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    Tools for testing your Internet speed




    TOP STORY


    Tools for testing your Internet speed


    By Patrick Marshall
    There are many reasons an Internet connection will become noticeably slower — including not getting the bandwidth you're paying for.
    Internet speed-testing services might help reveal whether your ISP is at fault, but only if you understand how they work.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/tools-for-testing-your-internet-speed (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Understandably the test sites are US-Centric.

    For UK members I'd recommend http://www.thinkbroadband.com/

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    I sometimes use www.speedtest.net and for those who want a more in depth look at their wireless connection which includes a speed check, you can use Netalyzr (requires Java - which has just been updated) http://netalyzr.icsi.berkeley.edu/ but speed tests are better done when wired.

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    It's worth pointing out that no matter what you think you should be getting, the ISP's don't really lie about speed. The reason is in the phrase, "up to".

    ISP's advertise speed as being "up to 15 mbps" or "up to 50 mbps". That puts these numbers at the upper limit of what you can expect to get, not the normal or average. 5 mpbs is up to 50 mbps.

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    Good basic article. Although I was expected to see a reference to TraceRT (on Windows run from a command promt "Tracert URL") Which will give you a good idea where bottlenecks are, once you determine your speed is slower than you contracted for.

    Basically the options are: Between you and the ISP, the ISP, and beyond the ISP. Calling the ISP for something not owned by, or contracted by them is futile. However if TraceRT shows long ping times before your packets leave ISP servers, then calling the ISP is your only option. And having a trace in hand is very helpfull to the ISP in finding a starting place to look for issues on your line.

    Good Luck getting though the ISPs CSRs to to the operations center to find someone that undertands what a TraceRT is.

    My personal experience, I was using a DSL ISP that performed alright, latency crept back into the line usual reason being from them oversubscribing servers in the operations center. This time the trace showed a constant 50ms lag in the 2nd hop (my line to the operations center of the ISP). I called the ISP trouble line and was informed they would not refer the problem to operations until my latency hit 300ms. I left that ISP 5 days later.
    Last edited by capella; 2015-03-05 at 08:57.

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    SamKnows Speedtest - how does it compare?

    I have a SamKnows Whitebox that constantly monitors my internet speed. The service is free including the hardware. I'd like to see this service addressed in comparison with the other speed tests noted.
    https://www.samknows.com/
    Last edited by hodger; 2015-03-05 at 09:01. Reason: Wanted to add link

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    I have found testmy.net to be one of the best speed tests. It gives minimum and maximum as well as the aggregate speeds. If you have the time you might also read their page “What makes TMN different?”

    In addition, as a general rule I would make sure you are testing against at least a few locations that are not on your ISP’s network. The speed of your last mile connection and on the ISP's network is certainly important but equally important is what kind of peering connections your ISP has with other ISPs and networks. I would even do a traceroute to see what the path is to the speed check server. Call me cynical but I would not put it past some ISPs to give preferential routing to speed check servers on their networks or to ones they recommend you to use.
    Last edited by kenwood850; 2015-03-05 at 09:09.

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    What's wrong (if anything) with using "Ethernet Throughput" under the Performance Tab of Task Manager in Windows?
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

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    Indeed. Here in the UK a certain percentage of the ISP's customers must be able to get the advertised speed.

    My ISP (Sky) advertises up to 17Mbps for their ADSL2+ product but under ideal conditions speeds of 24mbps can be obtained. Coincidentally I actually get their advertised speed.

    Another thing to take into consideration is throughput vs synch speed. A rule of thumb for ADSL2+ is that throughput should be around 84% of the synch speed. In my case that means expected throughput of ~14.3Mbps. I actually get 14.5Mbps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodger View Post
    I have a SamKnows Whitebox that constantly monitors my internet speed. The service is free including the hardware. I'd like to see this service addressed in comparison with the other speed tests noted.
    https://www.samknows.com/

    You might want to read this.


    http://www.farces.com/samknows-nothing-much-at-all/

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    I used the tools mentioned in the Test Your Speed article on my gigabit fiber optic home connection provided by Vermont Telephone (VTel). I got wildly disparate results for a wired connection to my modem:

    GeekSquad: 20.28 down 10.48 up
    Ookla: 750.98 down 684.46 up
    SpeedOfMe 99.35 down 33.67 up
    Visualware 264 down 171 up
    BandwidthPlace 73.44 down 33.63 up
    CNet 102.85
    Xfinity 588.74 down 649.07 up

    Looks like they're not set up to handle gigabit connections.
    Last edited by JG-Vermont; 2015-03-05 at 10:00.

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    My Comcast here in NH advertises 105 Mbps. Using either Speedtest, Speakeasy, or Comcast testers gives me about 90 to 94 Mbps. But if I bypass my router and plug the ethernet cable directly into my computer I will get 105 or very close to it- to my surprise. Just checking; I'm very consistant with the 3 testers I mentioned - Download - 94.75, 94.91, 93.14. Upload - 12.10, 12.04, 12.08. (all via my router) I'm either lucky or just getting what I pay for.
    Last edited by rje49; 2015-03-05 at 10:21.

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    Re-allocating upload vs download speed harder than it seems

    "In the future, ISPs might have to revisit download/upload bandwidth allocation."

    For cable providers (that is traditional cable) the upload channels were placed in a relatively small frequency band
    so that they could use the same cable for both download of data and television and upload of internet data. The
    distribution amplifiers were designed to follow suit. After you have reached the capacity of that upload band, there
    is very little that you can do without redesigning the entire cable plant and replacing a lot of equipment at both
    the customer premises and in the street. That costs big bucks.

    FIOS and other optical providers may have provisioned their networks differently and have wider bandwidth to
    play with.

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    testmy.net

    I've used testmy.net for ... 10 yearsish?? It doesn't require anything but a naked browser (works even in old browsers, and without flash or javascript). It keeps track of your results for some time even if you don't bother to make an account. (I assume it's looking at MAC address since it has results for my same PC from three different cities.) Results are pretty consistent and in line with perceived speed (or lack of it).

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    Is router rater over 100mps?

    Quote Originally Posted by rje49 View Post
    My Comcast here in NH advertises 105 Mbps. Using either Speedtest, Speakeasy, or Comcast testers gives me about 90 to 94 Mbps. But if I bypass my router and plug the ethernet cable directly into my computer I will get 105 or very close to it- to my surprise. Just checking; I'm very consistant with the 3 testers I mentioned - Download - 94.75, 94.91, 93.14. Upload - 12.10, 12.04, 12.08. (all via my router) I'm either lucky or just getting what I pay for.
    Depending on the max speed of your router (IE: 100 Vs 1000) that could be your very top end limiter for only getting 94 Vs 105.

    On my wired machines I can speedtest or Xfinity test very close to the max 105 or better (and am going through router) when the network is not loaded, but on my laptop via wireless I won't hit over 40, even though the laptop & router rated wireless speeds are much higher & are only about 5 feet apart.

    On my work machine on same router through corprate VPN, only hitting 40 - 45 on a good day so plenty of room left the the rest of the house
    (up is only 5, so when uploading a 1 gig file, time for lunch or dinner!)
    Last edited by jhimes; 2015-03-05 at 10:59.
    Stealing from one is call plagiarism, stealing from many is called research. ;-)~

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