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Isp Throttling What To Do?


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I currently pay for Shaw Highspeed internet. This is Cable internet and here in Canada we only have one cable provider per "region" type thing. My only other ISP option is going DSL. The problem? I am paying for 7.1 MB/s I only get at most 500kb/s. This is not my router, modem, or anything on my network as I have update both router and modem in the last month as well as my friend has the same plan and router and gets 5.6MB/s download speeds. I have run various tests to check for speed and throttling and all say I should be getting 6.4 MB/s. Does any one have experience with this? What should I do to get what I am paying for? Should I just call and tell them that the issue is not on my end and demand to get what I am paying for? Any suggestions welcome

Thanks!

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Ask them why you are getting such slow speeds.

good point. Done that now they are insisting it on my end. (Its nothing on my end I have tried every hardware/os configuration including plugging into the modem directly and turning off firewall. Still caps at 500MB/s

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Yo X492,

Don't know if you have tried this website or not, but it should be able to detect and report any throttling activity by your ISP.

Snubs did a segment on this website before, so it should give you a clear picture, of whether your ISP is throttling you or not.

http://www.measurementlab.net/measurement-lab-tools

Edited by Infiltrator
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Yo X492,

Don't know if you have tried this website or not, but it should be able to detect and report any throttling activity by your ISP.

Snubs did a segment on this website before, so it should give you a clear picture, of whether your ISP is throttling you or not.

http://www.measurementlab.net/measurement-lab-tools

The NDT Test:

CP/Web100 Network Diagnostic Tool v3.6.4

Click START to start the test

** Starting test 1 of 1 **

Connecting to 'ndt.iupui.donar.measurement-lab.org' [ndt.iupui.donar.measurement-lab.org/64.9.225.167] to run test

Connected to: ndt.iupui.donar.measurement-lab.org-- Using IPv4 address

Checking for Middleboxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Done.

Checking for firewalls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Done.

running 10s outbound test (client-to-server [C2S]) . . . . . 489.0kb/s

running 10s inbound test (server-to-client [s2C]) . . . . . . 5.10Mb/s

Your PC is connected to a Cable/DSL modem

Information: Other network traffic is congesting the link

Click START to re-test

yeah I wish I got 489kb/s up and 5.10 down my up is actually 10-20kb/s and my down is 400-500kb/s.

Edited by x942
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The NDT Test:

yeah I wish I got 489kb/s up and 5.10 down my up is actually 10-20kb/s and my down is 400-500kb/s.

"Information: Other network traffic is congesting the link"

At the time of the test, did you have any 2p2 application or some other file downloading application running on the background. Try re-running the test, with no apps running on the background.

If the test is still reporting the same speeds, you might want to consider upgrading your internet plan.

Edited by Infiltrator
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How are you testing this? What site/tools are you using to get these results?

Doing a speed test can tell you your average download speed, but real world download speeds from websites will never match that unless they offer high speed data directly between you and them. For example, my speeds are 20 down, 10 up(on speed tests), but when I download from websites, on average(say a hak5 episode) it downloads at about 500-1000k. Thats because even though I can download at a higher speed, the website I connect to can't serve consistently at that speed to its visitors. It is possible you are seeing your normal download speeds vs something like a speed test.

Try these three sites:

http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/

http://www.speedtest.net/

http://www.speed.io/index_en.html'>http://www.speed.io/index_en.html

Then tell us what it says for each of the results. If they average over 2 meg up to 5 or even 7, then you are getting normal speeds and not throttled. If however they say something like the 500k you claim, then you probably have some network issues, and possibly not even related to the ISP. For example, my mothers internet would get dial up speeds on a cable line at times. We would reboot her modem and router and things would jump back up to about 20mbps. Then a day or two later, dial up speeds(like 56k dial up speeds, really bad). It turned out to be faulty hardware. Replaced her router and all is well now.

Here are my results:

Results from http://www.speed.io

(Copied on 2011-01-22 15:29:48)

Download: 20929 Kbit/s

Upload : 5474 kbit/s

Connects : 338 conn/min

Ping: 36 ms

Edited by digip
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"Information: Other network traffic is congesting the link"

At the time of the test, did you have any 2p2 application or some other file downloading application running on the background. Try re-running the test, with no apps running on the background.

If the test is still reporting the same speeds, you might want to consider upgrading your internet plan.

I dont think I did but I did it again with firefox being the only thing (according to commodo) using the internet. Same results pretty much it was 5.23 instead of 5.10 MB/s.

I think this is a classic confusion of Mbps and MBps.

If you have a 8 Mbps line you will only get 1 MBps download speeds.

