Steem Bandwidth - User Experience Issue

in bandwidth •  last year

The Cost of the Blockchain

Steem is an amazing blockchain, in that it allows near-instant (three second) confirmations and charges zero fees for transactions. Anyone can sign up for an account, and use the blockchain to post their content, vote on stuff they like, and earn rewards - all for free!

There is a cost for all of this however. Witnesses, exchanges, and developers must pay to run the computers that power the blockchain and the applications that run on top of it. As the blockchain grows in size, the cost for running these servers increases.

Witnesses are paid by the blockchain to run their servers - so they can afford the increased costs. Developers and exchanges are not paid however, so they must cover these expenses out of pocket. If the price to run a Steem blockchain node becomes too high, exchanges and third-party developers are less likely to participate.

Bandwidth Prevents Unlimited Growth

Luckily, the Steem blockchain has a way to keep these costs under control. That control mechanism is bandwidth.


[Source: Steem bluepaper]

How Bandwidth Works

Everything you do (posting, voting, commenting, etc.) will consume a small amount of bandwidth. Every user has a limited amount of bandwidth to use each week. Users with more Steem Power will have a higher bandwidth allowance.

You can check how much bandwidth you currently have based on the current limit at:
https://steemd.com/@youraccount

Normally everyone's bandwidth allowance is quite high, and users are able to use the network freely without any interruptions. Sometimes when the blockchain becomes busy however (due to heavy use), everyone's individual allowances may go down until the network becomes less busy.

Bandwidth Errors

The Steem network has gotten very busy recently with all the increased use, so some users are occasionally bumping into these limits.

The more transactions a user does, the less bandwidth they will have left (until it recharges). If they pass their limit, or the network gets busy and their limit is reduced - they may be unable to transact until the limit is raised, or their bandwidth recharges.

^ This will primarly affect users with a small amount of Steem Power.

If you get an error that you have exceeded your bandwidth allowance, it is normally best to just wait (an hour or two) and try again when it is less busy. Usually if you wait and try again later, the transaction should go through.

If you want to increase your bandwidth allowance, you also have the option to purchase more Steem Power for your account through an exchange such as BlockTrades.us.

Potential Changes Being Discussed

Increasing Everyone's Bandwidth Limits

Witnesses have the option increase their maximum block size, which will give everyone in the network more bandwidth. There are a lot of people (myself included) who have proposed doing this, but there is some concern that doing so will allow a large increase in spam, as well as raise the costs of running servers for exchanges and third-party developers.

^ Because of this, there is not yet consensus on raising the bandwidth allowances

The Steemit dev team has been working on AppBase as well as several other performance enhancements, which should help reduce the requirements for third-party developers and exchanges.

^ Once these changes are done, we will likely be in a lot better position to start raising the bandwidth allowances.

Update to the Bandwidth Algorithm

There is GitHub issue 1800 open to optimize the bandwidth algorithm. This is one update that I think will do a lot of good. If we can come up with a more optimal way to divvy up our limited resource (bandwidth) so that regular users can more freely transact - this would be the best way to improve the situation.

I also think that as part of this change, it will be important to provide a clear definition for all users about what the bandwidth limits and rules are, so users can know how many transactions (of each type - sending coins, posting, voting, etc.) are allowed based on the amount of Steem Power they hold.

Education

No matter how much tweaking we do to the system - there is going to be a limit somewhere, and some users will likely run into it at some point. Based on this, of the key things we can do is educate users about how bandwidth works, so that they are not surprised if they run into limitations.

The keys right now are to know that:

  • Every user has a limited amount of bandwidth.
  • Most of the time this should not affect users.
  • Sometimes (usually during busy times), users may run into limits if they have been transacting a lot.
  • If users wait for a little while, their bandwidth should recharge, or their limit will go back up.
  • Users also have the option to buy more SP if they want increased limits.

Discussion Welcome

There is a lot of discussion among the witnesses and Steemit dev team about how to best handle bandwidth. Input from the community and stakeholders is important. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Some points of discussion:

  • Do you think new users should have as much bandwidth as they want?
  • Do you think that having users pay to have additional bandwidth (by powering up more SP) after they pass a certain point is reasonable?
  • Do you think witnesses should increase their block size now, or wait for AppBase and other optimizations first?
  • At what point do you think a reasonable limit for new users to be limited?
  • What changes could be made to the bandwidth formula to better allocate bandwidth across the users?
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I'm a new user and yes, I've encountered the bandwidth limit on a few occasions. Even so, I'm not sure that increasing bandwidth for new users (wonderful though that would be), is necessarily a good thing. Although I'm guilty of popping the occasional meme on my blog, over the last couple of weeks, since joining, I've tried to improve my creativity and curation. Like, I suspect, many people, when I first joined, I thought it would be like other social media platforms ('like', 'share', 'status update' and the usual general trivia). I was delighted to find something challenging with much more depth.

I suspect that extra bandwidth for new Steemians is likely to be wasted on the social media habits we need to,actually, be changing. Much as I would love to have more bandwidth, I'm happy to earn through working hard on creative content and curation. My feed is already clogged with like for like requests for upvotes, pictures (which are unclear if they're original work) and a confusing array of resteeming offers.

Without the ability to filter these out, it's a little time consuming looking for valuable content, which tends to get lost in all the noise. Simple posts can be fun, and I love a good meme as much as next person, but with an unlimited supply of bandwidth, I would think it would only get worse. Of course, this could all be down to the fact I'm still getting to grips with the system, in which case, please disregard. I have absolutely no technical ability, so would have no idea as to what is feasible in terms of changing things.

I hope this is ok?

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In my opinion (a fresh newbie), these are great thoughts. Steemit excites me because it rewards people for quality content and quality interaction, but I agree with your words here:

"My feed is already clogged with like for like requests for upvotes, pictures (which are unclear if they're original work) and a confusing array of resteeming offers. Without the ability to filter these out, it's a little time consuming looking for valuable content, which tends to get lost in all the noise."

I hit the bandwidth wall this morning, and, looking into it further in this article, it makes sense not to give unlimited posting power to people who haven't proven they are providing good content and being genuine members of the community. I love commenting on people's posts and making new friends, but sometimes I have to work hard to find posts that inspire me. When I do find them, though, I'm often in awe. Thoughtful conversations like these add so much value to the experience.

