networking – Can you suffer bufferbloat when using only 1/4th of your bandwidth?

As the title suggests, is it possible to have bufferbloat without hitting your max download or upload speeds? I have recently moved into a new house and asked for the internet to be upgraded to 250/40 package which speedtest shows is realistically reaching 270/45 sometimes 280/50 (download/upload).

The problem is that I’m experiencing what feels like bufferbloat even when I am uploading at only 10-12 Mbps or 1/4th of the upload bandwidth (Streaming to Here are the signs of it:

  • My main game shows a “Packet Burst” icon often – unsure about the meaning, just know its name from the internet
  • My main game’s metrics for latency and packet loss are normal – 0% packet loss, <30ms latency.
  • Websites load quite a bit slower, sometimes seconds slower
  • Housemates reporting slowdowns and poor performance in general
  • gives me a grade of B for bufferbloat

The above issues disappear when I am not streaming, even though the stream is only 1/4 of the total bandwidth. Is this normal? As far as I understand, bufferbloat is supposed to happen only when maxing out the connection. Is it possible my ISP’s network is so bad, that this is happening anyway?

What tests can I perform to determine whether this is bufferbloat or something else?