What does it mean if my data is shaped or unshaped?

(The real reason that Webafrica is faster than your average Fibre provider.)

At Webafrica we are a little obsessed with internet speeds. We like our internet fast and uninterrupted, and we know that our customers do, too. Which is why we decided to give our customers the freedom of unshaped bandwidth – and this is the real reason that our internet is so much faster than what you’ll get from many of our competitors.

What is unshaped bandwidth?

To answer that question we first have to answer this question: What is shaped bandwidth?
Shaping refers to the information that flows between your computer and another (usually a server) and how it is prioritized.

For Example: When you receive or send an email, your computer opens a connection to a server in a remote location and then uses this connection to transfer the data (your email and attachments) to this server. The server will then send it on to the intended recipient. The communication that happens between your computer and the server is called a protocol.

When bandwidth is shaped certain protocols carry a higher priority than others.

Think of it as a little car, driving down a highway. The attachments and data are the passengers inside the car. Your bandwidth is the road you are driving down. If your car (or protocol) has priority, it is being given a lane of its own to drive down and will get there faster because there is nothing in its way. If your protocol has low priority, then it is a car that’s stuck in rush-hour traffic behind everything else, listening to the radio and waiting to finally take its foot off the clutch and engage 2nd gear (Capetonians will understand).

At Webafrica we don’t shape your bandwidth.

This means that your protocols all have the same priority. It works on a first come, first serve basis, and every protocol performs to the best of its ability. This is a big deal if you are working in real-time applications such as online gaming where nano-seconds matter!

When might my Webafrica bandwidth be shaped?
The only Fibre packages which are ever affected by shaping are those on Openserve, which have a FUP applied. If you have reached your FUP on your account, you will be shaped during prime-time in order to give bandwidth priority to those users and protocols which require the fastest line in order to work well.

How can I avoid ever being FUP’ed or shaped?
If you are on one of our Openserve Fibre lines, you can choose to take a premium line, which has a higher FUP threshold, or you can choose a Pro line, which has no FUP at all.

If you are on any of our other Fibre providers you can rest assured that you will never be shaped or FUP’ed, unless the entire network is experiencing difficulties, in which case there will be technicians working to alleviate the issue and free up bandwidth as quickly as possible for the entire network.

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