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Hello you. @katrina-ariel, I'm so glad I'm not alone, thinking this. I've made some amazing friends on here, so the scrolling has proved worth it. I too am awed by some of the incredible content on here, and also inspired. It's so exciting to be a part of this, I don't want to squander the opportunity with trivial posts. I like to see the poets, philosophers, free thinkers and innovators. I want to learn new things and share what I've learned. The money is nice, but I'd have jumped ship from Facebook just for the depth of content alone. I'm hoping that those who are expecting a 'quick buck' by spam posting poor content, either become disillusioned and leave, or, preferably, step up to the plate and unleash their creativity. Great to meet you.

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somehow i have been able to avoid the like for like stuff,.. i have been absent for a few days and it doesnt seem like my steem or bandwidth ever recovers,.. were you able to figure out a solution? my bandwidth seems to be at a standstill and i am still dumbfounded as to how to create more without using bandwidth that stymies my account,.. so frustrating

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Everything about this is 100% spot on. I hit a bandwidth limit myself yesterday (although it was a bug and not because I was doing too much stuff), and it really made me think, "Am I doing quality actions now or just spamming?"

Really helps you put things in perspective.

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I know what you mean. I think it's probably normal to indiscriminately post in our first few days, but then we acclimatise after our initial excitement and begin to see the potential. I imagine we'll continue to evolve and grow over the coming months and I can't wait to see what you'll be posting with your 'new perspective'. I look back on my first posts and resteems, wishing I had a delete option.

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the bandwidth issue occur many times but after few moments i stop commenting and then refresh the page or it will come back to normal . Else your post are always informative so always keep sharing and best of luck <3

@sibtainali

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Yesterday I didn't use the Steem blockchain in anyway, but, according to steemd, my bandwith remaining was 0 bytes of 0 bytes...
I agree with the fact that new users should'nt have the same bandwith then established users... but no bandwith at all? I wasn't even able to upvote! This is quite concerning...

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I think it was quite busy yesterday as quite a few people I spoke to had problems. I don't think that had anything to do with your usage, just too much traffic on the system. Although I'm not completely sure, I'm assuming that's the case.

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Wow, this was very well put. And some good points about changing old social media habits.

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I would like to post, comment and like whenever I feel the need to but you make an interesting point. Perhaps it's time Social Media changed into a deeper and more meaningful experience and we put the days of random posts behind us.

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Great view!

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Just to take this a little further, with all the 'new' front-ends bolting onto the blockchain, there are no guarantees people won't just be posting MEME's or photos or whatever.

And we can't expect them to stick to the Steemit rules of long meaning posts because some might have never heard of Steemit.

Therefore, controlling this bandwidth allocation is the only way we can control the user experience for all Steemians.

And personally, I only experience bandwidth issues immediately after a payout, and even so, it only takes a few minutes to replenish my allowance.

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Upvote purchasing?
What do we think of this?

It is a way to modify the algo that is currently being used, it modifies the formula, I get that.

I think Steemit as it is, does not scale. I know that is understood. I know that Communities are on the roadmap. And the sooner the better. I think many of these things are difficult to answer until we see Communities up and running because that will change so much of the experience (hopefully) from the what it is today. I see 10 posts in less than a minute; post content is becoming a real firehose and is impossible for new users to be noticed, and they will get sick of it QUICK, so whatever can be done to patch until it can be better organized to scale, is what I like to think about.

Go make a new account on Reddit and try to post 3 times in 10 minutes and see what happens.

Bandwidth limits are sane and good to have for many reasons. I think the UX could be improved by telling users what is going on and an estimated amount of time they will need to wait to post.

Currently condenser shows very technical errors in some situations. Users don't know what they mean so they feel confused about it all and quit trying.

Great post. Hopefully we see some good changes this year

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Exactly. Sane measures provided user is informed what is goin on.

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This is a good point, @netuoso. Giving the new users a reasonably understandable error with an estimated countdown is the least we can do. At least this lets them know what's going in, instead of maybe thinking there's something wrong going on with their account or something like that.

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So good,,make your writing, dream is something that definitely get tomorrow, if we always pray and work

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Ummmmm.....no.

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Very good point! And easy to implement. On/off like now it's not good. At least a message when reaching 50% (or something) of Bandwidth can do the job. :)

Do you think new users should have as much bandwidth as they want?

Only if it comes with no free SP or Delegated SP.

Do you think that having users pay to have additional bandwidth after they pass a certain point is reasonable?

Not really. I think users need to know the limits up front so they post accordingly. If they need more then investing is an option.

What changes could be made to the bandwidth formula to better allocate bandwidth across the users?

I'm wondering about having an increase in bandwidth along with a 'penalty' for short posts. Such as a Title & a link. But as I write that I realize it will just chase the spammers to the comment section and not solve the problem.

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I totally agree with @patrice. Investing should be something that should be stressed and make important on this platform

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I think users need to know the limits up front so they post accordingly.

I agree and the community can help with this to some extent by sharing their experiences so we can all learn to get a better sense of how much usage is allowable for a given SP level of bandwidth and how much bumps up against limits.

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These are very important issues to address while thinking of solutions.

steemd.com is down I guess or is working with errors as it shows 0% bandwidth and reputation score at 25 for all users.

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Steemd is not updating database of steemit users there must be a glitch i was facing that too @anakur

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Yep. It is still stuck.

Iv hit the bandwidth wall every day for the past week.

Yeah, I get it. I am new user with really low Steem Power and I post a ton of content. Atleast I can say that none of it whatsoever is spam.

When i first ran into this issue i was dumbfounded, but quickly did some reading and learned everything you summarized in this informative post.

Since i don't plan on buying any Steem Power, waiting is what I do.

I have noticed the bandwidth allowances drop dramatically from 12Mb right now at midnight on Tuesday EST to around 150 kb or less during the morning hours. I theorize its the incredible amount of accounts and spam bots from the Asian and Indian nations that load the system to capacity.

Then, when they are working the network is solid. There definitely seems to be a larger load on the system during the morning and mid day hours for the Eastern United States.

Oh well. Steem is for everyone!

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I just started my account today. When I was about to get my official password for Steemit, the sign up page said I couldn't log in because my bandwidth was exceeded.

That was very strange to me because I hadn't even logged into Steemit for the first time yet!

After reading your post here though @biffybirdcam, things now make sense.

