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Best way to check internet connection speed?

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Best way to check internet connection speed?

Old 03-25-06, 06:39 PM
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Best way to check internet connection speed?

For the last three day, I've been having drastic internet speed problems with comcast cable starting around 11AM and ending around 11PM.

There are two computers on this network, both having the same issue, so I've ruled out PC problems.

Bypassing the router, running cable directly into the PC doesn't help, so I've ruled out the router (it is brand new anyway.)

In the past, any slow down problems were fixed by resetting the modem. This needed to be done maybe once a month. Now this solves nothing.

I've used CNet's bandmeter http://reviews.cnet.com/7004-7254_7-0.html
as wellas Speakeasy's http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/.

Cnet gives drastically different speeds on each run IE: 1:45pm-6079KBps, 1:46pm-599KBps, 1:47pm-44KBps. Speakeasy gives download speeds in the 5000-6000KBps range, but varying upload speeds of 10-300KBps or lower. I don't really know if upload speed effects regular internet browsing.

I want to explore all possible problems before calling comcast because they like to charge service fees for problems they don't consider their fault. But I'm suspecting a problem with the modem or with the cable coming into the house, or is it even possible that comcast is limiting access during peak hours to save bandwidth?
Old 03-25-06, 09:05 PM
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thanks for the links.
Old 03-25-06, 09:19 PM
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cable is shared bandwidth.. meaning if there are many ppl hitting the net at the same time on your node, you will see a drop in speeds....thats why you usually see a drop in speeds during the day and early evening (like 5 oclock when ppl come home from work)...the only thing Comcast can do about that is cutting down on the node cascading, and thats alot of construction.. basically taking the existing nodes and cutting them in half... I used to be a service tech for comcast. if you're afraid to call and schedule a service call, dont be.. they're no charge...
Old 03-25-06, 11:42 PM
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I expect we'll be calling comcast on Monday if the problem continues.

It isn't just a slight slowdown, A site like DVDtalk, normally loads virtually instantly, when this slowdown is happening it could take 2-3 minutes to finish. The crazy thing is the wild variation in results from CNet. They show a connection of 900-1500 KBps one minute and 40KBps the next.

Can you tell me how much upload speed has to do with regular browsing?
Old 03-26-06, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gfoots
I expect we'll be calling comcast on Monday if the problem continues.

It isn't just a slight slowdown, A site like DVDtalk, normally loads virtually instantly, when this slowdown is happening it could take 2-3 minutes to finish. The crazy thing is the wild variation in results from CNet. They show a connection of 900-1500 KBps one minute and 40KBps the next.

Can you tell me how much upload speed has to do with regular browsing?
If all upload speed is being used, any kind of connection's download speed will choke and suffer.

I.E. World of Warcraft's patcher uses a torrent-style download; it doesn't give you an option to limit upload speed. So as I download the patch, my broadband slows to a crawl when upload is being all used -- information being sent to a website comes out very slowly and thus you see the massive slowdown surfing.
Old 03-26-06, 02:34 PM
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Cnet's download tests never match the other tests I use. Just now they reported me at 1200kbps, whereas all the other tests were showing 3500-4500. So I'd discount Cnet, tostart with.

Uploading during 'normal' web browsing activity shouldn't really affect your DL. I assume you've run some spyware programs so you know you're not constantly uploading data, and that you're not downloading lots of binary files or game patches or something.

Comcast might be throttling you or your area, or maybe Fri/Sat was just a period of heavy use. Were there any big games or news events that could cause people to use a lot of bandwidth Fri/Sat?

Some other speed tests I use are:
dslreports.com http://www.dslreports.com/stest
numion www.numion.com
bandwidth place http://www.bandwidthplace.com/speedtest/

I'd probably give it a couple days, and maybe an extended modem reset, before calling COmcast, especially if they like to charge service visit fees [which is odd, TWC has never charged me for a service visit apart from the labor on installation which was a wall fish and an under-the-house drill job].
Old 03-26-06, 03:08 PM
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I like Speakeasy's.

For what it's worth, comcast was performing upgrades here in the Maryland/DC area. My internet was super slow yesterday, and down totally today until about 1:30 pm.

I called and they had a recording saying they were doing some upgrades and new registrations would not go through, talked to the CSR and she said there would be some outages until this afternoon as well.

Now it's back up and I'm getting 8.0-9.- mbps, when I was getting 5-6 before. I'm guessing they are upgrading from the 6 and 8 mpbs plans to 8 and 10 to compete with Verizon FIOS.
Old 03-26-06, 04:48 PM
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i would give the cable company a call. sometimes there is a problem with the wiring to your house or in your local area. they can come and check the signal at your box and make sure the drops are not due to a hardware problem on the provider side.

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