neighbour

I can confirm that using this UK DNS address fixed things here in PoCo also.

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Resident

I can also confirm that switching to the suggested UK DNS server avoids the Telus/Apple bottleneck. Download time went from 5 days to 5 hours and its finally making progress.

 

I chatted with Telus Support yesterday to no avail. They claimed that they were aware of the issue but suggested that it was on Apple's end. But at least they are aware of the unhappy customers.

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Community Power User
Community Power User

Considering it's only two very specific files and other downloads from the same server are downloading fine, that would make it seem more of an Apple issue. 


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Friendly Neighbour

I suspect it's not an Apple issue at all.  It's fairly apparent that Apple's "big" downloads (full MacOS/iOS updates) are sitting on different ACD servers.  (Not withstanding that, I had the same bottleneck issue with a measly 66MB Apple-sanctioned Java update yesterday.)


Here in British Columbia, changing from a TELUS-owned DNS server to a non-TELUS one  -- but still using TELUS DSL -- fixed the issue.  I was able to quickly update to OSX10.10 and iOS8.1 whereas previously it'd be days of waiting.

This leads me to believe its either a routing issue or a throttling issue with intermediate US carriers.  This was exemplified by a less-than-favorable traceroute I did to Apple's ADC servers using their DNS server. The stall I saw was well beyond TELUS' network.

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CPU Alum
CPU Alum

Hmm.... I wonder if the wifi is an issue...

https://www.google.ca/search?q=Yosemite+os+x+wifi

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Neighbour

@timdmackey    

 

By pointing your DNS to the UK address, you will be directed to download Yosemite or iOS 8.1 from the Apple CDN servers in the UK, instead of from the Apple servers in the US.  

 

My suspicion is that Telus has cached the downloads from the US Apple servers and that it is Telus edge servers that are to blame.

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Neighbour

Hello

My story from Prince George.

I am a telus optik customer.

The first day yosemite was released I downloaded with very quick results, less than an hour.

Next day i wanted to upgrade one of our other computers.  Not so good, same story as all the posts on this chain.  Waited days and finally gave up.  then I came across these posts and not being a tech person I just googled free vpn, came across cactus vpn, free for 24 hours.  simple set up and fantastic downloaded yosemite in about 40 mins.  

So I assume telus has a problem...

 

ps if you do get a good download then suggest making a usb installer copy first.

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Friendly Neighbour

If you went to System Preferences > Network > Ethernet and entered the 84.45.85.23 number into the DNS Server field there (might be under an Advanced Button/Tab), you could have saved yourself going the VPN route.  (Make a note of the current DNS number and revert to it later).

 

Also, I wouldn't recommend going the USB installer route.  I tried that once, thinking I'd at least alleviate one massive download in our household.  I used the installer on my wife's computer without any problem.  But, about a year later, her machine booted to a firmware screen with a warning about an illegitimate OS install.  The OS download/install must be signed by an AppleID via a proper Apple Store download/install.  Yup, it's a drag.

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Community Power User
Community Power User

@zzyzyman 

 

Some of the VPN options are as simple as changing the DNS settings in one's gateway, however, your suggestion to use a UK-based DNS server does remain a no-cost option into the future.

 

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Resident

My iOS 8.1 update said over 30hrs to download on both my mac and over the air on my phone. I went to my girlfriends house and the update took less then 15min on my phone. She is on shaw I am thinking it may be time for a change. I talked to telus and there answer was your downloading at the right speed.

 

I can also confirm that using a VPN has made the Yosemite oSX download to less then 1 hr. Substantially faster

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Resident

Sorry to hear about your frustrating experience with Telus Customer Support. I try to avoid chatting with them unless its a last resort. The frontline agents are usually very friendly, sympathetic and only marginally knowledgeable. Its probably in the job description.

 

Apparently Telus has now fixed the bottleneck. I just started downloading Yosemite on a third Mac and the App Store app says less than 2 hours duration for the whole download. I am using the default Telus DNS this time and it seems to be working.

 

Wouldn't be nice if Telus paid attention to their own forums (here in particular) and firstly acknowledged the problem honestly and then let us know when it was fixed.

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Neighbour

yes it seems telus has sorted it out.  i downloaded yosemite for a mac book pro this morning without changing any settings and it was 45''   

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Community Power User
Community Power User

@RJD Thanks for sharing. I downloaded iPad update for SWMBO this evening in 11 minutes at speeds in excess of 3.5 MB/s, about what I expected to see with my current plan.

 

I'm pleased this is resolved.

 

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Coach

For what it is worth... I haven't had a chance to look at this issue in a few days... this morning I resumed my Yosemite download and all seems to be good - the download is set to complete in a little under an hour.  So, I'm not sure what's changed...

 

At my end all that has changed in the interim days is a hard reset of my Actiontec Modem (seemed to be prudent after a seemingly failed modem firmware update process) and somewhere in there I "reset" my computer DNS pointers to match the numbers in the Actiontec (75.153.176.1, 75.153.176.9).  I also followed some instructions on the net about deleting the original partial download, though I don't think that contributed to the solution as I recall the next attempt was similarly slow.  And of course the computer has been power cycled a few times.

 

So, from my perspective the issue has been fixed.  My $0.02 worth...

 

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Helpful Neighbour

Does anyone know what caused this problem?  I'm having a similar problem with App Store updates crawling with my Internet 50 plan.  Speedtest.net reports proper speeds, but updating apps for the last week or so has been insanely slow on both wired and wireless connections.  e.g. a 5 MB app update takes 5-10 minutes.

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Neighbour

My downloads have been fine for months, but Apple downloads are running extremely slow again, as Frosty says.


I was updating some apps and it said that some were going to be 15 to 20 minutes each.  So, I switched on my VPN (to the UK), which bypasses Telus local servers and they were done within a minute!  So there's definitely a bottleneck, again, between Telus and Apple.

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Helpful Neighbour

The silver lining that you're seeing the same issue is that I might have an easier time convincing tech support that the problem is real.  Hopefully more people chime in.

What VPN are you using?

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Neighbour
I use a VPN service called StrongVPN. It costs US$50 per year and allows me to watch UK TV. Many people in Canada also use a service like this to expand their NetFlicks choices because the US NetFlicks has a lot more choice of what to watch.
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Helpful Neighbour

Yes, I'm familiar with VPNs -- though not StrongVPN.  Can you use that at the router level or just at the device level?

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Neighbour

I use it at the device level.  This allows me to connect to it from my phone or computer, even if I'm not at home.

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Coach
I too have had apple update issues. I've tried changing DNS settings as
mentioned on some apple support discussions to no avail.
But reading this thread reminds me that I believe this happened in the past
(with Telus) and was not quickly resolved...
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Helpful Neighbour

iPad, iPhone as well as OS X updates are affected for me here.