Companies advertise in Mbps (Mega bits per second). You download rates are in MBps (Mega Bytes per second).

8 bits in a byte.... do the math...

Interesting. I called and double checked and they said it is supposed to be 7.1 MBps (Mega Bytes) so something is throttling this

How are you testing this? What site/tools are you using to get these results?

Doing a speed test can tell you your average download speed, but real world download speeds from websites will never match that unless they offer high speed data directly between you and them. For example, my speeds are 20 down, 10 up(on speed tests), but when I download from websites, on average(say a hak5 episode) it downloads at about 500-1000k. Thats because even though I can download at a higher speed, the website I connect to can't serve consistently at that speed to its visitors. It is possible you are seeing your normal download speeds vs something like a speed test.

Try these three sites:

http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/

http://www.speedtest.net/

http://www.speed.io/index_en.html

Then tell us what it says for each of the results. If they average over 2 meg up to 5 or even 7, then you are getting normal speeds and not throttled. If however they say something like the 500k you claim, then you probably have some network issues, and possibly not even related to the ISP. For example, my mothers internet would get dial up speeds on a cable line at times. We would reboot her modem and router and things would jump back up to about 20mbps. Then a day or two later, dial up speeds(like 56k dial up speeds, really bad). It turned out to be faulty hardware. Replaced her router and all is well now.

Here are my results:

I am using the site posted a few above (The one snubs went over on Hak5) and the first two you posted. My speeds are fairly consistent in real life downloads. HD Movies stream flawlessly (720p) and downloads cap out at around 500kb/s. This stays pretty consistent on the sites I go to at least and even taking into account that it may be the sites themselves I cant see why I am having such a huge drop in speed. I will try rebooting my modem and see if it works but I just replaced both the modem and router before replacing the router I had barely 88KB/s.

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If it was data between you and the ISP, sure, you would probably see some really high speed downloads, but I don't think you are being throttled as much as you are just seeing normal download speeds. My modem used to get 33mbps out of the box, but Comcast put a cap on my area and now I get 20mbps down when my service only advertises 6megs down. In reality, I get about 1 to 2mbps max on internet downloads.

You have to understand, even at advertised speeds of 7mbps, most of the time you will never see more than 2mbps bursts at times, and thats pushing it. Other than speed tests, which are set up for high bandwidth connections, you won't see normal download speeds at that level consistently. Mainly in part to 1, where the servers are, 2, the speed those servers can upload, and 3, how many threads the servers allow for a single client at a time. Streaming video services like Netflix use high speed data networks for delivery. The average website, not going to happen unless they spend big money for that kind of redundancy.

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Do you have a spare modem that you could try out? As Digip was saying it could be a hardware problem, plus on a side note, how long is your phone line between the socket and the modem, that could also be affecting your speeds as well.

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If it was data between you and the ISP, sure, you would probably see some really high speed downloads, but I don't think you are being throttled as much as you are just seeing normal download speeds. My modem used to get 33mbps out of the box, but Comcast put a cap on my area and now I get 20mbps down when my service only advertises 6megs down. In reality, I get about 1 to 2mbps max on internet downloads.

You have to understand, even at advertised speeds of 7mbps, most of the time you will never see more than 2mbps bursts at times, and thats pushing it. Other than speed tests, which are set up for high bandwidth connections, you won't see normal download speeds at that level consistently. Mainly in part to 1, where the servers are, 2, the speed those servers can upload, and 3, how many threads the servers allow for a single client at a time. Streaming video services like Netflix use high speed data networks for delivery. The average website, not going to happen unless they spend big money for that kind of redundancy.

You make a good point but my average download speed is 500kb/s on pretty much all sites. Even my own server if I connect through it over the internet instead of LAN. My friend can do the same and download the same file at 2.5 mb/s. I do realize that getting 7 won't happen but I just want at least 1 or 2 mb/s as I do a lot of downloading (600mb+ files).

The other thing is I used to get 3mb/s when I first signed up with them so maybe its just because they have way more users now and different plans. They won't give me a straight answer to if they have or haven't capped me for downloading but I assume they haven't because my friend downloads as much as I do. On other thing I noticed on Linux based operating systems ( ubuntu , BT4, fedora and centOS) I get upwards of 800-900kb/s.

Do you have a spare modem that you could try out? As Digip was saying it could be a hardware problem, plus on a side note, how long is your phone line between the socket and the modem, that could also be affecting your speeds as well.

