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55 posts

Master Geek


# 42210 30-Sep-2009 16:08
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First of all, I tried to search the forums for existing information, but the search function appears to be broken right now.


I've been looking at getting Telecom's Big Time plan when I go flatting at the end of the year, but I've been unable to find any specifics on exactly how their traffic shaping works.


Does it filter specific packet types, does it use deep packet inspection, what services does it slow down, and what (if any) does it prioritize?


If I bittorrent, I'll probably grab a seedbox, so that's not a problem for me, but what about things like youtube.


Does it shape any voip (skype, ventrilo etc)?


Something I noticed was a comment about blocking port 25.
What is port 25 commonly used for, why would it be blocked, and is there a way to opt out of the port blocking.


Interleaving. I note it's turned on by default, is it as simple as making a phonecall to get it turned off, or is there a cost or hoops to jump through associated.


It's almost certain I'll be using large amounts of data, probably breaking three figures (GB) each month, but are there any other similar plans that are better for what I need?


Any other comments about the pro's and cons of the plan would also be appreciated.


Cheers.

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Hawkes Bay
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  # 259781 30-Sep-2009 16:23
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Something I noticed was a comment about blocking port 25.
What is port 25 commonly used for, why would it be blocked, and is there a way to opt out of the port blocking.

Port 25 is used by servers to send email.

It is blocked because having it unblocked is a siginifcant issue around spam.

Yes you can opt out of port 25 blocking.

Note: If you do not know what port 25 is, then you have no need to unblock it.

Interleaving. I note it's turned on by default, is it as simple as making a phonecall to get it turned off, or is there a cost or hoops to jump through associated.

I believe a phonecall is all that is required.








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  # 259784 30-Sep-2009 16:25
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In my experience the only traffic that is noticably slower on bigtime is torrents (linux ISOs FTW :P), and only then at peak times (i.e. evenings)

Browsing web, skype video, gaming, youtube etc all work just as well for me on bigtime as they did before. Torrents quite often go slow <5KB/s (approx 40Kb/s) during peak times, but still remain fast (given approrioate no of seeds of course) at other times
Having said that, I always had a relatively slow connection. never faster than 2Mb/s

Others experience may differ of course.

 
 
 
 


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  # 259789 30-Sep-2009 16:37
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You can't opt out of port 25 filtering on Big Time - I believe you can opt out on all other telecom plans.

It's only a problem if you run your own mail server.

You also can't get a static IP on bigtime either.




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Master Geek


  # 259819 30-Sep-2009 18:02
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The no static ip thing and blocked port 25 are going to be fine I think, since I'll just just use a dynamic dns service instead, and I don't think I'll be sending any emails from a server.

While it's clear Telecom filters bittorrent traffic, is there anything else they filter, and what is their method of determining what sort of traffic it is (e.g. just looking at packet headers, deep packet inspection etc.


Also, what sort of pings have people been getting for gaming (with interleaving turned off)?

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  # 259820 30-Sep-2009 18:14
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Here are my observations of how it is working (may not be accurate).

- There is a pool of bandwidth allocated to Big Time users, seperate from normal Telecom plans.

- Traffic is classified based on type (presumably using DPI) mostly but also on port and address, there is some speculation they are using the Bluecoat hardware for this (Slingshot also use Bluecoat stuff).

- Http and https downloads from RapidShare are rate limited to <180 KB/s 24x7 according to posts on the Gameplanet NZ forums.

- Torrent downloads are limited to <180 KB/s between 9am-2am after that the limit is removed and you are not artifically restricted in my experience.

- Telecom is hosting a Google cache in their network, anything from the cache is fullspeed/fast.  If someone on Telecom has watched a youtube video before and you go to the same video it will be in the google cache and load very fast.  Anything not from the cache is variable/slow like most ISP's, most stuff appears to be cached. 

- I have not noticed any problems with Steam/Left 4 Dead voice chat but I haven't used Skype or Ventrilo recently so can't comment on those.

- Getting interleaving off is just a matter of ringing up the helpdesk, sometimes you get a dud outsourced CSR who doesn't understand but it's not too traumatic.

