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5 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 9754 10-Oct-2006 22:04
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Ok I have the Xtra Explorer plan just lately last two weeks I have detected a noticable download speed drop...

So I used these tests to find out what is going on....

First the Xtra Broadband speed test
http://jetstream.xtra.co.nz/chm/0,8763,205368-203842,00.html?nv=sd

Results
Line speed is 4286Kbps...or 523K bytes per second... Nice I say to myself

Second the NZDSL speed test
http://www.nzdsl.co.nz/module-Speedtest.phtml

Results
Down   1922Kbps... Ok thats good
Up 130Kbps... Ok thats good to

Ok all looks good but then I try a international speed test

https://www.speedtest.net/
This tests down and up to various locations around the world lets try Sydney

Down 420Kbps Not good dam bad actually
Up 130Kbps...same as here

Lets try New York
Down 219Kpbs...pathetic
Up 130Kbps same as here again

I used another one which confirms the Speedtest.net figures
http://www.testmy.net/tools/test/d_load.php
:::.. Download Stats ..:::
Download Connection is:: 117 Kbps about 0.12 Mbps (tested with 386 kB)
Download Speed is:: 14 kB/s
Tested From:: http://testmy.net/ (Server 1)
Test Time:: 2006/10/10 - 2:07am
Bottom Line:: 2X faster than 56K 1MB Download in 73.14 sec
Tested from a 386 kB file and took 27.03 seconds to complete
Download Diagnosis:: May need help : running at only 8.16 % of your hosts average (co.nz)
D-Validation Link:: http://testmy.net/stats/id-OX5FS98GB
User Agent:: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; DVD Owner; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [!]


My point is this, what the hell is going on at the moment, when I used these tests two weeks ago I was able to get at least 1500Kbps... I called Xtra helpdesk and they say my line is going at full speed, yes according to all tests it is until I want to hop over the ditch out to the wide world.

Can anyone please help with what mabey wrong? I am going nuts here to the point of changing to some other ISP. Oh and before you ask everything has been changed PC, Router/Modem cables everything, but remember this setup used to achieve a respectable speed not 100% of what is advertised sure but when I attain a 20Kbytes per second download of files I might as well go back to dial up...

Thanks for your time :)



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643 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 48271 10-Oct-2006 22:27

simple answer: web-based speed tests are not totally accurate unless it's an ISP-provided speed test.

load an application like gkrellm onto your PC, load up your connection with bit-torrent or something and measure it like that. (assuming you dont have access to two PCs with link speeds high enough to do real testing with.)




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  Reply # 48275 10-Oct-2006 23:07
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grata: Can anyone please help with what mabey wrong? I am going nuts here to the point of changing to some other ISP. Oh and before you ask everything has been changed PC, Router/Modem cables everything, but remember this setup used to achieve a respectable speed not 100% of what is advertised sure but when I attain a 20Kbytes per second download of files I might as well go back to dial up...

Thanks for your time :)


It is possible that what you're fighting against here is Telecom's contention ratio.  At one stage it was 47 to 1, I remember seeing somewhere recently that it will be reduced to ONLY 34 to 1 once the new unrestricted broadband speeds come into effect later this month.

Again, going from memory here, Telecom assign a 2Mbps backhaul to each group of users (34 or 47), and that is divided up amongst them depending on who is doing what at the time.  That works out to a Committed Information Rate of between 42kbps and 59kbps if everybody is using lots of traffic at the time Cry

Pretty abysmal really if what I have been reading is correct...

The way to test whether you are being affected by this is to repeat the test during the middle of the night, say at 3am and see if you notice any improvement.  If you don't then it's congestion in some offshore data circuit that is affecting you.  But, if as I suspect, you notice a big speed increase, then you will be sure it's Telecom's network that is causing the problem.

Changing to another ISP is unlikely to improve things as all ISPs who connect their customers via ADSL, are using Telecom's network.  In fact one article I read stated that XTRA was the best of the bunch, so you may actually be worse off by changing ISPs.

In my experience it's unusual to get much above 250kbps when downloading from US-based servers.  Sometimes I have got up to 1.5Mbps from Australia, but it's fairly rare.  That was in the good old days with Full-Speed Jetstream when few people could afford the cost of broadband.  Now they have nobbled it into this ghastly thing called UBS Frown

That's my 2c worth anyway...

