Very Slow Download Speed vs other software


I have recently downloaded SmartFTP software and am concerned about the incredibly slow download speed that I have encountered. Although I have high speed internet access I am lucky if I can download at speeds of 8kb (sometimes for a second or two it will be at a higher rate but it always goes down to 3 - 8kb) per second verses 120+ when I use google e-mail to download the same file. Has anyone else had this problem. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.