Download speed caps, Adblockers, and different types of membership

When downloading files from Nexus Mods you may be subject to a speed cap of 1MB/s or above depending on your membership status and use if you allow ads to be shown on the site.

Speed caps

Premium Members who have financially supported Nexus Mods are able to download without a speed cap as they are directly supporting the upkeep of the sites. If you're interested in finding out about all the perks of Premium Membership, or want to become a Premium Member, please head to our information page

In October 2018 we created a addition tier of users on Nexus Mods that directly impacts their download speeds cap. This tier includes "Supporters", recognised mod authors and users who do not use Adblockers. Supporters are users who previously bought a Premium Membership that has since expired (or who have specifically bought the "Supporter" membership from the site for a price of £1.29). Users in this tier will have their download cap increased to 3MB a second, which is double what Adblock users will receive.

Speed Criteria
~1.5MB/s Regular users who are using an ad blocker.
~3MB/s Regular users without an ad blocker, mod authors, or users with a Supporter membership.
Unlimited Users with a Premium membership. This speed is uncapped but varies by location.

Please note, for non-premium users your download speed is shared across all files you download. For example, if you download two files while blocking ads, the speed of the two downloads should total to ~1MB/s. If you have multiple files downloading at once, this is the expected behaviour.  

How fast are "Unlimited" Premium member downloads?

It is important to recognise a Premium membership removes our restrictions on your download speed but does not guarantee you faster downloads. Many factors outside of Nexus Mods can contribute to your overall download speed such as ISP limits and traffic management, physical distance from your chosen/closest server, infrastructure limits between the server and your PC and tools that modify your browsing experience (VPN, ad blockers, anti-virus, etc).

Why does Nexus Mods place a speed cap on downloads?

The download speed cap on Nexus Mods ensures we can budget for and keep our substantial bandwidth bills within an acceptable price range and aren't shocked (or utterly destroyed!) by spiralling bandwidth costs.

We use a global CDN to serve our files and our bandwidth is charged by the 95th percentile method. Essentially, that means we're charged based on the speeds we deliver, not the total amount of files that are downloaded. Thus, the faster users download from us, the more our bandwidth bills will cost. By limiting the speeds, we ensure that our expenses remain linked to the number of users who use our site and not the connection speeds of our user base. As a result, it's far easier to budget our bandwidth bills based on our active user base because more users typically means more ad revenue which means the increased bandwidth costs will be offset by the increased advertising income. If we didn't cap our downloads we could not budget in the same way.

Why increase the speed for non-Adblock users, Supporters, and Mod Authors?

If you're reading this, you've cost us money. To keep this site running we need to pay a very hefty price. From direct expenses, like the servers and bandwidth that are used to serve the page content to you, to more indirect but equally important expenses like our office space, the staff that maintain and improve the site, the hardware we work  on,  software license fees, HR, payroll, legal fees, insurance and so on and so forth. All of these expenses need to be accounted for in order to keep these sites up and running well. If you'd like a full breakdown of what Nexus Mods needs money for, we've dedicated an entire page of the site to an infographic that puts it all in to easy to read data points. You can see that page here.

In this age of Adblockers, we believe that the users who financially support the site should be rewarded for their help. Whether by directly donating towards the site by buying Premium Memberships or simply by choosing to not use an Adblocker while browsing the site, these users are the ones who help to keep the site up and fully operational. Without them, Nexus Mods would simply cease to exist. We believe the help they provide, consciously or unconsciously, should be incentivised and rewarded.

On the flip side, we do not want to punish users who want to use Adblockers but do not financially contribute to the running of the site. There are myriad different reasons why users choose to use Adblockers, and a lot of them are perfectly valid. For these users, their experience is not changing at all. They'll still be able to browse the site and receive the exact same experience as they always have done in the past.

In conclusion, we like to reward users who contribute financially to the running of the site, but not punish users who use Adblockers.