Cheers,
Grant.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 48278 10-Oct-2006 23:36
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Just out of interest I executed the test at http://www.testmy.net/tools/test/d_load.php
using the "Largest" File download to see what I got:

:::.. Download Stats ..:::
Download Connection is:: 1984 Kbps about 1.98 Mbps (tested with 2992 kB)
Download Speed is:: 242 kB/s
Tested From:: http://testmy.net/ (Server 1)
Test Time:: 2006/10/10 - 3:32am
Bottom Line:: 35X faster than 56K 1MB Download in 4.23 sec
Tested from a 2992 kB file and took 12.35 seconds to complete
Download Diagnosis:: May need help : running at only 48.96 % of your hosts average (net.nz)
D-Validation Link:: http://testmy.net/stats/id-EAJT5SDHU
User Agent:: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98) [!]

This is using a 3.5Mbps/512kbps ADSL connection and is roughly in line with your original results before the recent slowdown.

For (presumably) a US-based server, this sure is an impressive result, by far the best I've seen outside of NZ.  That's if the figures are valid though, it does make me wonder...

NZDSL's SpeedTest gives the following (which is pretty damn fine actually Cool):
Download Speed: 3379 kbps (422.4 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 454 kbps (56.8 KB/sec transfer rate)

Because my connection on the PC above is ADSL, it is also using Telecom's network, so something is radically different between my connection and yours, even though in theory they should be similar.  I would say your local exchange is overloaded right now with too many customers leeching too much bandwidth on P2P applications.  Try again in the wee small hours and see what happens...

Cheers,
Grant.


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  Reply # 48281 11-Oct-2006 08:55
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Grant17: Again, going from memory here, Telecom assign a 2Mbps backhaul to each group of users (34 or 47), and that is divided up amongst them depending on who is doing what at the time. That works out to a Committed Information Rate of between 42kbps and 59kbps if everybody is using lots of traffic at the time


It's less than that. Telecom has upped the CIR on DSL from 24kbps to 30kbps.

Compare this to full rate BT DSL, which comes in two offerings: one residential, with 50:1 contention ratio, and business, with 20:1.






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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 48283 11-Oct-2006 09:19
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Thanks for all of your help, I kinda knew what the problem was, actually was just venting, I live in the centre of the City well close anyway, the Exchange is mabey less than 1K away and theres a roadside cabinet 50M down my street which I walk past and GLARE at it (mabey I should kick it) :)

You can do all the tests in the worldyou want, what it comes down to is real life situations, when I used to be able to download video and music files at a rate of between 90-150Kbs and now they wont go above 20-30Kbs then you know something has changed, all the Xtra helpdesk can say is "I'm sorry sir we show you running at full speed".

Anyway I will wait and see whats happens with this so called Unleashed internet hahahaha.....

If there is no improvement I will change to Wireless to Inspire and bypass the Copper loop, the only problem is I am moving house in the next few months and not sure whether the new one has line of sight.


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  Reply # 48287 11-Oct-2006 10:04
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juha: It's less than that. Telecom has upped the CIR on DSL from 24kbps to 30kbps.

Compare this to full rate BT DSL, which comes in two offerings: one residential, with 50:1 contention ratio, and business, with 20:1.


30kbps is TRULY  awful Surprised

What is the Bandwidth Pool that BT's users are competing for Juha?

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  Reply # 48288 11-Oct-2006 10:08
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Grant17: What is the Bandwidth Pool that BT's users are competing for Juha?


It's not so easy to work out, unfortunately. You could just do a simple 8Mbit/s divided by 50 or 20, but that wouldn't take the backhaul into account.




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Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 48342 11-Oct-2006 18:22
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It does not really matter as long as it is over the peak speed offered. Of course the greater the pool means the greater the sample size of users meaning statistically you are likely to get less peaks and troughs in your speeds. Since that can work to your advantage or disadvantage *shrug*.

Anyhow he gets fine speeds locally which suggests that its the international transit contention or other issue at play, not DSL or ATM backhaul.

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  Reply # 48343 11-Oct-2006 18:31
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Fraktul: Anyhow he gets fine speeds locally which suggests that its the international transit contention or other issue at play, not DSL or ATM backhaul.

Yeah, well that's what I thought too until I repeated the same test myself and got speeds about 17X faster than Grata did...  On the same web site at about the same time...  That's a helluva discrepancy!

We're both using ADSL, just on different exchanges and different ISPs so go figure...

