Monday, September 22, 2014

Apple Updates Downloading Slowly

The last few days I (and many others) have been downloading updates to Apple products. Both iOS 8 and OS X 10.9.5 came out. Apple does some hand-holding to make this seamless, which works fine when it works. I did the iOS updates via iTunes and I've been trying the OS X update via App I managed to get my iMac and iPhone updated thought the downloads took a few hours and (and a couple of attempts). I've been trying to update my old MacBook Pro since Saturday and only have 60MB downloaded so far (out of 149MB).

I saw something online saying FiOS was throttling Apple's CDN the same way they were allegedly doing with Netflix a few months ago. I have 50Mbps service (up and down) and can get those actual speeds with By having the apps do the download I didn't know a simple way to know the dns names or ip addresses I was having issues reaching to do a traceroute. Even still I knew if I called Verizon they would just say that since I can reach other sites it's probably Apple's fault.

People tried from home and couldn't get sufficient speeds but if they went through a VPN they were fine. I don't have a VPN I can try. So I called AppleCare. I figured it's either a problem with their servers (which if it were I probably would have seen more reports of issues) or they should know Verizon (or someone) is screwing them over and Apple would probably have enough clout to do something about it.

First I asked Siri for AppleCare's number and she didn't know, she just did a web search. I called Apple and explained what I was reporting. The tech of course wanted me to try with an ethernet cable. I explained that wasn't going to help (I can get good speeds from (every) either sites, it's not my wifi connection). I said it would help to know the dns name or IP address of the servers App was trying to connect to. He went off and came back to send me email with a list of ports of that Apple services use. I asked how he wanted me to use this information and he was unclear.

While he was searching I googled and found this Apple support document, OS X: Server addresses used by Software Update and ran traceroute on the first two. The first got from Verizon to alternet quickly but then delayed for several seconds before getting to level 3. The second had similar issues and never connected.

That apple document also led me to where I could download a .dmg of OS X 10.9.5. I downloaded that 275 MB file in a couple of seconds. I mentioned this to the Apple tech. I don't know what the issue is with reaching the App Store servers, but this is at least a nice work around.

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