I probably couldn't log into the system for the first time because it was too early in the day. I most likely got that error message because the bandwidth was overworked (or pirated) by too many other accounts or spam bots.

While I understand that everyone has to work their way up the totem pole in order to get more bandwidth and to up their Steem Power, this news is still mildly discouraging to hear.

For newbies like me, the climb up the Steemit ladder will be a slow one ... but I am more than willing to be patient. I am also happy to start my 2018 journey here and can't wait to see where it will lead.

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That is odd actually. Do you remember what error you got? It could have been an unrelated issue as part of the signup process.

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I don't remember what the full error message said when I was trying to get in for the first time, but I'm sure the message included "bandwidth exceeded" because I ended up looking for what the term meant on Google this morning.

After reading up on the bandwidth issue, I waited for about an hour and then tried to log in. This time it worked. :)

I guess it was something fishy with my new account though. Maybe a glitch.

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If I hear that it happens with more users I will open an issue. You shouldn’t be blocked from doing anything when you first open an account. That is a little ridiculous :)

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My three friends all had this same issue occur. One of them decided not to Steem because of it.

They had the "bandwitdh exceeded"while simply trying to input their generated password for the first time. This WAS during the morning and mid day hours for the East Coast TimeZone of US.

Bandwidth limit is a similar mechanism like fees in the Bitcoin system.

It prevents a finite resource being exploited. (Tragedy of the Commons)

Though I question the longer-term viability of a platform where reward-pool gaming is trivial and rampant. No promotional campaign or UI fixes will mediate that.

Excellent article. I was looking for it 5 months ago, when I started and I had problems with bandwidth. You did a very good job - writing this article, it will become useful information for many users.

Отличная статья. Я искал ее 5 месяцев назад, когда только начал и у меня были проблемы с пропускной способностью. Вы сделали очень доброе дело - написав эту статью, она станет полезной информацией для многих пользователей.

@looksfarwoman has presented an excellent answer to the first question.

At what point do you think a reasonable limit for new users to be limited?

It seems to me that the current system does this quite reasonably and balanced. If the user creates high-quality content, his bandwidth increases by itself, with the growth of the SP. Thus, user proves his usefulness and receives more opportunities in the technical plan. However, should pay attention to the fact with the recent changes in exchange rates SBD and Steem the SP growth is very slow. But, the user may at any time change the SBD on Steem to fix this "problem".

One important aspect that affects the bandwidth is that new users are writing too many posts to increase the reputation. There is a contrary belief that if their reputation is more people notice them and they earn a decent amount from the posts. This is not very true, and people need to be educated about this. So could there be something done on this ?

WE have started a charity bot called @thehumanbot to educate people and challenge people to write original and less. Its being functional for couple of months and there is a long way to go. But as a witness, do you think, there could be better solutions for this ?

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It is a good question. I don't have a solution, but it is something that should be discussed.

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Someone called me?

In all seriousness I think many new users either skip over the faq, or see how much other people get when they're upvoted, and try to blanket the website with comments in an attempt to get upvotes. I think by design the time spent posting in every thread possible is worthwhile for some to try and snag a few pennies worth, and if punishing such posts actually costs something to do then it will rarely happen. Also I suspect that perhaps due to which languages are spoken by high powered users then there are many who are unable to communicate in their native language in any threads that would be economically worthwhile, and so the quality of their post simply cannot be that high because it is not their primary language.

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Good points. I find the language barrier very challenging for me, as you said it's very important to speak perfectly well, naturally well or unfortunately the perceived quality of your post go down to the hell. :)

Thanks for keeping us informed with the current ongoing discussions of the witnesses and the Steem dev team, @timcliff. I can see why this is a much debated issue, and I get why some of you witnesses are skeptical to increasing the bandwidth, since it could easily lead to less interest by exchanges, as well as more spam.

I don't really think new users will be annoyed by bandwidth limitations if they 1) know it's there before they hit it, and 2) they are able to preform a reasonable amount of transactions before they hit the limit.

About how many transactions would a brand new users have to do before getting limited?

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That last part is a really important question. Unfortunately the answer right now is we don’t know. It depends on a lot of factors, and it changes.

Defining what the limits are is a really important part of this to get right IMO.

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Oh, that makes it really complicated then. Would it be possible for someone to create an app/website that could display something like "current number of available transactions"? Or is this a metric that is too complex to display in such a manner?

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I believe it is too complex with the current rules unfortunately. That is one of the biggest problems.

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Ah, that's unfortunate! Would this be something that could be changed/"fixed" at one point? Because I believe we would solve a very big part of this problem if we were able to tell exactly for many transactions a user has left.

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Generally, you can see this if you go to https://steemd.com/@[your username]
Right now it's flaky but I have always relied on it to keep tabs on my bandwidth and VP

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Ah, that's good to know. Maybe it would be possible to display this for those who run out of bandwidth in the Steemit UI, so they know what's wrong.

Thank you so much for this post! I've been fighting the bandwidth issue this past week, being the worst when I come on first thing in the morning (about 13:00 UTC) and I couldn't work out why it would come back faster in the day (when I was on and chomping at the bit to post) rather than at night (when I wasn't on at all...)

points of discussion...
I guess it doesn't make sense for new users to have as much bandwidth as they want - though it also takes time to build a following, so allowances must be made. I want to post 4-5 times a day to build a repertoire and to keep interesting potential readers. That much should be okay without too much hassle, I think.

Yes, having users pay for additional bandwidth is a definite possibility - though that could also bias towards big companies coming in and taking over with their infomercials and other advertising.

Those are my thoughts, anyway.
 

Wow, i have been seeing bandwidth on my steemd.com, but never really understood what it was for. Thank you for this. Now i understand bandwidth and how it works on steemit.
In a view of increasing bandwidth for users, i dont think it should be increased. In my opinion, it will be abused.
And as for buying bandwidth after limit has been reached, in my opinion, is not good for the platform. It should be more than buying. I think investing should be emphazised. Steemit platform should be more than just posting to earn, investing should be stressed also.

Thanks for this in-depth article! I just posted my own newbie article about bandwidth, having hit a wall earlier today. Luckily, I walked away, did a few things on my ignored to-do list, came back and was powered back up. I'll share your article on my post, since you've done a much better job of explaining the bandwidth issue than myself!

