Limiting apt speed to prevent power line adaptors from killing your DSL connection

I use power line adaptors (specifically the TP-Link AV2000) to connect my HTPC to my router. Why? Mostly through laziness. I originally intended to run ethernet through the house when we moved in, but at the time we only had access to mobile broadband and it felt a bit of a waste. Many years later and now we have FTTN (thank you, Liberal Government) which means VDSL. But by now I am old, fat, and lazy so the power line adaptors remain.

The issue is that if I transfer at full speed over the power line adaptors, the noise they generate is sufficient to cause my VDSL connection to drop. Yes, FTTN is that rubbish that a sustained >50Mbps down a piece of copper nearby will cause the modem to disconnect. This means that things like Ubuntu updates via apt can actually cause my internet to disconnect. Since I am still fat and lazy, and certainly not any less old, I found a work around – you can throttle the speed of apt.

Here’s an example of an apt update throttled to 2.5Mbps:

sudo apt -o Acquire::http::Dl-Limit=2500 update

Success! Now I can update my HTPC without losing internet. The same parameter works for all the usual apt commands – update, upgrade, install, etc.

One day I’ll get around to doing the whole ethernet thing…


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