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Standard User jj5406
(newbie) Thu 08-Jun-17 20:41:26
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ISP/WiFi speed different to different devices


[link to this post]
 
Surprisingly, this not a complaint, but I'm wondering about an inconsistency and how I might be able to take advantage of it.

We live in the hinterlands and just recently got "actual" broadband, provided by a local ISP at a cost that is not insignificant for what we receive, but it is currently the only wired broadband option available to us and is still cheaper and superior to satellite or service through a mobile carrier.

We signed up for 25mbps service, and after install, I took my laptop all over the house to test the speed (to make sure we are getting what we are overpaying for) as well as the performance of the router. I measured 25mbps (down) everywhere I went in the house - yay! The measurement was incredibly consistent, and consistent with the data rate being capped by the ISP software. However, I have noticed that (usually) when I do a speed test from my phone, I will get around 100mbps! That is both amazing, and unexpected.

Clearly, the ISP has set up something incorrectly (there's no way the router could give more bandwidth than is coming into it, right?), but I'm not going to complain. However, I am wondering how this inconsistency could have occurred, and if there's a way to take advantage of this additional bandwidth on other devices. I don't feel bad about this, because I feel that the ISP is already taking advantage of us due to their monopoly and overcharging for the service they are providing.

The 25mbps is clearly not a limitation of my laptop. I've measured the speed at work over WiFi and got upwards of 200mbps.

Both my laptop and phone use 802.11n. The router is capable of 802.11ac, but even if I had capable devices, the bandwidth coming into the house should be the bottleneck.

Even if there is no way to take advantage of the extra bandwidth on a laptop, can anyone think of a scenario in which this could occur?

Cheers.

-J
Standard User Banger
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 08-Jun-17 21:09:39
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Re: ISP/WiFi speed different to different devices


[re: jj5406] [link to this post]
 
Phone not powerful enough to run speed test app accurately. Laptop speed is correct.

Tim
www.uno.net.uk & freenetname
Asus DSL-N55U and TP-Link WD9970 on 80 Meg LLU Fibre
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results.html...

Current Sync: 71804/17964
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Thu 08-Jun-17 22:53:16
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Re: ISP/WiFi speed different to different devices


[re: jj5406] [link to this post]
 
Speedtests are only reliable when run in a WIRED configuration.

What actual service do you have? And what does your modem say for the line sync?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit


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Standard User jj5406
(newbie) Fri 09-Jun-17 16:28:36
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Re: ISP/WiFi speed different to different devices


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Well, speed tests may only be "reliable" in a wired configuration, in the sense of properly measuring the bandwidth to your router, but a speed test over wifi should be just as reliable for measuring the speed through whatever route the data is traveling to one's device. And in any case, the numbers should theoretically never be higher than the bandwidth to the router - unless there is a problem with the application used to measure the speed.
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Fri 09-Jun-17 16:35:24
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Re: ISP/WiFi speed different to different devices


[re: jj5406] [link to this post]
 
You are attempting to measure the speed of your main connection ... so, if you put a variable link in there that can change from 10Mbps to 300Mbps in a few milliseconds along with the potential for caching or buffering at various points there is no way you can rely on the results.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User jj5406
(newbie) Fri 09-Jun-17 16:51:20
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Re: ISP/WiFi speed different to different devices


[re: Banger] [link to this post]
 
Well, I tried that link with my laptop to test my speed (via browser, not by downloading an app to my computer) and got results of single-thread: ~25mpbs, multi-thread: "bursting to ~140mbps" ! (it gave me an overall rating ~115mbps. I tried some other speed test sites that claim to be better because they use html5 instead of flash. Results varied, but in general were far better than the expected 25mpbs

I'm not sure I agree with the idea that the phone is incapable of measuring accurately, and in any case, I would expect the phone measurement to be lower if anything. But there does seem to be a big difference between single thread and multithread measurements. I think the most likely explanation for the difference I'm seeing is that the phone app was making a multi-thread measurement, whereas the site I was using when testing on my computer was using a single-thread measurement.

It's possible that my ISP's software is not doing what they expect, such that they are limiting the bandwidth of single streams to 25mbps, but that the limit on the overall throughput is actually much higher.

-J
Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 09-Jun-17 17:14:06
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Re: ISP/WiFi speed different to different devices


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
there is no way you can rely on the results.

100% agree.

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 09-Jun-17 18:00:38
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Re: ISP/WiFi speed different to different devices


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Precisely why the throughput samples are stored and available for comparison at a later date with our tester.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 09-Jun-17 18:10:10
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Re: ISP/WiFi speed different to different devices


[re: jj5406] [link to this post]
 
http://tbb.st/1497021467839992955
http://tbb.st/1497022544550892755

I think these are your speed tests, and the latency will look high to most people, but worth pointing out that you don't appear to be in the UK and this factors into that.

The graphs have a slow ramp up, which can be a factor of the higher latency but this is not always the case (e.g. http://tbb.st/1496310258652206155 similar latency same country and a small delay at the start but quickly scaled)

No idea what your actual underlying broadband service/technology is, but it should be mentioned that some services do exist around the world which sell at various speed points, but do allow people to run faster for short periods of time when things are not very busy.

Most speed tests are multiple thread, a few do both (we are one) and some others do but generally you need to dig into the advanced settings.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User jj5406
(newbie) Fri 09-Jun-17 19:54:35
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Re: ISP/WiFi speed different to different devices


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
I've got to say, I think I'm about to give up on this speed measuring all together and just be happy with what I have unless I start to experience issues. I have primarily been using speedtest.net, and it allows you to choose a nearby server if you like (or it will default to one after testing ping). I think I have found the cause of some of the variability I've been seeing in the measurements - though I'm not sure why it's there. Most of the nearby servers show what is essentially the ISP declared speed, however, a few servers show substantially faster speeds (one clocked in at 300mbps). At the ISP threshold, the speed typically starts out faster and then slows down to the ISP limit, as though the ISP software is throttling the connection to give me the limit I signed up for.

Running speed tests on two computers simultaneously to different servers that independently will give the ISP's suggested bandwidth, that bandwidth does seem to be shared (not necessarily equally) by the two computers totaling up to the ISP suggested bandwidth. If instead, I choose one of the "faster servers" in the mix, the other one still get's the full ISP suggested bandwidth, while the fast one may be a little slower than running it independently.

Either my ISP is somehow allowing data from certain places in at a much higher bandwidth than expected, or speed numbers from those servers are just bunk. Or maybe a bit of both.

One independent check on the speedtest was simultaneously looking at the Activity Monitor on my mac. On the fastest connection, it registered data received at rates up to 45MB/sec (or 360mbps) during the test. I'm willing to believe that over course of the test, an average of 300mbps was actually achieved. The activity monitor measurements also corroborated the tests on servers that showed me getting the ISP suggested bandwidth (the monitor showed download rates in MB/sec being roughly 1/8 of the expected speed in mbps).

At this point, I'm giving up on knowing the true explanation. But thanks for the replies, I have learned something.

If I assume that the speed tests are reasonably correct, the only explanation I can currently think of is that somehow data streams from certain places (by which I mean in places in IP space, not geographic location) are not being throttled by the ISP at all and are not counting against the total bandwidth limit that the ISP has set for me. If that's even possible. It's hard to know what kind of software the ISP is running to do this, but I could imagine a scenario where this could be set up.

Anyway, it's interesting and I've enjoyed reading the posts.

-J
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