Hi Tim.
I run into that problem yesterday - I posted a comment with a picture in it, nothing to fancy and heavy, but apparently the network was heavily loaded so It was enough to stop me from doing anything at all in the platform.
Luckily I had some SP waiting so I waited to have some more bandwidth and redeemed it and I got back to acceptable Amount of bandwidth. I have 122 SP and I power up everything I have and yet it happened.

I do think the bandwidth restriction is necessary as there are a lot of spammers trying to earn some upvote with their spammy comments, but - it should be a little higher as it restricts honest users like me when we are commenting or posting photos etc.
I defiantly like that having more SP expands the bandwidth as it will make people invest in the platform instead of cashing out and milking the platform. I power up regularly because I believe in the platform for the long term.

Users with huge bandwidth and SP probably dont need such high amounts - maybe we should limit the upper threshold and spread the reserve to the rest of the users?

And two questions if I may @timcliff:

  1. What is the current rate the bandwidth restores if there are no changes to the network's load? You say a week, so it's 100/(7 days * 24 hours* 60 minutes)?
  2. May I translate this post to Hebrew and publish it? It's immensely helpful.

Thanks, Nati.

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The exact limits are not known. It would be really useful information to have :)

Yes, go for it!

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Thanks! who is the person that SHOULD know about the exact limits and restoration? I would try to ask.

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Anyone who has the ability to read and understand the C++ blockchain code. Unfortunately there are not a lot of people who can do that, and the few who can have a lot on their plate.

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None of the Top 100 or 20 witnesses can explain this?

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The only ones I know of have a lot on their plate.

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That's true, but we know only one thing that, if more Steem Power then more Bandwidth.

Hello @timcliff and anyone else who might be able to answer this.

Using this post as an example, I'm wondering if massive image files like that can diminish my bandwidth more than using smaller, lower quality images? Do these file sizes have an impact?

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No. Images are not stored on the blockchain, so they will not impact your bandwidth.

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Thank you. I guess I'll just go bigger now.

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@nonameslefttouse One thing you need to understand with respect to massive image files: your post will either not load or be incredibly slow if people are on slow internet connections or on their phones. This will make them lose interest in your post.
Nothing to do with Steemit, all about your ISP or device. Don't do it

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I've developed a few trade secrets that help the reader stay focused while a massive image loads. I'm aware of the slow load up times. At the same time, I'm an artist. You're giving me good advice and bad advice at the same time. Some things are worth waiting for. People have really enjoyed the massive ones. I can still dial those down though, without much of a quality hit. I'm sure there's a happy middle ground that doesn't stunt my creativity.

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I hope you find the middle ground. I have seen some great posts on here that never loaded at all and that was on PC. Phone as a browsing device is going to limit you even more :(
Longing for the free, fast internet nirvana.... and death to tiny shitty screens

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I haven't had any complaints. I think after all this time, someone would have said something. I think I'll stick to my game plan. Seems to be working so far.

I personally also often run out of bandwidth and start limiting it during peak hours by reducing activity. The burden often peaked at night time my region's premier time. The number of users who increased dramatically earlier this year made me unable to do anything other than reading other steemian posts. As there is an uncomfortable bandwidth restriction.
I make sure it's not spam and only comment on a number of accounts that match my interests. at most around 3-5 accounts, but I often lose moment so have to wait tomorrow morning.
I think new users should be post boundaries by generating good content and not meeting traffic during peak hours.

I think the steemit ecosystem has a good balance, as it encourages a good mix of influence from both witnesses and the community as a whole as compared to other existing blockchains we know. This "balance" is an important value that must be kept as it mimics the balance of nature. It's a perfect eco-system, actually the best by far. There should exist a good user feedback mechanism that should help newbies understand if they hit bandwidth limits etc. And educate them so no one gets discouraged from using the system.

Regarding spammers, there should exist a system where the community can vote/flag suspected spammers into a blacklist, which freezes any activity by this account. But they can post only in the "Apologies for Spamming or Steemit's Naughty List" section, to plea with the community to be voted back or else they remain in the naughty list until all funds in this account at one point should be moved back into the reward pool and account eventually gets deleted automatically.

This should be made common knowledge or commandments of steemit to all within the community, as we decentralized the power back to, we the people to decide the fate of suspected "spammers".

Serial spammers won't stand a chance against the combined efforts of a great community like Steemit.

Steem on!

Man, I never understood the bandwidth on Steemd until now! This makes a lot of sense on how the platform works. Just when I thought Steem platform couldn’t get any cooler 😀

Nice info... Since last month I joined this platform I must say I ve encountered hindrance at times posting, with this post @timcliff I now understand reason why (bandwidth limit).
Answering to some of the questions: I would say, it wouldnt be necessary to increase the bandwidth limit for new members or anyone, reason is to leave the challenge level of good and quality posts, comments and worth upvoted high because it's limited unlike other social media platforms where u can post anything and get million likes.
Secondly, I wouldn't support the idea for steemians to pay for bandwidth, because this is one of the pride we steemians have speaking with people on other platforms, Steemit is free, no charges, all u need is quality posts and discussions, and your sure of your rewards.
Thirdly, I strongly subscribe to the idea of creating awareness to steemians on the limit number of bandwidth one has a day before it recharges, so as to apply prudence.
Lastly, I would like to suggest we have more steemians educating newbies on bandwidth limitations so they are not as connfused as I was when it happened to me.. Smiles. @timcliff More grace in your wonderful efforts in seeing to the progress of steemians Steem and Steemit, God bless

I'm not an expert. But for the continued growth of the community, I believe that there should be a certain type of restriction of postings to new users, such as 1 post per day, unfortunately who starts as I do, at the beginning gets anxious, and ends up decreasing quality posts to earn more, then over time it is not worth it, limiting the start to 1 or 2 posts daily would be a good way, and also should reward better the beginner users, who bring better content, I believe there is still a gap between whales and new users, even curators trying to soften it, increase voting power and better rewards of voting power, reputation between 35-50, better dividing the rewards of active users, would also be a good way. And the whales should increase already, the gain of the whales are immense in relation to the great community, not that they do not deserve, many work very much for the community, but to increase now, the block size is to show that is why this power, and that the witnesses has this duty and commitment to the community.