- There is no cheaper plan for large amounts of data usage.  Nearest thing is Slingshot's free offpeak or Xnet torrential plan but they still charge for peak usage and and perform worse (generally).

- Local traffic is fast and not restricted

- Telecom does not peer with APE/WIX so TVNZ ondemand which is hosted by CityLink is not fast local traffic but slower international coming from CityLink's US mirror.

- Local NZ server pings are excellent

- There is currently a problem with peak time after work latency on Australian servers and possible US server, if was fine a few weeks ago but it blows out at peak time this week.  They need to tweak the rules I think.

- It's not perfect but it's cheap and does the job (mostly).

If you care a lot about international gaming ping this probably isn't the plan for you, at least until they get the traffic management rules 100% right.



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# 259821 30-Sep-2009 18:16
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You can ask for interleaving to be switched off when you request your connection.

No need to call back :)

nzbnw









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Master Geek


  # 259847 30-Sep-2009 19:21
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Ragnor: Here are my observations of how it is working (may not be accurate).

- There is a pool of bandwidth allocated to Big Time users, seperate from normal Telecom plans.

- Traffic is classified based on type (presumably using DPI) mostly but also on port and address, there is some speculation they are using the same Bluecoat hardware for this (Slingshot also use Bluecoat stuff).

- Http and https downloads from RapidShare are rate limited to <180 KB/s 24x7 according to posts on the Gameplanet NZ forums.

- Torrent downloads are limited to <180 KB/s between 9am-2am after that the limit is removed and you are not artifically restricted in my experience.

- Telecom is hosting a Google cache in their network, anything from the cache is fullspeed/fast.  If someone on Telecom has watched a youtube video before and you go to the same video it will be in the google cache and load very fast.  Anything not from the cache is variable/slow like most ISP's, most stuff appears to be cached. 

- I have not noticed any problems with Steam/Left 4 Dead voice chat but I haven't used Skype or Ventrilo recently so can't comment on those.

- Getting interleaving off is just a matter of ringing up the helpdesk, sometimes you get a dud outsourced CSR who doesn't understand but it's not too traumatic.

- There is no cheaper plan for large amounts of data usage.  Nearest thing is Slingshot's free offpeak or Xnet torrential plan but they still charge for peak usage and and perform worse (generally).

- Local traffic is fast and not restricted

- Telecom does not peer with APE/WIX so TVNZ ondemand which is hosted by CityLink is not fast local traffic but slower international coming from CityLink's US mirror.

- Local NZ server pings are excellent

- There is currently a problem with peak time after work latency on Australian servers and possible US server, if was fine a few weeks ago but it blows out at peak time this week.  They need to tweak the rules I think.

- It's not perfect but it's cheap and does the job (mostly).

If you care a lot about international gaming ping this probably isn't the plan for you, at least until they get the traffic management rules 100% right.





Thanks for the details, looks like it's the plan for me.


Just one clarification, by 'Local traffic is fast and not restricted' do you mean national traffic, and by not restricted do you mean there is no traffic shaping on local traffic of any kind (i.e. if I used a local bittorrent tracker, it wouldn't be slowed down at any time?)




EDIT: One more question, could I get this as naked broadband (I realise this would up the cost to $70 a month)

 
 
 
 


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  # 259854 30-Sep-2009 19:37
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Telecom does not offer naked DSL, it's not in their interest given they own the infrastructure involved in the analog/copper phone system.

Total Home Lite ($85 if you live in a main centre) + Big Time Addon ($20)
http://www.telecom.co.nz/content/0,8748,206079-204546,00.html

Also here's another couple of real world examples of Big Time performance in peak time...

I just got home and fired up Steam, it's currently downloading the new Campaign for Left 4 Dead at 100 KB/s at 7.30pm.  I consider that fine since I'm not paying for the data and there are no Steam content mirrors in NZ anymore only in AU.  Back on Telstra ADSL I would probably have got around ~300 KB/s doing the same download at this time of night.