Something doesn't add up here  Undecided

Could it be that XTRA doesn't have sufficient international bandwidth to meet the demands of its customers?  (my ISP is Paradise Net).



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 48542 13-Oct-2006 10:22
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Hey Grant17,

Just read your post which is encouraging in the sense that yes someone can get good speeds on ADSL internationally, although it doesn't help me :(

I'm begining to think it could be my cabling except that I did get good speeds 3 weeks ago. I am getting really frustrated was playing a online game last night and got red lag.... gggrrr my thought was why am I paying so much money for this, and also its embarresing when the Yanks ask you what connection you got... and I say broadband and they laugh... gggrrrr

But on a serious note can anyone suggest ways that I can get my speed up? I have just found out that even tho the local speed test says Im all good if I download a file from say Dynalink.co.nz it still only downloads at 20K..?

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  Reply # 48543 13-Oct-2006 10:38
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grata: I'm begining to think it could be my cabling except that I did get good speeds 3 weeks ago.

But on a serious note can anyone suggest ways that I can get my speed up? I have just found out that even tho the local speed test says Im all good if I download a file from say Dynalink.co.nz it still only downloads at 20K..?

The fact that you are getting good speeds on the Speed Test rules out your cabling.

I just tried downloading a 1.3MB driver file from Dynalink.co.nz and got exactly the same speed as you i.e. 20kB/sec.  Obviously they are throttling their server speed.

Regarding the lag you get compared to US-based gamers, a lot of that is caused by physics and the limitation imposed by the transit time through the Southern Cross cable.  Add to that the lag caused by Telecom's interleaving of their ADSL connections, and it typically comes out at somewhere around 250ms.  To a US-based gamer, that totally sucks but unless you want to move to the US, as well as change your method of connection to the net, you won't eliminate it completely.

TelstraClear's cable network, or a wireless connection such as Wired Country, give a huge improvement in latency, thereby reducing your lag.  If you are within the coverage area of either of those, you might want to look at changing.  If that's not an option, I suggest you consider changing your ISP away from XTRA after October 26.

It's very interesting that XTRA customers will not have the option of getting interleaving turned off for their connections, whereas customers of other ISPs will...  For more details, refer to Juha's article in Computerworld:

http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/1C494795FAD0A1DCCC25720100729D80

As Juha has written, interleaving can have some benefits where users have "Marginal DSL Connections".  However, given that many users are in cities just a few hundred metres from their exchange, with connections that run at the full speed that the exchange equipment is capable of, it seems very inflexible to tar all users with the same brush, supposedly to provide error correction which in many cases is not needed.

So far as I can see (Jama, Nbnw and other Telecom staffers please correct me if I'm wrong), but there is only one plausible reason for this policy, and it is to slow the uptake of VoIP which of course takes revenue away from Telecom.  Unfortunately, this policy also catches gamers in the same net because it increases lag Frown

Surely it's not too much to ask that ADSL users at least have the option of turning interleaving off where they so desire it?  To insist otherwise, smacks of a monopoly/dictatorship, and in this new era of open competition, I would expect gamers will vote with their feet in droves...

Cheers,
Grant.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 48544 13-Oct-2006 10:57
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Hi Grant,

Thanks for your help it has been extremely beneficial esp that Dynalink download explanation. It has also cleared my head in that I need to move off Xtra who I have been with for a number of years.... It is obvious that they have added extra users to my exchange and there is nothing I can do about it.

So thanks again Grant I will be moving on as the song goes :)



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 48579 13-Oct-2006 15:19
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How is this I went home for lunch and for a laugh I thought I'd depress myself by looking at my internet speed :) well what do you know its a rocket...its almost as if Xtra is reading this thread *spooky*

:::.. Download Stats ..:::

Download Connection is:: 1891 Kbps about 1.9 Mbps (tested with 2992 kB)
Download Speed is:: 231 kB/s Tested From:: http://testmy.net/ (Server 1)
Test Time:: 2006/10/12 - 6:53pm
Bottom Line:: 33X faster than 56K 1MB Download in 4.43 sec Tested from a 2992 kB file and took 12.96 seconds to complete Download
Diagnosis:: Awesome! 20% + : 33.83 % faster than the average for host (co.nz)
D-Validation Link::
http://testmy.net/stats/id-BW5K3JIGA

User Agent:: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; DVD Owner; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [!]

Problem is I know it isn't going to last :( I think I'll rename by Xtra plan to Explorer yo yo :)


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