I appreciate alot getting us publicly aware about this with my knowledge, i think allowing users to have much bandwidth wont be a good idea why because people wont take time to make a good read on post before commenting,upvoting or posting because they know it can easily be gotten ans this will make some irrelevant post get irrelevant commet which is spoiling the image of steemit in general. And sure its reasonable for user to pay so it would be valued and everyone will try making sense with their activities . Changes i suggest is that before one make post or comment, ones activities should be rated on a quick bandwidth rating bar before post just to know how relevant it is..I guess i have made a point and thanks for the info once more🖒

Thanks for the info. I never knew bandwidth sort of equates to power but than again that's also in real life. With more power (real, virtual, monetary, or otherwise), your get more done. :-)

Hey Tim,

Do you think new users should have as much bandwidth as they want?

No. Definitely no, in normal network condition the limits are good enough to use Steem without any issues.

Do you think that having users pay to have additional bandwidth (by powering up more SP) after they pass a certain point is reasonable?

The current model is fair to me, if someone need more bandwith, more SP will solve it.

Do you think witnesses should increase their block size now, or wait for AppBase and other optimizations first?

I will wait for the algorithm update, because existing one is affecting both sides, the abusers and good users. The block size change will not solve the issue, because the spammers will also get more power, and we'll have exactly the same situation again.

What changes could be made to the bandwidth formula to better allocate bandwidth across the users?

Maybe reputation parameter?... High reputation usually means that someone is trusted for the Community and abusers never have it high.

In my opinion the current bandwidth is plenty. if less bandwidth ends up limiting spam by new users, I'd say even less is better.

I joined in June 2017. I only do 5 posts a day plus many comments and an average of 5 transfers a week as I host contests. My bandwidth has never gone below 96%. It is usually higher.

Judging from my own experiences and interactions with newer users than me, I don't think it is necessary to increase bandwidth for new users. Many are rare users. One post a day is common. I think efforts to increase bandwidth should go either to increases for everyone or to the genuine high users who are bringing value to Steemit without using what I call 'the bot plague'.

Yes, in theory, I do think it's reasonable to ask users to pay. Having said that, I would need to see the details to be sure.

I don't know enough about these issues to comment on your other three questions.

While I am here, I want to thank you for upvoting my posts sometimes. You make my day! I work on my contest and get upvotes valuing £0.20 or somesuch amount then your vote comes and it's all worthwhile. Thank you so much.

I also have experienced this friend, here I try to post my writing and comments my friend, apparently my limit sydah out. So I wait about 3 hours I just open again steemit and I can again make a comment. Thank you guys, with the knowledge you give this can help me in using my bandwidth capacity. It's great to be friends with you.

I have never come close to using up my bandwidth, mostly because I keep a careful eye on my Voting Power (VP), and that diminishes much faster than bandwidth does (at least in my case).

Limiting bandwidth on new accounts is likely a good idea, as new accounts are more likely to be spambots or inexperienced users who think they can upvote everything infinitely.

@timcliff,
Wow now I understood it well. I got this trouble few times in last coupe of days! Now I got a clear idea about the problem. Thank you very much for sharing this great article and please tell me, is there any valuable source to get step by step guidance to add a node to STEEM blockchain! I have enough resources and I think I can add a small processing power to the blockchain as well!

Cheers~

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Talk to me in steemit chat

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@timcliff,
Sure I am coming!

Cheers~

I think first and foremost, new users need to be made aware that there is such a thing as bandwidth at all. Currently, without any 3rd party site or tool, it is just not clear to see how much you have left.
Maybe a tooltip or popover screen showing bandwidth left every time you post or comment could help.

I don’t think having them pay for more bandwidth is the way to go although they have that option available by investing and powering up Steem. Afterall, the beauty of Steemit is that it allows to roll into crypto without initial investment. For me, thats a real strong selling point.

I’m not sure what the right solution would be, but awareness is certainly key in my opinion.

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Thanks - I clarified the pay part :)

Do you think that having users pay to have additional bandwidth after they pass a certain point is reasonable?

Oh, yes, if by pay you mean buy more SP. Especially as SMT’s go mainstream. Think how that could affect the demand for Steem...

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Yes, the way you 'pay' for bandwidth on this platform is by holding SP. You don't lose the SP either, you get to keep it (and can cash it out later), but as long as you hold more of it in your account you get a higher bandwidth allowance.

While you bring up buying more SP to increase limits. Do people leasing SP from others in form of delegations get increased bandwidth while they are leasing? Clearly some users will never use all the bandwidth they have even more so if they are not very active.

I think a bigger limits on new users could increase the amount of spam and more importantly encourage spammers to try and bypass protocols put in place to limit it to 1 free account per person if they are unregulated in terms of bandwidth.

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While you bring up buying more SP to increase limits. Do people leasing SP from others in form of delegations get increased bandwidth while they are leasing?

Yes. If a user has delegated SP, it gives them the same amount of bandwidth as if it was their own SP.

How low is the 'low SP' who are more likely to face the bandwidth problem? Under 500?

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It depends on their usage, but most users that are currently being impacted have less than 50 SP.

While I haven’t encountered any issues myself, as a rather low level Steemian, I think the statistical % of users encountering this may be super low and thus we may be in the awesome position to think things through more and come up with a much more advanced solution, than merely raising limits.

I recently found @greer184’s excellent Proof of Worth concept and I must admit that is an awesome concept. It is a solution which could solve several issues encountered on the platform (think solo whales upvoting particular people to the hilt, etc...) and it could also be tied in with increases in bandwidth (when needed).

When looking at Sola.ai, they charge a fee for posting and each further post within the same day is more expensive. There are also daily login bonuses. Such solution could be part of an initial on boarding period of x days/week or until a certain amount of rewards/PoW/SP is reached, in order to throttle the initial eagerness to earn. EArn because of quantity, not quality.

I feel like were going to get more spam with more bandwidth. Also this is kinda interesting to read these kinda of posts cuz it's basically politics in the world of steemit except we can actually can make changes. Pretty cool! (back to the discussion for me there hasn't been a problem. And if we keep it how it is, it will encourage people to buy more steem power. Which I think helps steemit overall right?

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Please do not make any changes to bandwidth.


Everything is working as it's supposed to already. If people want more bandwidth, they can invest in the system or earn it the hard way by posting quality content and getting rewarded in Steem.
2018.01.03 Steem Ball.jpg

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@jbgarrison72 See my article here for how that can affect new users. https://steemit.com/steemit/@themanwithnoname/delegated-steem-power

I'm not saying that everything needs to change, but there are ways it could be done differently to involve users in the process more and have more transparency.