I borrowed my friends modem and I get 2.5mb/s. I went to shaw I go them to lend me a new one and the exact model my friend has the tech had to setup and run the test but it was free of charge. That modem capped at 500kb/s he said it may have to do with faulty wiring but after I told him my friends worked at 2.5 mb/s he said there caps are based of modem IDs and MAC addresses so that why his still gave me 2.5. This makes no sense as we have the exact same plan. I am going to have someone look at the cable jack and see if it is faulty.

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You make a good point but my average download speed is 500kb/s on pretty much all sites. Even my own server if I connect through it over the internet instead of LAN. My friend can do the same and download the same file at 2.5 mb/s. I do realize that getting 7 won't happen but I just want at least 1 or 2 mb/s as I do a lot of downloading (600mb+ files).

The other thing is I used to get 3mb/s when I first signed up with them so maybe its just because they have way more users now and different plans. They won't give me a straight answer to if they have or haven't capped me for downloading but I assume they haven't because my friend downloads as much as I do. On other thing I noticed on Linux based operating systems ( ubuntu , BT4, fedora and centOS) I get upwards of 800-900kb/s.

I borrowed my friends modem and I get 2.5mb/s. I went to shaw I go them to lend me a new one and the exact model my friend has the tech had to setup and run the test but it was free of charge. That modem capped at 500kb/s he said it may have to do with faulty wiring but after I told him my friends worked at 2.5 mb/s he said there caps are based of modem IDs and MAC addresses so that why his still gave me 2.5. This makes no sense as we have the exact same plan. I am going to have someone look at the cable jack and see if it is faulty.

You do realize that 7 MegaBYTES per second would require you to use a FiOS modem most likely, right? That's roughly 56 MegaBITS per second. I don't know of any normal DSL or cable modem that would be able to handle that. Highest I have seen outside of a FiOS was a DSL modem rated at 33Mbps. Also do realize that upper case "B"=Bytes and lower case "b"=bits. ISP's love to mix up Mbps and MBps. Even with FiOS, you're still going to be throttled down to whatever cable is running in your house down to your street.

Edited by mux
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What DOCSIS version is your modem using, and do you know if it has the latest firmware? Is it the ISP's modem, or your own purchased one? It may have an outdated config file set to a slower bandwidth limit compared to your friends modem, which makes sense when swapping the two and comparing the speed differences. The only way to change these yourself is hack the modem to put on your own firmware so you can add faster config files from the ISP's tftp servers. This is also illegal, but the point is, if the config file on the modem itself is set for slower limits, not much you can do short of changing the modem, or modding it. One of the reasons for modding a modem, is so you can backup the firmware as well as config file on the modem itself, which can also shed some light as to what is happening. If you can find out what configs are in your area and identify what is on your modem, you can compare them to see what speeds they are. There are sites devoted to modding modems for network testing (not for theft of service!) but again, is also illegal to some extent, since you can literally bypass the ISP's settings and security, and on some ISPs get free internet.

Are you using a router as well? Few things to try. You can try changing your MAC address on your Router(using mac clone. Make up some numbers, just keep the same 3 hex codes for the OEM prefix), and then hard resetting the modem(power it off for about 30 seconds, unless of course it has a built in battery backup from the ISP like some surfboards, should have a reset switch you can hold in with a paper clip instead). This will assign you a new IP address with the ISP via DHCP and hopefully re-provision the modem at the same time, updating the config file in the process.

If that doesn't work, take the router out of the loop and test again directly from the PC to the modem. If your speed is same, then its not the router and possibly the modem itself. Then replace all cables(if you have spares. Dont bother spending money at this point) just to sure.

If all is said and done and no change, yet using a friends modem you can see a difference, then either the modems config is set slower or its outdated in some manner, such the ISP putting older firmware on the router(which Comcast did to my own at one point but then fixed a few weeks later) or it can't do much more than it is already doing and you might want to consider a newer modem.

Edited by digip
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Guest Deleted_Account

You do realize that 7 MegaBYTES per second would require you to use a FiOS modem most likely, right? That's roughly 56 MegaBITS per second. I don't know of any normal DSL or cable modem that would be able to handle that. Highest I have seen outside of a FiOS was a DSL modem rated at 33Mbps. Also do realize that upper case "B"=Bytes and lower case "b"=bits. ISP's love to mix up Mbps and MBps. Even with FiOS, you're still going to be throttled down to whatever cable is running in your house down to your street.

I realize that. But I do not have anyway to confirm if they mix up Mbps orMBps as they all spell it out as mega bytes. Marketing probably. Eitherway I would be happy with 2 MBps which is average around town only people I know with more are using the so called 50 Mbps plan. Now that said I called shaw and got put through to a tech who has told me the rating is based on Mbps and not MBps. He also said I should be getting at least 2 MBps.

