Inkbunny's main server is in Europe – the Netherlands, to be precise. As noted in our donation drive Q&A, this limited access speeds for many of our members in North and South America, Asia, and Oceania.
Test for yourself: compare 'ping us.ib.metapix.net' with 'ping nl.ib.metapix.net' – a lower time is better!
The caches also have ten times our main server bandwidth, allowing for burst traffic and future expansion.
Caching improves performance for all members by freeing up main server RAM and reducing disk access. Eachcache takes 15-60% of the load, depending on time of day; the main server is left with just ~25%.
We've also cut ~0.5kb of cookies per image request, particularly helping mobile and DSL users. Finally, with more bandwidth closer to our members, it may be feasible to offer higher-resolution images on-page.
What cache node am I going to hit?
We estimate your location based on your IP address, and direct you to the node which should provide the best performance for your location. If you're in Europe, Africa, or the Middle East, your requests should go to the Netherlands. If you're in East Asia, South America, or Oceania, you'll hit Arizona. Update: Australian and New Zealand users now have their very own low-latency cache funded by our donors.
In North America, traffic is split at the 76th meridian west: east of Baltimore to the Netherlands; west of Philadelphia and Ottawa to Arizona. Asian traffic splits at the 89th meridian east: India and Nepal to the Netherlands; China, Bhutan and Bangladesh to Arizona. Our database isn't perfect, but should be close. You can tell which server you're using by looking at the footer of each page.
If what we've picked doesn't work, you can override it. For example, if you experience congestion with the USA cache, try the alternate (usually slower) route, or the Netherlands cache. In most cases, you should leave it on "auto"; even if there's no improvement yet, we may add better options for you in the future.
Won't this decrease my privacy/security?
If you were good before, you should be good now. All transfers continue to be encrypted with HTTPS. Scripts, style sheets and private/hidden files are not delivered via our caches; nor are messages, journals, shouts and other HTML content. Your login details and cookies only go to our main server.
Will third-party programs still work?
Programs using the Submission Details API should work fine. Those using a static prefix with the Search API won't hit the cache, but will still work. If you're using a tool to download, ask its developer if you need an upgrade. (Developers, please note: the session ID should only be passed in requests for private files. We've also added file links to the search API which you can use for single-file submissions.)
I'm using AT&T/Time Warner/Verizon, and now Inkbunny is super-slow in the evenings…
Drop us a line – we're still far from Asia, South America and Oceania, and there's room for improvement in North America. Our CPU, storage and bandwidth needs are modest; uptime and configurability matter.
I want to know more…
Our development journal covers technical differences between the caches – other than that, ask below!