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I agree that it could be done differently... my first thought would be to add a clear message right in the UI for new users informing them they will need to learn and manage their bandwidth until they get more Steem.

Thanks for posting this. I was about to tag you in the article I wrote about this today. https://steemit.com/steem/@themanwithnoname/not-enough-bandwidth

One of the things that could help is to have more information for the user account embedded into the Steem profile. The link to the Steemd information is good, but that could be incorporated into the normal profile (when you click on your picture in the upper-right).

It's difficult to know where all the different extra tools and info are located. Incorporating them into Steem-proper will help improve the user experience. Than rather than feeling locked out, users will be able to see how much bandwidth/energy they have left.

yeh i am agreed with this point that new users should have as much bandwidth as they want?

because lot of users are the student or have less money in his pocket so they can not pay easily.so if we charge them, they can leave this plateform because in the start they can not earn enough because of less steem power.and if steemit plate form gives the bandwidth as they want it will courage them and they will make more post and introduce it with their social contact.and in this way steemit will grow fastly.

Yeah I noticed that when I powered down to 1 unit of steem and was wondering why I couldn't post or comment.

What I am wondering now is the number below my SP. It was +17000 when I joined and now it's +9000. Why is it dropping as my SP grows. Why???

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The bandwidth requirements are based on the network usage. They will change based on the activity of other users.

Dammn so that was a issue and i was wondering what i've done. Even though i read some article about that it says you must have pissed a whale and he flagged you, i was like wtf 😂😂😂 , glad to know real issue thanks for the post @timcliff

I think limiting the weekly bandwidth according to the steem power of the user is a good mechanism to control the steem network. I do not think that it's necessary to consider another parameter. Increasing the block size could be a good option but it is necessary to be careful, particularly in a context where the steem community is growing.

Before coming to this post, I thought that my reputation went back to 25 and my bandwidth was zero without even using Steemit (I was sleeping). After reading some of the comments in this post, I realized that this is a glitch (hopefully hehehe) and that the stats shown in https://steemd.com are not accurate.

You REALLY nailed this article. I had some problems earlier today.

Interesting, steemd just showed my bandwidth at 0 despite the fact that it was at 99% about 5 minutes ago AND I have plenty of SP...I'm hoping it's just glitchy.

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It must be glitchy cause it let me post these comments.....weird.

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It's also saying my reputation score is 25....something really strange is going on.

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I'm getting the same thing on steemd, it must be a glitch

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It must have been, it seems to be working now though.

Thank you! I was just trying to talk a newbie through this issue but I wasn't positive that I was giving correct information or helpful advice. I can see that I had a reasonably good idea of how it works.

it is acceptable to show understanding and wait.
but,I can not use steemit between 19-24 hours every evening for 1 week. comment upvote and I can not use any other features. I can only read.
this is ridiculous:
ok be understanding about transferring sbd and steem
but I should be able to use the SteMit blog features

@timcliff

Thanks for shining the light on yet another backroom grey area.

:)

Been very active here since I joined and not run into this issue - wonder if this is because I am in the UK and most users are in America? - idle thought!

Happy Steemit-ing.

xox

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It is independent of your location. If you aren’t running into the limits, it means that you have enough SP to do the amount of activity you are doing.

The time of day does matter though. If you are doing things when it is less busy, you will have a higher bandwidth allowance.

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Thanks for clarifying that Sir.

:)

xox

thank you for posting this. i have been trying to find more information about this platform and you have helped me out. i look forward to more posts and information about how this all works

Bandwidth limits are a good idea so long as they're reasonable. I spent my day 1 on Steemit writing articles and interacting with the community.

5 articles in I hit my cap. Thankfully I received 14.5 delegated Steem Power and was able to continue using the platform. Without that delegation it might have turned me off the platform day 1.

I think the limits are a great idea for controlling spam, but they also need to be applied in a manner that won't hurt the experiences of new users.

I think dynamic bandwidth allocation would be a good idea, but I don't know if it's possible. Many accounts with a large number of SP are intended solely for the storage of SP, or to vote occasionally. These accounts could make their bandwidth available for the most needy accounts.

There are also thousands of accounts with a little bit of bandwidth but which are completely abandoned. A system to dynamically allocate this unused bandwidth to the most needy would really be a good thing.

Of course this solution creates another problem:"Who will benefit from this dynamic allocation?" and "How do we determine its attribution?"

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The system actually already works that way today :)

Limiting bandwith teaches newbies to be restrained in their behaviour and should remain that way. I have already had to unfollow new people for posting endless memes, endless resteems and even reposting the same content every few days. There needs to be more awareness on the issue and more ways to limit the spam commenters, especially those who don't upvote your post, make a three word comment and then upvote themselves, even as much as $0.90. If they were forced to upvote whatever they commented on, perhaps the capacity for this behaviour would be diminished more quickly

@timcliff, there’s a typo in the second paragraph

Witnesses, exchanges, and developers must run pay to run the computers that power the blockchain and the applications that run on top of it.

That first run shouldn’t be there.

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Thanks!!

That's a ton of info, so thank you @timcliff.

I agree with bandwith limitation for the purpose of reducing/keeping out spam.

Question: what about accounts that are inactive, or close to it? Is bandwidth still alotted (saved) for them?

If so, maybe there could be a bandwidth increase/decrease for accounts at a certain point that's dependent on activity?

Idk. Just a thought. It still doesn't address the issue of raised spam.

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Is bandwidth still alotted (saved) for them?

It is, in the sense that they could come back online and the system would have bandwidth available for them. However, as long as the accounts are inactive, their share is effectively made available to everyone else.

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what about accounts that are inactive, or close to it? Is bandwidth still alotted (saved) for them?

No, the bandwidth is only looking at the currently active accounts.

Very educative and informative post, I recently ran into this bandwidth issue but thought the steemit website is down only to learn through a friend that he is freely doing his activities on steeemit. After all attempts failed, I simply left it till the next morning and it started working again.

I am really new here, but i have a IT formation. I know a little about these things.

I do NOT think new users should have as much bandwidth as they want, but i also think the limits should be high. I mean, as high as a "regular" user will use for a good start.