What DOCSIS version is your modem using, and do you know if it has the latest firmware? Is it the ISP's modem, or your own purchased one? It may have an outdated config file set to a slower bandwidth limit compared to your friends modem, which makes sense when swapping the two and comparing the speed differences. The only way to change these yourself is hack the modem to put on your own firmware so you can add faster config files from the ISP's tftp servers. This is also illegal, but the point is, if the config file on the modem itself is set for slower limits, not much you can do short of changing the modem, or modding it. One of the reasons for modding a modem, is so you can backup the firmware as well as config file on the modem itself, which can also shed some light as to what is happening. If you can find out what configs are in your area and identify what is on your modem, you can compare them to see what speeds they are. There are sites devoted to modding modems for network testing (not for theft of service!) but again, is also illegal to some extent, since you can literally bypass the ISP's settings and security, and on some ISPs get free internet.

Are you using a router as well? Few things to try. You can try changing your MAC address on your Router(using mac clone. Make up some numbers, just keep the same 3 hex codes for the OEM prefix), and then hard resetting the modem(power it off for about 30 seconds, unless of course it has a built in battery backup from the ISP like some surfboards, should have a reset switch you can hold in with a paper clip instead). This will assign you a new IP address with the ISP via DHCP and hopefully re-provision the modem at the same time, updating the config file in the process.

If that doesn't work, take the router out of the loop and test again directly from the PC to the modem. If your speed is same, then its not the router and possibly the modem itself. Then replace all cables(if you have spares. Dont bother spending money at this point) just to sure.

If all is said and done and no change, yet using a friends modem you can see a difference, then either the modems config is set slower or its outdated in some manner, such the ISP putting older firmware on the router(which Comcast did to my own at one point but then fixed a few weeks later) or it can't do much more than it is already doing and you might want to consider a newer modem.

Thanks for the tips I tried them. Removing/readying router does nothing. The modem was purchased from the ISP this is the third one Now as they switched it twice today. they did have to update it so maybe they didnt update the config file? I have noticed a slight boost I am getting 920mbps now (just downloaded an ubuntu iso to test) so it is better. Do you think this could be the limit? As you can tell I am not an expert in this field I am a security and programming person so all your guys' help is greatly appreciated.

Edited by x942
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I think that was more likely 920kbps, not 920mbps. And that is normal. Again, the servers you connect to, especially one as heavily accessed as the ubuntu mirrors(which could be a server anywhere in the world, most of which are universities) won't have speeds much faster than what you see for your download. You internet speeds are fine from what you described. you might find a mirror for ubuntu closer to you that might top 1200kbps, but not going to see one at 5 or even 7mbps to download the ISO.

Try this site to see what I mean about speeds. I think you are confused as to what you are looking at.

http://www.numion.com/calculators/units.html At 920kbps you are getting just under 1 megabit download speeds, which is good for an http download from an ubuntu mirror probably half way around the world from you. Below is a screen shot showing an absurd 900mbps. As you can see, if you did get it downloaded at 900mbps, vs the kbps, your speed would then be 112 Mega Bytes/second. Not even a T1 line can download that fast.

converter.jpg

Edited by digip
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Guest Deleted_Account

I think that was more likely 920kbps, not 920mbps. And that is normal. Again, the servers you connect to, especially one as heavily accessed as the ubuntu mirrors(which could be a server anywhere in the world, most of which are universities) won't have speeds much faster than what you see for your download. You internet speeds are fine from what you described. you might find a mirror for ubuntu closer to you that might top 1200kbps, but not going to see one at 5 or even 7mbps to download the ISO.

Try this site to see what I mean about speeds. I think you are confused as to what you are looking at.

http://www.numion.com/calculators/units.html At 920kbps you are getting just under 1 megabit download speeds, which is good for an http download from an ubuntu mirror probably half way around the world from you. Below is a screen shot showing an absurd 900mbps. As you can see, if you did get it downloaded at 900mbps, vs the kbps, your speed would then be 112 Mega Bytes/second. Not even a T1 line can download that fast.

converter.jpg

That was 100%. A typo my iPod touch autocorrected it to Mbps. The server I always choose is one in Canada so it is close to me. I tried again on other sites (my sever) and get 1mbps now guess it was something to do with firmware update as it seems to be going faster.

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Another thing to consider is you said you were getting these modems from the ISP. They are re-rented to customers from previous customers, so your other modems may have been provisioned at slower speeds from other peoples territories or account tiers. My suggestion is when you get some money, invest in a Docsis 3.0 modem purchase of your own, not from the ISP. Speeds might not get much faster, but should sustain consistent downloads and upload much better since they can use 4 or more bonded download channels. You also won't have to pay a fee to rent the modem each month either, and if you do decide to mod it at some point, you won't have to return it to the ISP, so its yours to do as you wish.

