I don't know what's going on. I have made another handful of downloads and it's a little hit and miss regarding download speed. It changes very suddenly, also in the middle of a download. Right now I'm downloading 'LabVIEW 2018 FPGA Module Xilinx Compilation Tool for Vivado 2017.2' from this link: http://download.ni.com/support/softlib/labview/labview_fpga/fpga_module/2018/Windows%20Tools/2018XIL...
The download started at a great speed, around 76 MBytes/s:
I was expecting the download to finish in a couple of minutes, but all of sudden the speed dropped by more than a factor of 1000 to below 65 kBytes/s:
It seems like it's going to stay there for the remainder of the download. I don't know if this is related to net neutrality, quota or similar or whether it's just down to some networking issues somewhere.
I'm pretty sure NI uses Akamai's content distribution network. This seems to cache files on a local server once they've been downloaded in your geographic region. My experience has been that once the file is downloaded, subsequent downloads are very fast. But if you're the unlucky individual who downloads the file for the first time in your region, expect very slow speeds.
I suspect what you're seeing in this example is that the file was previously partially downloaded (and cached), so you got most of it very quickly. The remaining part is coming via some upstream server which is really slow. I've noticed the same thing when I've previously cancelled a download, then re-downloaded it at a later date. Very fast initial download, then awful speeds.
If you open up Resource Monitor (Win+R, resmon.exe), on the network tab you can see the network activity for you browser and the network address it's connected to when downloading. For my last download I was connected to a23-44-37-10.deploy.static.akamaitechnologies.com, and not an ni.com address. You probably have a similar address you're downloading from.
Yes, you're right. I'm currently downloading from a2-19-44-166.deploy.static.akamaitechnologies.com. Your explanation also matches with my general observation that drivers that are presumably of general interest such as NI-DAQmx seem to download faster than more 'exotic' drivers.
I think in general only few users download individual files from NI via the university's network, since most of the packages you typically need are included in one or a few very large image files stored locally, which contain almost everything covered by our academic site license. However, with LabVIEW 2018 this is not the case, at least for now. This is downloaded individually using a web installer, so here caching might also play a major role in what download speeds you will get.
I'm in Grand Rapids, MI, USA and having the same problem with the web install of LabVIEW Pro 32-bit on a Windows 10 64bit machine. It has a 25 / 11 Mbps connection to Comcast. I have 1% complete in "step 1. download product installers..." after 80 minutes. According to Windows's resource monitor, "setup.exe" is connected to 2606:4700::6810:bff5, which seems to be cloudflare content delivery.