Internet Service & Speed in Chengdu

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  • #7797
    Avatar phototrudat

    I’m thinking of moving to Chengdu but having a fast internet connection is important to me because my work depends on it. Can you tell me what your internet speed is?

    You can do a speed test using It’d be great if you could put a link to your speed test results graphic in a reply below. The site lets you choose a test server to which to do the speed test. Once the test is done, you click on “Copy Forum Link” to grab the code to add your graphic.

    I’m in Japan now. Here is my test from Hamamatsu to Los Angeles, as an example:


    I read about some really terrible connection speeds in Chengdu from a forum thread from back in 2007 and I hope that its not that bad anymore.

    When you post your speed test graphic, I would also really appreciate knowing:

    • internet service provider you use
    • the advertised speed of your service plan (e.g., 1.5 Mbps)
    • monthly cost
    • whether you are on a residential or commercial service plan

    Thank you very much for your help!

    Avatar photoCharlie


    Internet provider: China Telecom

    Advertised speed: I believe it’s advertised as 4mb

    Monthly cost: 120rmb, residential plan

    The speeds are really unreliable, though. My download caps at almost 400kb/s but sometimes it takes forever to upload a 1mb file via FTP. Hope this helps-

    edit: wow, I’m downloading the new episode of Lost at 450kb/s now. Internet speeds are definitely improving here quickly.

    Avatar photoSandWind


    this is mine

    Avatar photoblacklynx


    Mine is China Unicom

    80rmb per month for 2M

    slow too cuz there’s only one interface device each floor in the whole building

    Avatar phototrudat

    Thanks for your help, Charlie, SandWind and blacklynx! I think that if I can get Charlie’s download speed and blacklynx’s upload speed, I’d be happy.

    SandWind, your download speed is 1/10th of Charlie’s. What kind of plan are you on and do you live in Metro Chengdu?

    Also, do you guys have cable or ADSL internet service. I know that with DSL, if you aren’t close to one of the ISPs main stations, then speed can be slow.



    Complete weak sauce, but I’m not surprised. Last year I could stream MLB Games (Baseball) without a problem. This year I can barely watch at all. I live with a few others whose computers are sharing our Wifi signal, so I’m not surprised to see these really low figures.

    I can get max download speeds of 250 kb/s, but I pay 128/month I think.

    What should I do?

    Avatar phototrudat

    This website claims super fast Internet connection speeds for businesses:

    But it’s crazy expensive and not really all that fast.

    And apparently the city installed some new fast connections last December but I guess it hasn’t trickled down to residential customers yet.

    Overland, you pay the same amount as Charlie and have the same provider. What’s up with the huge difference in speed? I guess it’s just hit or miss with China Telecom.

    Avatar photoCharlie

    I haven’t heard of cable service in Chengdu, so I think it’s a safe assumption that all of the answers you’ve gotten so far are from ADSL users. A speed test like this is also very subjective – the result will depend on time of day, traffic on the local and regional network, etc.

    Avatar photoBen

    AFAIK there are 3 options available for internet access in Chengdu. Cable, ADSL and fiber.

    Fiber is great, but expensive. It’s 2000-3000RMB for 2Mb/s and only available in certain areas. This sounds ridiculously expensive. After using it though you realise why. It’s 2mb/s up and down guaranteed. Which means no matter what time of day you can get your full 2mb/s. It also gives you much faster international access. Downloads from servers in Europe or the US, which often trickle down with ADSL or cable, fly down at maximum speed with fiber.

    ADSL is available from 2 companies, China Telecom and China Unicom. I have only had experience with China Telecom. However China Unicom are probably worth a try since they are owned by China Netcom, which operates in HK. This should mean better international connectivity. Also there aren’t as many China Netcom users in Chengdu, meaning more available bandwidth. China Telecom ADSL is variable. How good it is depends on a few factors. The first being if you live in a residential or businesses area. ADSL is contended. This means you are sharing your connection with 40 or more other homes. If you live in a business district, then your internet will slow to crawl during the day. Residential areas will slow down in the evening when everyone gets home from work. Another factor is what ADSL equipment was installed for your building. Older ADSL equipment is only capable of 2mb/s, and China Telecom rarely do upgrades. This means that if your building is new, then you’re more likely to get a decent connection. Sometimes older buildings also get new equipment though. Either because the older equipment breaks, or because no equipment was previously installed. So you’ll need to check with your local China Telecom office.