As for paying for additional bandwidth, i think a better solution is to create a way for a user to EARN that bandwidth by POSTING. Not upvoting or commenting, but posting new content that ATTRACTS votes and views.

If the new user just can't get enough followers, viewers or votes for his content, and is just posting a mountain of pictures everyday because of "like, you know", then put a limit there and do not let him cross that limit.

I think that way you incentivate the user to be better in order to advance (a sense of gamification) and, at the same time, attack the problem.

Just my two cents.

Well said sir.. Really, blasting this out to the crypto world.

interesting post helps me understand why and what is happening with bandwidth issues I've also been getting this week - so thanks✨

A friend of mine complained about this bandwidth issue some days
ago. I think I'm going to recommend this post to him.

This idea is quite useful to put a hold to the 'hit and run' idea that some want to bring to this platform. at times, a little restriction is necessary

Thank you @timcliff I have been experiencing the bandwidth issues you described, and have been curious as to the exact cause. I figured it was mostly tied to high activity, but was not sure. No body seemed to know! I'll be following

I noticed just in the last week that I went from 22GB of bandwidth down to 55mb?! Why the sudden drop? New accounts? New month? Just curious how this is calculated!

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The limits can suddenly drop during periods of heavy usage, as described in the post.

I was having problem with this issue before. But now i understand why such measure should be put in place. This will present a big challenge to new users like me,because i always want to do more since i find steemit. Investing in steem power as the suggested solution is good,but this does not favoure the new users who only get tokens for their posts. Now to my stand,i think the bandwidth should be increased a bit to help us grow too so that we have more to invest into the system too. God bless steemit.

Couldn't we also add more witnesses? Wouldn't that also solve the problem of having bandwidth issues? Because more nodes would be getting paid to keep their servers up & running? And by adding more witnesses, the blockchain becomes more secure because we're guaranteeing that there is more distribution of the data?

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That is not how it works. Every server that runs the blockchain software must have it’s own local copy of the blockchain.

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Right.. so more servers getting paid to run a local copy of the blockchain would mean that there are more servers with more capacity (because they can afford to upgrade the RAM / HDD if they're getting paid) ... How is that not how it works?

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The witnesses can pay for their servers, yes - but third party developers and exchanges must pay for theirs out of pocket.

Adding more witnesses doesn’t really help.

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So in effect, if there are more witnesses, there are more paid servers/nodes, with higher bandwidth capabilities, and therefore a more stable network.

Developers have no incentive to keep their nodes online when they are simply testing. They can download the Blockchain at a point in time and run with that as their test environment. Until they roll out a production version of code, they have little to no incentive for running a full node and paying the associated expenses.

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More witnesses != higher bandwidth.

They can download the Blockchain at a point in time and run with that as their test environment.

Right now, for a developer to run a full node - they would need to pay for a system with 256 GB of RAM, and the blockchain is already getting close to requiring them to have more than that.

Exchanges are also a big concern. They pay for the cost to run their own nodes (for security reasons) and having more expensive nodes to run makes it less likely they will adopt STEEM.

Social media on the blockchain is truly fascinating!!

We never get this kind of peak into the inner workings of the other platforms so this is sometimes way over our heads but still captivating to try to figure out.

So if we're facing bandwidth issues why is the platform still showing so underutilized?

Is this a steemit issue and the bandwidth tracker on the site everyone is always talking about showing the steem network?

The one I'm referring to is blocktivity.info

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The system is still not running at full capacity, but limits are still enforced on individual users to prevent the blockchain from growing too fast.

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So basically the chart that shows the bandwidth usage is a half-truth?

Can Steem really claim to have that much bandwidth with it being throttled?

Don't get me wrong I understand beta, and the need for the limits, but I guess to me sharing that chart with people is like sharing the earnings of @jerrybanfield to try and entice new users to join the platform. Yes its's possible one day, but that's not the reality.

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I agree. The message we are sharing does need to change.

Much thanks to you such a great amount for this post! I've been battling the data transmission issue this previous week, being the most exceedingly bad when I go ahead before anything else (around 13:00 UTC) and I couldn't work out why it would return speedier in the day (when I was on and feeling anxious to post) instead of during the evening

purposes of dialog...

I get it doesn't bode well for new clients to have as much data transmission as they need - however it additionally sets aside opportunity to assemble a following, so stipends must be made. I need to post 4-5 times each day to assemble a collection and to continue intriguing potential perusers. That much ought to be alright without an excessive amount of issue, I think.

Indeed, having clients pay for extra data transfer capacity is a positive plausibility - however that could likewise predisposition towards huge organizations coming in and assuming control with their infomercials and other publicizing.

I dont want to be dik but a couple of minutes wait wouldnt hurt. Increasing bandwidth is probably least of their worries if they focus on good content.

Stop voting if you dont have enough. Your vote will likely hold not much weight.

If bandwidth gets increased, more spams, 50 words or less contents will be the norm. I think it will force the new guys to work towards quality.

Id say leave it as is.

I am still relatively new to steemit, but it has happened to me already, that my bandwidth was too Low. This came a bit unexpected and for some reason my available amount was even in the negative territory. I guess this was related to the fact that the network was quite busy.

I have wondered If it would be possible to take some kind of a temporary loan, which at least allows some minor transactions such as upvotes. Maybe against some SP costs.

I remember having bandwidth issues when I was new to the site, and never understood why. This is very interesting! Thank you...and good luck getting it all sorted!

how valuable was this publication, I had a problem yesterday, an error that did not allow me to publish, but today I am full of bandwidth, I hope it continues like this, thanks for the information that helped me a lot,

This is super helpful.
You won't believe me when I said have been on bandwidth limited for the 3rd time.
People keep sharing posts for me to upvote and sometimes when I tell them I can't cos am on bandwidth, they just simply think am using that as an excuse.
This is helpful for me.
Now am sticking my votes to where matters.
This is super helpful, I am already reading on bandwidth, so this just makes my work easy.
Would write something about this.
Thank you for sharing..
Upvoted and resteemed

ugghhh! finally! my questions are now answered. now I understand. this is an enlightenment for me @timcliff. thank you so much. I casted my vote for you. :)

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Thanks :)

@timcliff - I know this post is 17 days old, and it's not likely to get much more attention. Nonetheless, just wanted to add my 2 cents here.