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I'm still thinking that they may say "MegaBytes" but they mean MegaBits. The sales people are tech people. If you call the level 3 tech support they actually know the difference. Be smarter than the sales people.

I am fairly certain you are correct. I probably should have thought of that sooner I am going to do studying on this stuff tonight so I know more about this. I knew MBps and Mbps were different but I didn't realize they used it the way they do and learning more about this can only help. Thanks for your help.

Another thing to consider is you said you were getting these modems from the ISP. They are re-rented to customers from previous customers, so your other modems may have been provisioned at slower speeds from other peoples territories or account tiers. My suggestion is when you get some money, invest in a Docsis 3.0 modem purchase of your own, not from the ISP. Speeds might not get much faster, but should sustain consistent downloads and upload much better since they can use 4 or more bonded download channels. You also won't have to pay a fee to rent the modem each month either, and if you do decide to mod it at some point, you won't have to return it to the ISP, so its yours to do as you wish.

That is an interesting thought. I may do just that although I actually bought my modem from my ISP as I didn't want monthly fees. They are always buying them back so I can get some money for it at least.

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I am already on a 3rd modem and planning on upgrading my current modem. Now off topic, I've been meaning to ask this question before, but would there be any performance gain, if I built a standard computer using a standard PCI adsl modem card? Or has anyone tried this before?

Edited by Infiltrator
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I am already on a 3rd modem and planning on upgrading my current modem. Now off topic, I've been meaning to ask this question before, but would there be any performance gain, if I built a standard computer using a standard PCI adsl modem card? Or has anyone tried this before?

The problem with PCI cards is the pc connected is the only one that will get internet unless you have an additional NIC card that has multiple ports and you in turn used it as a router as well. The other issue, is most ISPs won't support an internal card because they can't flash or update them like they do the physical stand alone device. I found this out when I bought a Zoom PCI cable modem, and was never able to use it as my ISP wouldn't allow it on their network.

One of the reasons for modding and flashing your own modem though, is so you can lock out the ISP from applying their own configs and changing the firmware that was installed on it(sometimes they apply older firmware in the process, causing all sorts of connection problems). There are lists of config files for different tiers on different ISPs that you can apply yourself, but only after modding the modem and putting on custom firmware. By default, those features are only available to a CMTS and the ISP, which in my opinion is backwards. Since we own our own modem, I don't want them applying firmware updates from their end and messing with the device that I own. I should be able to update it myself, but thats not how they are designed. The other problem no one thinks about is if the ISP puts a different firmware on the modem while the power goes out, they can brick your device in the process. Something that does happen, but people just end up thinking it died or was faulty and end up throwing them away, when in actuality, they could fix it themselves by reflashing it with good firmware. There are even ways to flash the chips without power to the device, flashing directly to the chip itself(in order to fix bricked devices), but requires the right equipment to do it. See video for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uOM_L54hIo

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The problem with PCI cards is the pc connected is the only one that will get internet unless you have an additional NIC card that has multiple ports and you in turn used it as a router as well. The other issue, is most ISPs won't support an internal card because they can't flash or update them like they do the physical stand alone device. I found this out when I bought a Zoom PCI cable modem, and was never able to use it as my ISP wouldn't allow it on their network.

One of the reasons for modding and flashing your own modem though, is so you can lock out the ISP from applying their own configs and changing the firmware that was installed on it(sometimes they apply older firmware in the process, causing all sorts of connection problems). There are lists of config files for different tiers on different ISPs that you can apply yourself, but only after modding the modem and putting on custom firmware. By default, those features are only available to a CMTS and the ISP, which in my opinion is backwards. Since we own our own modem, I don't want them applying firmware updates from their end and messing with the device that I own. I should be able to update it myself, but thats not how they are designed. The other problem no one thinks about is if the ISP puts a different firmware on the modem while the power goes out, they can brick your device in the process. Something that does happen, but people just end up thinking it died or was faulty and end up throwing them away, when in actuality, they could fix it themselves by reflashing it with good firmware. There are even ways to flash the chips without power to the device, flashing directly to the chip itself(in order to fix bricked devices), but requires the right equipment to do it. See video for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uOM_L54hIo

I've changed my mind, I am purchasing a Linksys WAG320N ADSL2+ Modem. That should be enough for what I do and plus it would probably be a waste of money, if I end up buying a PCI Modem Card and finding out later that it doesn't work with my ISP.

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