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729 posts

Ultimate Geek
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# 154677 4-Nov-2014 10:08
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I recently signed up for a 200/200 connection with Bigpipe using the $20 GrabOne deal, which works out to $49 for two months of access. Because there is no contract, I am treating this as a trial, and will be running two fibre Internet connections in parallel, allowing me to do some comparisons.

The install didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked. Chorus had no problems installing the second ONT, but the resulting connection was unusable. To help diagnose the problem, Bigpipe technical support temporarily moved me to a CGNAT connection, which did work. Later in the evening I received a bizarre e-mail from tech support, indicating they were doing network upgrades that may be causing issues with public IPs, and they would get back to me with updates. That didn't sound promising, as the wording suggested it could be days or weeks before the problem was resolved. Fortunately, that was my pessimistic interpretation, and the connection was up and running with a public IP around 9pm. BigPipeNZ has since posted on Geekzone indicating the issue was caused by a RADIUS configuration change yesterday morning, and only impacted about a dozen customers.

While on CGNAT, my fibre connection only managed 200/20, not 200/200, and I was told "...the speeds take a while to get up to full speeds". Not sure how that works. Speeds are unchanged this morning, so I'll need to get that sorted. If Bigpipe performs acceptably, and critically, they can deliver a static IP address by the end of the year (and hopefully subnets), I will remain on the service and disconnect my 30/10 fibre connection provided by HD.

In addition to dual fibre connections, I have tunnelled IPv6 provided via SixXS on the HD connection, so I have included that in comparisons.

Connections:


HD - 30/10 (fibre)
Bigpipe - 200/? (fibre) - Seems to be 200/20, meant to be 200/200.
SixXS IPv6 - 30/10 (HD fibre)

Testing Method:


Everything at my end is as near to identical as possible for all connections. I am using a pfSense-based router with both WAN interfaces on a dual port Ethernet adaptor (Intel controller), allowing me to have both Internet connections up concurrently. Requests over IPv4 are being routed based on source IP, with multiple addresses assigned to the client system. As pfSense re-writes source ports for outbound requests by default, uses a stateful firewall (pf), and the router is not constrained by memory or CPU, the impact of this is both negligible and equivalent on both IPv4 connections.

IPv6 is terminated on the HD static IP, using a GIF interface, and the default SixXS MTU of 1280. The POP is located in Wellington, provided by ACS Data (nzwlg01).

For my initial tests, I compared downloads from a VPS in Los Angeles (Debian 7, 32-bit), having native IPv6. Unfortunately, I have little control over the remote end, and while it has a gigabit connection, I am at the mercy of other users, and as such speed varies somewhat over time. While not idea, I chose a sample size of 100 per connection, and downloading in a round-robin fashion, in order to minimise the significance of this variability.

National downloads are to a hosted at Vocus (FreeBSD 10, 64-bit), and unlike the VPS in Los Angeles, I have control over not only the VPS but the host as well. The connection is however only 100Mb.

The international downloads are a 10MB file, national downloads are 100MB files. I may increase the international files to 100MB for later testing, but as it's early in the month I do not wish to waste my HD quota if for any reason I need to switch back to HD as my main connection. For the same reason, I am also not running ongoing tests to compare variability throughout the day, but may attempt to do some testing of Bigpipe variability.

The script I used is nothing fancy, just a simple Windows batch file (ask if you want it). It is only accurate to seconds, which I feel is good enough for comparative purposes. I am using Wget to handle requests, and the --bind-address option to control which IPv4 connection is used (I have a specific AAAA for IPv6).

No TCP tuning has been done (that I am aware of) on either VPS or Windows 8.1 client. There are settings which would have some influence over the results. Investigating those is beyond the scope of this testing.  

Results:

PM = Starting 2200 3/11 Los Angeles (Duration, approximately 4:20).

AM = Starting 0530 4/11 Los Angeles (Duration, approximately 2:07).

Bigpipe wins! While consistently faster than HD, there does appear to be more variability in speed during peak hours.

I'm careful not to read too much in to the results. Subjective and sustained testing is required. It has been my experience that downloads via IPv6 are typically faster than downloads on HD via IPv4, and the results here are consistent with that. Being a different protocol, with different implementation, tuning, and features, I don't think it's reasonable to assume this reflects poorly on the performance of IPv4 via HD.

Click to see full size



Starting 0800 4/11 Auckland (No IPv6. Duration, approximately 1:13).

Bigpipe wins! Being local data, this is what we'd expect given the higher connection speed.





While the setup issues were disappointing, such issues are not unusual, and exactly why I opted to have a second ONT installed. Overall, things are looking quite positive with Bigpipe so far.