The bandwidth limit is massively problematic for new users. Every morning I become completely unable to post after upvoting one or two posts. The rest of the day I'm fine.

I think we'd be better off with a daily bandwidth allocation, rather than this rapidly recharging bandwidth model. Most users aren't constantly interacting with the platform, aside from the spam bots. It doesn't make sense to have bandwidth that is constantly recharging every few minutes, as this makes life very easy for the spam bots and very hard for the typical user.

I'd rather have less bandwidth allocated to me overall, but allocated on a daily basis rather than on an ongoing basis. Most of the time my bandwidth sits at 100%, unused. Once or twice per day when I log in, it drops to zero because I'm interacting with the platform. This is silly. Spam bots with less SP are interacting with the platform 500% more than me, but because I don't log in constantly throughout the day whenever my bandwidth maxes out, I'm the one that ends up losing out on bandwidth because of their activities.

We could also look at capping bandwidth on accounts, somewhere around 10-20mb. Haejin has 1.87gb of bandwidth, you have 223mb. The odds of either of you actually using all of your bandwidth are unfathomably low, and if you did it would likely be a sign of a massive abuse of the platform.

PS - I was stuck waiting over 2 hours to click the "Post" button on this comment because my bandwidth had dipped below 0 after making 1 upvote and 1 comment earlier this morning.

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The bandwidth allocation is dynamic. During times when the network is busy, users have less. When the network is less busy, everyone’s limits are higher.

Also, your usage is measured across a week, not one day or a short burst of time.

As far as users with a lot of SP not using it all, that is kind of how it is used today. It assumes that the majority of users are not actively using their bandwidth.

The way it is setup and why is explained in the bluepaper.

I had no idea that this "bandwidth" is something to consider. Previously, I faced some problem while interacting with other . Now I think that it might be bandwidth issue.
Well explained post. I think it will help all the steemit users who had little idea about these.

I have been here for three-and-a-half months and never had an issue with bandwidth. Granted, I do Power-Up every chance I get, but it was never an issue before my first Power-Up, even on days where I made four posts per day PLUS comments & upvotes on others. Bravo!

I have run into many posts about bandwidth this week, and never thought that there is a limit to it..Yours, by far, is easier to understand the how and why there is a limit.

This is an article that has a lot of information and is very useful especially for beginner stemian. I want to ask, can I do translate and make this post into Indonesian language @timcliff?

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Yes :)

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Thank u so much @timcliff. Have a nice day. Always success for u. Regards...

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Sorry.. Im forget.. If you wish, you can see some things about my local situation in Aceh, Indonesia. Customs, culture, tours and some photos I often show in my account, to introduce Aceh to people around the world.

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Hello @timcliff. His writing has been completed and I have posted just now. Thanks.

I learned a lot from this post, seem to be reading as many of these types of educational posts for newbies that I can lately. Thanks for making it so easy to understand, I will follow for future knowledge made simple

You don't adress the real issue here.
The bandwidth limit keeps on changing.
Now I have 350mb. Yesterday evening I had 1mb.
Why does this happen?
To have bandwidth limit is OK. But it should not change during the day.
This is very frustrating.
Only post in the quiet hours? Is that the solution?
So a whale could stop anyone from posting just by clogging up the system with spam.

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The reason for this is explained in the post.

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Sorry, yeah you are right.
But in my opinion it should not change. Fixed amount of bandwidth per SP.
Otherwise whales can censor the system. And users can calculate how much they are using. Otherwise it is just random.
And with 150kb a new user can vote 1 time.. And that's it for an hour.
Also if that user has one open order on the internal market, all his bandwidth is gone.
And how ist it calculated?
To this point all I hear is just.. Well lots of activity. But how is it determined?

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There is not enough bandwidth for everyone to just have a fixed amount. The limited bandwidth needs to be divided up amongst whoever is active at the time.

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Hmm.. That sounds to me, as if in regards to bandwidth, steem is not able to scale. Currently there are 50k active users, those are not even active at the same time, yet everybody says, steem needs more users, but the blockchain doesn't react so well, from user pov.
And why is there not enough bandwidth?
What determines this 'enough'?

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The limited bandwidth is set by the witnesses. We can increase it, and the blockchain can handle it - but it may not be a good idea at this current point in time due to the reasons I explained in my post.

Long term scaling should not be an issue, as there are a lot of performance improvements in the pipeline.

I’d like to see private mail and instant messaging.

I am still new to all these.. but sincerely appreciate the sharing.... lot to learn on bandwidth power up etc... for now.. just focus on making sure consistent posting... again. Thank you for the sharing.

I completely understand most of the reason why. What I don't understand is even if I don't touch my account for 12 hours or more I am negative bandwidth. I would think it would regenerate during that time. It isn't. What it seems like is because my bandwidth is not being used at that time it's being taken by someone else. I've been told that doesn't happen. Since I have started having this issue 3 days ago, I have not gone over 75% on my bandwidth. That was last night about 8pm MT then I get home this morning 630am MT I checked Steemd.com first and I was at 25% I wonder how much bandwidth is taken up by bots? Especially the pay ones? I thought that was 'frowned' upon to do that. As I have mentioned before it had been suggested to me 1 post per day with 5 comments/upvotes (for my 'lvl') and I cannot do that currently. Currently I can get 1 post up accept 1 or 2 follows and maybe 1 comment. I know post and comment size have to do with the amount of bandwidth used, but we should be able to keep that basic formula. Then as we grow we can start investing in ourselves. As it stands now we're dead in the water. There is almost no way to grow when you do 1 post a day and cannot comment. Since this a world wide platform, is there anytime truly that is not a peak time? I'm not mad by any means. I am frustrated and looking for a way to help find an answer to solve the issue at hand. What I don't know I ask.

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Your usage is currently measured over a period of a week, so even if you are not very active today - lots of activity earlier in the 7 day period would cause you to be low.

Your allowance goes up and down too, depending on the overall network use. During times when it is less busy you will have a higher allowance, which would allow you to post and comment during those times even if you are limited during periods of higher use.

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I do understand that. On my off days yes I am more active interacting. I had been posting my daily post when I get home from work and that is when I have started having the issue. So the network is has gotten busy currently at a time it previously wasn't is why I am being affected the way I am. Thank you @timcliff

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This is really interesting to hear, is there any relation between the Steem Power and Bandwidth.

Stay Blessed.