WiFi Speeds at the NYU Bobst Library

I had a couple of hours to kill last night in Greenwich Village in New York City, and I enjoyed walking everywhere — including Cornelia Street and the temporary Apple SoHo store at 72 Greene Street — to relive some beloved, old, memories of living in that neighborhood years ago.  Another regular, old, haunt of mine was NYU’s beautiful Bobst library.  It had been awhile since I’d been in Bobst with a WiFi device and so last night I decided to do some testing with my new iPhone 4S and iPad 2 — and the results were amazing!

NYU’s WiFi stream in Bobst is unbelievably fast.  The instant I connected to its secure network, I was met with unimaginable speed.

My connections were 36133kbps or 44MB down and 26318kbps or 32MB up!  Here’s the Speedtest.Net result as proof:

Checking mail and doing some basic surfing was instantaneous on both the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S — even though there were hundreds of students all simultaneously using the same internet backbone at 6pm last night.

Next, I decided to test some iTunes Match song downloads from iCloud to see how fast multimedia could be pulled from the great beyond.  First, I tried downloading one song.  The connection noticeably slowed, and the one song was downloaded in a couple of minutes.  Perhaps NYU throttles entertainment downloads?

Then, after some more surfing and emailing, I decided to do a more aggressive songs download from iTunes Match.  I picked 108 Gary Moore songs and touched the single “Download All” button to see what would happen on my iPad 2.

Nothing happened.

iTunes Match started the “clock” download indicator, but no songs were being downloaded.  The state of the downloads stayed like that for about 20 minutes and then, as if a switch were being turned on somewhere, seven songs immediately began to simultaneously download!

It’s clear that NYU has throttling and prioritization queues in effect on at least the Bobst WiFi connection.  You make a request to the network, and the network queues your request and decides if it wants to deliver you a single, slow, music download right away, or if the network wants to make you wait 20 minutes so it can deliver a more robust, and healthy, multimedia download.

It took about 15 minutes on the Bobst network to download 108 songs.  I was entirely impressed and delighted with the result.

If you’re looking to attend a school that supports technology and its students and faculty in wonderful and robust ways in every event and arena, you cannot beat NYU ITS.  NYU are always first-to-market and they live on the bleeding, cutting, edge of mechanical advances and their students and faculty always get the best technical service in the end. Believe me. I’ve lived it and I’ve experienced it over the last 20 years.