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1166 posts

Uber Geek
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BigPipe

  # 1169920 6-Nov-2014 11:57
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Hi Thanks so much for the feedback, and the detailed testing.

I'll follow up with your plan to check it is provisioned for 200/200 correctly.

Static IP should be available within the next couple of weeks  :)




bigpipe.co.nz
https://www.facebook.com/BigPipeNZ
https://twitter.com/BigPipeNZ




729 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 361


  # 1170098 6-Nov-2014 15:20
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BigPipeNZ: I'll follow up with your plan to check it is provisioned for 200/200 correctly.

Static IP should be available within the next couple of weeks  :)


Thank you. My connection is now operating at 200/200...



Great news about the static IP. That would allow me to turn off the HD connection from the start of next month.

 
 
 
 


What does this tag do
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Uber Geek
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Subscriber

  # 1170138 6-Nov-2014 15:46
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Why do you have a second ONT? Shouldn't they just be setting up another UNI on the existing ONT?



729 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 1170140 6-Nov-2014 15:49
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jnimmo: Why do you have a second ONT? Shouldn't they just be setting up another UNI on the existing ONT?


Chorus can't do that at the present time as their systems don't allow it. Technically it works, but the issue's with the ordering/billing side of things.

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BigPipe

  # 1170157 6-Nov-2014 16:12
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SirHumphreyAppleby:
jnimmo: Why do you have a second ONT? Shouldn't they just be setting up another UNI on the existing ONT?


Chorus can't do that at the present time as their systems don't allow it. Technically it works, but the issue's with the ordering/billing side of things.


funnily enough they have just (in the last few days I think) announced the pilot is now live for the 2nd port product, so if you had signed up a couple of weeks later we would have done that instead :)




bigpipe.co.nz
https://www.facebook.com/BigPipeNZ
https://twitter.com/BigPipeNZ


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BigPipe

  # 1170159 6-Nov-2014 16:13
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SirHumphreyAppleby:
BigPipeNZ: I'll follow up with your plan to check it is provisioned for 200/200 correctly.

Static IP should be available within the next couple of weeks  :)


Thank you. My connection is now operating at 200/200...



Great news about the static IP. That would allow me to turn off the HD connection from the start of next month.


turns out our order was correctly requesting 200/200 and showing that was what you had, but for some reason Chorus provisioned 200/20 but displayed it wrong.

a phone call later and its all sorted :)




bigpipe.co.nz
https://www.facebook.com/BigPipeNZ
https://twitter.com/BigPipeNZ




729 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 361


  # 1174978 13-Nov-2014 09:49
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I have not continued running in-depth comparisons, as it is quite clear that the Bigpipe connection is performing as well as HD in the worst case, and significantly better when upstream conditions allow.

There is significant variation in download speed, including long pauses during downloads from some sites, however I cannot point to Bigpipe as the cause of those, especially when Netflix can continue to stream at 1080P with only a few seconds initial buffering, and no pauses.

On the subject of Netflix, I've been playing quite a few videos, mostly episodes of Scrubs, which often paused and buffered (just once) again on hd.net.nz after the initial buffer. Not only is the initial buffering time minimal, only twice has the video not immediately been displayed in good quality. I expect those of you using DNS-based systems would rarely see any issues. I use SOCKS, which has much greater overhead.

As expected, 200/200 has shown to be quite useless for the way I currently use my connection. Offsite backups still manage no more than 10Mbs^-1 (Crashplan, Sydney), however I am looking at additional backup options, so hopefully the Bigpipe team won't get annoyed if I switch to 200/20 and back again a few times for testing purposes. As it is, I can't justify $30 more per month for something which is almost never needed. I would like to see 200/50 or 200/100 offered in the near future, or pricing (which I know is not purely up to Bigpipe) for the 200/200 plans brought down to a level which actually reflects the ability of people to use their connections. Perhaps those of you using torrents might benefit from it, but I wasn't taught to share =P.

So, in summary... No issues, and with Static IPs being available within days, it looks like we're good to go.



729 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 361


  # 1179919 20-Nov-2014 06:44
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BigPipeNZ: Static IP should be available within the next couple of weeks  :)


Any update on the static IPs?

No pressure, but if this can be in place before the end of the month, I can cancel my HD connection.

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1179932 20-Nov-2014 08:16
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SirHumphreyAppleby:
BigPipeNZ: Static IP should be available within the next couple of weeks  :)


Any update on the static IPs?

No pressure, but if this can be in place before the end of the month, I can cancel my HD connection.


It'll be by the end of the month :) 




Lannah - find me on twitter.


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