I also just started a http download from Gameplanet NZ downloads (www.gpdownloads.co.nz) of the new Call of Juarez patch and it went at 250 KB/s while the Steam update is still going 100 KB/s.

Local http download  example:  A 35MB zip file from our web server which is on a TelstraClear 100Mbit fibre connection at work went 350 KB/s while my Steam download is still trundling along at 100 KB/s.

I don't know how local bit torrent would work, it would require local peers/seeds to be fast and they may shape the protocol anyway.  A local tracker wouldn't do anything as the tracker doesn't really do anythng other than host the .torrent file.

My line only sync's at 4-5Mbit so 400-450 KB/s is about the max total speed I can get where I live.  Bring on the cabinetisation in my area!



55 posts

Master Geek


  # 259873 30-Sep-2009 21:16
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By the look of it it'd be better to get the Total Home plan, since with the big time addon the price difference is only $4

Alright then, thanks a bunch for all your help, its really made it easier to make my decision

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  # 259913 30-Sep-2009 22:49
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In the interest of highlighting the some of the con's of the plan here's an example of the ping to an Australian Left 4 Dead server on Internode

Tracing route to l4d-1.games.on.net [59.167.241.90] over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.0.1
2 1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.1
3 7 ms 8 ms 9 ms 210-55-69-120.iprolink.co.nz [210.55.69.120]
4 * * * Request timed out.
5 335 ms 323 ms 307 ms xe6-0-0-10.akbr5.global-gateway.net.nz [202.37.244.221]
6 310 ms 304 ms 295 ms xe0-0-0-2.akbr4.global-gateway.net.nz [202.50.232.77]
7 301 ms 303 ms 310 ms so0-2-3.tkbr9.global-gateway.net.nz [202.50.232.34]
8 313 ms 313 ms 321 ms so7-0-1.sybr6.global-gateway.net.nz [122.56.127.42]
9 318 ms 315 ms 323 ms xe2-0-0-2.sybr4.global-gateway.net.nz [202.50.232.242]
10 39 ms 33 ms 33 ms vlan356.52gdc76f02.optus.net.au [59.154.21.137]
11 * * * Request timed out.
12 330 ms 328 ms 331 ms internode.22rrc76f000.optus.net.au [59.154.10.30]
13 35 ms 41 ms 34 ms gi1-2-141.cor2.syd7.internode.on.net [150.101.117.254]
14 326 ms 332 ms 313 ms 59.167.241.90

It used to be 30-80ms all the way through but since they made some changes on the 21st it's blown out to 300ms after work until about 11pm. I have no idea if or when they will fix this. I know a few people are using the feedback forms on their website to submit tracerts and pings.

... local NZ servers are fine though for example Vodafone's Left 4 Dead server

Tracing route to games1.vodafone.co.nz [203.109.252.28] over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.1.1
  3    13 ms     8 ms     7 ms  210-55-69-120.iprolink.co.nz [210.55.69.120]
  4     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  5     7 ms     7 ms     7 ms  x6-0-0-v20.akcr10.global-gateway.net.nz [202.50.238.49]
  6     7 ms     7 ms     7 ms  g0-1-0-4.akcr8.global-gateway.net.nz [210.55.202.49]
  7     8 ms     7 ms     7 ms  gi3-2-3318.akl-sky-bdr1.ihug.net [203.109.130.98]
  8     8 ms     9 ms     9 ms  et4-130.akl-grafton-edge2.ihug.net [203.109.130.250]
  9     8 ms     8 ms     9 ms  vl130.akl-grafton-bdr1.ihug.net [203.109.130.249]
 10     9 ms     8 ms     9 ms  203-173-63-21.ihug.net [203.173.63.21]
 11     9 ms     8 ms     9 ms  games1.vodafone.co.nz [203.109.252.28]





55 posts

Master Geek


  # 259972 1-Oct-2009 09:49
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<10ms

:3

I realise thats more the interleaving being off than the better plan, but since I'm with vodafone, who don't allow it to be turned off, that's gonna be a huge improvement

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  # 260189 1-Oct-2009 15:36
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Vodafone allows interleaving to be turned off now, since last month just ring up the help desk.

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