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The Digital Agency for International Development

INASP - How to Accelerate Your Internet

Aptivate are contributing authors to the book How to Accelerate Your Internet, which provides practical information on how to gain the largest benefit from existing connections to the internet.

May 2006 to Oct 2006



How to Accelerate Your Internet was written in an effort to help network architects understand and troubleshoot problems with managing internet bandwidth, which often result in unnecessarily high operational costs in the developing world.

Network connections are very expensive in most parts of the world, and it is often costly and difficult to add additional network capacity. Therefore, effective management and optimisation of bandwidth is crucial. Research and education benefit significantly from internet resources, yet the majority of institutions take little or no action to manage their bandwidth usage. This waste results in high operating costs, slow network connections, and frustrated network users.

The goal of the book is to provide practical information on how to gain the largest possible benefit from your connection to the internet. By prioritising certain kinds of network activity, reducing the impact of spam and viruses, providing local content caching, and performing extensive monitoring and analysis of network usage, internet consumption can be brought to manageable levels. This makes it possible to provide equitable access for all users, even when the available bandwidth is quite small.

But technical solutions only solve part of the problem. In order to prioritise network traffic, an organisation needs to have a clear idea of the intended purpose of the network connection, as well as insight into how the connection is being used. The book addresses this complex topic by covering the three major components of effective bandwidth management: Effective policy, extensive monitoring and analysis, and solid network implementation. In addition, troubleshooting techniques, advanced performance tuning tips and tricks, and real-world case studies are also provided.

The book can be downloaded for free below, or a printed copy may be purchased from

Complete book


Individual Chapters



The book was sponsored by INASP, and was produced in association with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics and Hacker Friendly LLC. By releasing this work under a Creative Commons license, the book has been disseminated as widely as possible, bringing the information into the hands of the people who need it most.



The Book Sprint began with online correspondence via email, which led to an initial face-to-face meeting of bandwidth management experts from around the world in May 2006. Intense online collaboration followed over the next few months, which then culminated in the production of the 300 page printed book, as well as a PDF and HTML version.