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Internet speed test results vs. average connection speeds

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by hhannam, May 3, 2015.

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  1. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    Can anyone offer any explanation(s) for what appears to be the enormous disparity between the connection speeds I get from speed tests and the average speeds I'm getting with normal net trafficking? I spoke with an upper level tech rep for Comcast today (My ISP of course) and he had no explanations whatsoever.

    And so you'll know my current system, my 3.0 Cisco modem is wired to my Linksys router, and my laptop is hardwired to my router (My Linksys wifi is ailing a bit and I'm about to get a new router....AC?, dual channel n?...but that's another issue). I also did some speed tests with my laptop hardwired directly to my modem (bypassing my router altogether), but the results didn't change

    Attached below are a few screen clips...one shows my Ookla speed test results from a target server in Wash.D.C. (125 miles away) and the other is a summary of my average up and download speeds for the last 24 hours logged by a connection speed monitoring program called Bit Meter 2.

    [NOTE: Before continuing, let's accept there will be some affects on speed by much greater physical distances that my normal net connections may encounter, and the speed capabilities of the equipment my web contacts possess may vary considerably, but even adding these factors together, and also allowing for whatever else I am personally aware, it doesn't come close to accounting for the enormity of the speed disparities that appear to be involved here.]

    Let's just compare the download speeds for the sake of simplicity. My Ookla speed test Dn speed is about 30 Mbps (tests taken several times over last 24 hours all virtually the same results), but the Bit Meter log shows that my last 24 hours of net connections are usually at about 4 Kilobytes per sec (or lower actually).

    Again, for the sake of simplicity, let's use the figure of 4 KBps for my average Dn speed to Web contacts. That is equivalent to 0.032 Mbps !!!!....or, unless I'm mistaken, that's saying that my net test speeds are 937.5 times faster than my average net connection speeds!?!?!? And in case you doubt my math, here's a URL for the conversion calculator where I obtained these figures and there's also a screen clip attached.

    http://www.checkyourmath.com/convert/data_rates/per_second/megabits_kilobytes_per_second.phpn

    Am I missing something, miscalculating something, mistaken in my facts?.......whatever explanations you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for looking in any case.
     

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  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Your math is correct, and it's refreshing to get a question like this from somebody who knows bits from bytes! :D

    I don't know how to interpret those Bit Meter 2 numbers, or whether they really matter to you. Are you "feeling" sluggishness or slowness during normal web usage?

    Try your own tests (maybe you already have). Remember that any given download may be horribly restricted by the server or overall network congestion, so test different downloads and at different times. I'd try downloads of at least 100 MB (.iso files of Linux distributions are candidates) when nothing else is happening on your network and your computer. Timing doesn't have to be exact. For example, if a 100 MB file takes 80 seconds you are getting 10 Mbps. If the actual time was 75 or 85 seconds you got 10.7 or 9.4 Mbps, respectively, which are good enough numbers to say that your internet access is good or bad or middling,
     
  3. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    1. As for the Bit Meter stats, the last two columns on the right show average up and download speeds for the hour period indicated at the far left (chart covers 24 hours). It so happened that the default format (and the attachment) was to indicate speeds by kilobytes per second, but I've since changed the format to megabits per second.

    2. Actually, I have not yet attempted any large file downloads for testing purposes, but will do so, of course. I quite frankly don't know off the top of my head where to find any large files to download like your suggested .iso files of Linux distributions, but I'll keep futzing around till I find some. Even if the speeds increase markedly in that case, I remain dumbfounded by the sloth-like speeds of the average connections. And to answer your question directly, YES, I "feel" the sluggishness directly, and get, for instance, buffering pauses for video downloads, and rather slow new web page completions while it fills out all it's features and content.

    3. Also, I'm not quite sure how to interpret your last statement. I think your probably saying that a result of 10 Mbps would be OK, but your closing statement actually says only that testing such a large file download and getting that result would be enough to assess the transfer rates as "good or bad or middling".......and not which it is. In any case I still remain baffled at the large disparity between test result speeds compared to my other connection speeds. Nobody seems to know why that happens.
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    That's because I really garbled it. I was trying to say that you don't have to measure the time of the download (of a large file) precisely to get a good understanding of whether the result is or is not good. I did not mean to imply that in your case ~10 Mbps would be good.

    One possible test download is the Puppy Linux 176 MB .iso from here. It took me about six minutes (3.9 Mbps) to download; pretty sure the speed is that poor because that server is somewhat slow. I'm getting 26.8 Mbps with Speedtest right now.

    Suggest you try the repairs I'll list below and if that doesn't help try a test with your real-time anti-virus and anti-spyware disabled.

    TCP/IP stack repair options for use with Vista through 10.

    Start - All Programs - Accessories and right click on Command Prompt, select "Run as Administrator" to open a command prompt. [For Windows 8 thru 10: <Windows Logo> + x - Command Prompt(Admin)]

    Reset WINSOCK entries to installation defaults: netsh winsock reset catalog

    Reset IPv4 TCP/IP stack to installation defaults. netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log

    Reset IPv6 TCP/IP stack to installation defaults. netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log

    Reboot the machine after all three commands; no need to boot after the 1st and 2nd.
     
  5. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    TerryNet ~ Forgive my ignorance, but could you give me more specific instructions on how to enter the three "instructions" after getting the command prompt? Do I copy and paste/type them just as they are written?...separate them with commas....? Do I then hit "Enter"?....etc. I've never used basic so I'm a babe in the woods on this one.
     
  6. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    The only reliable test you can make is to physically take a disk of your own data to each place and then download it.
    Similarly an upload needs to be to different data of yours to a physical disk that you can check.
    Any other tests would be open to data massaging.

    For example Microsoft timing of writes to media seldom tests the media but more often the buffers. I have a USB stick that I write fresh data to on a regular basis. The data copy finishes in about five minutes according to Windows. However the stick is still being written to for about 30 minutes.
     
  7. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    You can copy each command (which is in bold for clarity) exactly, and then press ENTER after each.

    These are "DOS-like" commands; not Basic. :)
     
  8. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    See, I told you I was ignorant... :).....and thanks for the clarification.
     
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