    Cable is the worst option in my opinion. In the South of Chengdu Great Wall is the biggest provider. They use fiber lines to connect to apartment complexes. Then share the bandwidth using a standard cat5 cable network. These connections have bad international connectivity, and are often over shared. Also RFC1918 address are assigned, instead of real public IP address. This makes p2p downloads and on-line gaming slow or unusable.

    I don’t know what your business is, but I would say that it’s no problem for you to work here. Just find a newer apartment with a fast ADSL connection. If that’s still not fast enough for you then buy a VPN connection with a server based in whatever country you need a fast connection to.

    Avatar photoBen

    Forgot to post a speedtest. This was done on an office network in the middle of the day from a 2mb/s China Telecom fiber to dreamhost’s network in LA.


    Avatar photoBen

    This is from my home 2mb/s ADSL connection (120RMB/month) at 9:30pm. I did the same test a couple of hours earlier and got a much lower speed.


    Avatar phototrudat

    That was VERY informative and reassuring. Even though ludicrously expensive, at least there is a fiber option. Thanks, Ben. I’ll make sure to opt for a newer apartment building.

    Avatar photomfwhite5

    This is from home via a 2Mb/s ADSL connection at 11pm (China Telecom).

    To Hong Kong:


    To Ashburn, VA, USA:


    Avatar photoCallum


    aka SAF internet. (Slow as fuck)

    Avatar phototrudat

    I just arrived in Chengdu! This is the speedtest from my friend’s apartment. I hope I can find something faster!


    Avatar photoBen

    TBH that doesn’t mean anything. You could do a speed test to HK and get a really low speed, then do another speedtest to the US and get a super high speed. It’s peering between networks that’s important. Peering between HK and Western China is bad. This is because Western China networks are mainly run by China Telecom, and Eastern China/HK is mostly China Netcom. These companies are fierce rivals and connectivity between them is bad. This makes speeds variable.

    There are a few things you can do to maximise connection speed.

    -The first and simplest thing is to encrypt your wifi. People WILL suck up your bandwidth if you leave it open.

    -Buy a VPN connection. A server in a data centre in London or San Francisco will have a good unfiltered consistent connection to the whole of the internet. You have a good connection to that server. This means that if you route all your traffic through the server then everything will be much quicker.

    – Don’t run any downloads, especially P2P software, while using the internet. These will seriously slow down the speed, especially if you are using an older router.

    – If you know you really need a consistent high speed, then plan to use it at a time you know not many people will be on.

    Avatar photoCharlie

    Good points, Ben. I don’t have much to add but I think you summed up well the inadequacies of the speed test we’re using to gauge speeds. I find that speed varies a lot in Chengdu depending on network traffic and daily usage hours. Encrypting your wifi network is super important as well – I’ve noticed other people on my home wifi network before which affected speed greatly. For anyone who doesn’t know how to setup your router properly, here’s a quick guide to get you started:

    I’ve logged into the router at local bars and restaurants because they don’t change their routers admin password. Don’t leave that on the default.

    Avatar phototrudat

    I have my own apartment now and sadly China Telecom was only able to provide me with a 2M ADSL connection. They said that if I was just in the next tower in my apartment complex (which houses two internet cafes) that I could have gotten a faster connection. Oh well.

    Thanks for the tip about slow connections between western China and Hong Kong. Interesting. When I tried to do a test to the HK server the test could not complete because the latency check timed out! I also couldn’t complete a test to Los Angeles because the upload portion never finished.

    Here’s a test between my place and London:


    Upload is almost nil.

    Avatar photoSascha


    from the COUNTRY at 1:12 pm … not bad for being in the sticks i’d say.

    i also use Freedur VPN. hi tech baby

    Avatar photoTonkySoft

    Thanks for your feedback guys. This is awesome. Speed is one side of the story though.

    We’re running many web applications and terminal services from Sydney Australia. While speed is important, the main issue for us is response time.

    >>> Can you do a ping test to an Australian server on the East coast (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane)? <<<

    Go to Again it would be awesome if you could copy your results in this thread. We’re keen to find out what response time we get from ChinaNet and ChinaUnicom to our Australian servers.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    NL @ TonkySoft

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