“Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway,” Andrew Tanenbaum wrote in 1996, when most people used dial-up networks and Australians couldn’t yet get ADSL. And if you have a USB key and a pigeon that knows where it’s going, you can still achieve a respectable data-transfer rate …
"Something doesn’t feel right about the 348 Kbps average"
Remember that it is the upstream speed. I have cable internet and that is 17Mbs/1Mbs so it is entirely plausible for the average to be 384Kbps especially when you consider that, until recently, Telstra still had plans with 128Kbps and 256Kbps upstream on their site.
“Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway,”
Yes… when I was working at West End (Brisbane), I found if a binary that I built using my home computer (accessed via SSH) was bigger than 100MB, it was faster to ride home on the bicycle that evening (1 hour's ride, 12km over some pretty big hills), load the data onto the laptop, then ride back the next morning with the data… than to wait for it to oooze through the ADSL link.
The difference in effective data rate was 128kbps versus 200Mbps.
The difference in latency was tens of milliseconds versus 2 hours.
If your network access was that slow, why would you want your own data on the other end of it? You wouldn't/couldn't enjoy eg streaming your flicks to your tablet on the sofa. Better a NAS in the cellar.. (unless you are serving it out to the world. I guess)
Remember the past, or be forced to figure it out all over again ...
Seriously, kids, we've already been there & done that. There is nothing wrong with learning from the folks that blazed the trails you are stumbling over ...
Upload v download
Amazon have been doing this for S3 storage for a while for exactly these reasons - as do some of the online backup companies. I use Crashplan, who (irritatingly) restrict this service to US customers only - with the result my initial backup to their service has just finished this week, having started in April. Mailing a hard drive would have been literally two orders of magnitude faster for me, if they allowed it. For that matter, Virgin claim to be "planning" to upgrade my cable service upload to 10 Mbps (from the current 1.75) ... but have been saying this for a year now, with no sign of progress yet.