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Standard User Thinker27
(newbie) Sun 14-Jan-18 14:37:37
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Latency vs Ping


[link to this post]
 
I have a reasonable ADSL connection (with EE/Orange) that gives 16Mbps down and 1 up. My question concerns the latency figure reported by the speed tests.

The ping time (using ping in a DOS cmd window) to a few servers such as BBC, google, thinkbroadband.com is consistently around 10-12 ms. However, the ThinkBroadband speed test gives a latency of 40-70 ms. The BT Wholesale and Which speed tests give a similar latency, but the Ookla tester gives 10 ms ping.

Are these testers measuring different things? Why is the ThinkBroadband latency so much more than the ping time?
Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 14-Jan-18 15:07:34
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Re: Latency vs Ping


[re: Thinker27] [link to this post]
 
These servers are all in different places. The further they are away from you, the higher the ping.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User Thinker27
(newbie) Sun 14-Jan-18 15:48:12
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Re: Latency vs Ping


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
Whilst that could be true (e.g. if there were different numbers of routers between me and the servers), that is not the concern here. ALL of those example servers give a ping of the order of 10 ms, which I take as indicating that my ISP can get a packet from me to a website and back pretty quickly.

The question is why do the speed tests report a much higher latency than the ping time?

For example I have just pinged broadbandtest.which.co.uk in 10 ms and the speedtest run on my PC to that website reports latency 99 ms. A ping to thinkbroadband.com is 10 ms (min 9, max 13) but the speedtest has given a latency of 113 ms.


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Standard User bsdnazz
(regular) Sun 14-Jan-18 16:04:27
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Re: Latency vs Ping


[re: Thinker27] [link to this post]
 
WIth out know exactly what the speed testers are measuring and reporting a latency it's hard to compare their figures against a ping.

A ping is a low level IP test and quite simple. A latency report might include extra things like setting up a TCP connection, or not!
Standard User baby_frogmella
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 14-Jan-18 17:02:54
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Re: Latency vs Ping


[re: Thinker27] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Thinker27:
A ping to thinkbroadband.com is 10 ms (min 9, max 13) but the speedtest has given a latency of 113 ms.


AFAIK the TBB speedtester has always given incorrect (higher) latency times, so I would take its ping results with a large pinch of salt. Why it churns out bloated ping times I've no idea...

Best way to measure your latency is by pinging a web/IP address preferably on a wired connection. I've found speedtest.net also gives you a reasonably accurate latency reading most of the time.

FluidOne FTTP On Demand 330/30 Mbps
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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sun 14-Jan-18 17:04:47
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Re: Latency vs Ping


[re: bsdnazz] [link to this post]
 
Our older flash speed test would give lower latency as you had better control of packet sizes, currently tester is a small HTTP TCP packet so a lot bigger than say an ICMP or UDP packet, hence why it is called Latency and never ping

The ookla figure may be their flash or app based 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) Sun 14-Jan-18 17:05:24
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Re: Latency vs Ping


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
Because a webpage cannot issue ICMP pings

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User PaulKirby
(knowledge is power) Sun 14-Jan-18 19:59:50
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Re: Latency vs Ping


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
Agreed, I get about 22ms latency on the TBB Speed Tests (in my sig) and the following when I Ping the same server:

ping speedtest7.thinkbroadband.com

Pinging speedtest7.thinkbroadband.com [80.249.106.133] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 80.249.106.133: bytes=32 time=4ms TTL=53
Reply from 80.249.106.133: bytes=32 time=4ms TTL=53
Reply from 80.249.106.133: bytes=32 time=4ms TTL=53
Reply from 80.249.106.133: bytes=32 time=4ms TTL=53

Ping statistics for 80.249.106.133:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 4ms, Maximum = 4ms, Average = 4ms

I don't normally pay attention to the latency due to I know its normally in the 3 to 7ms.

Paul

BTBroadband - Infinity 4 312.47 Mbps (down), 29.78 Mbps (up) FVA
TBB Speedtest | Ookla Speedtest | Linksys WRT 3200 ACM (BQM)
Standard User Thinker27
(newbie) Sun 14-Jan-18 20:38:01
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Re: Latency vs Ping


[re: PaulKirby] [link to this post]
 
As bsdnazz suggested, it would help to know exactly what the speed tester is testing regarding latency. I presume it is somehow measuring a transit time whilst the upload or download is in progress. This could be more "real world" in a sense, and presumably indicates a slowing down of the routers when under load.

Maybe it is useful for diagnostics, comparing different situations. However, I wonder how relevant it is as a measure of the quality of a broadband connection, in the sense of how well it performs as perceived by a user.

When streaming, the latency doesn't seem to be as important as speed, it just delays the time at which the download finishes by ~a tenth of a second. These days when loading a web page or transacting business, connections are made to lots of servers. I wonder whether ping times are more relevant to performance.
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 14-Jan-18 22:01:26
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Re: Latency vs Ping


[re: Thinker27] [link to this post]
 
You are misunderstanding/overthinking it.

As MrSaffron has said, the speedtest doesn't use ICMP to measure latency. Doing a ping in command prompt is the most accurate method of determining the actual path of your connection to the thinkbroadband servers - and even that is only relevant as far as from you to TBB (however it does of course give you an indication of what your baseline is going to be).

ZeN Fibre Unlimited 2
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