Internet Speed Test Results... total BS now?

Jul 1, 2001
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#1
So, I noticed that I've been having problems with my Netflix and YouTube streams getting downgraded to 480p while I was watching them.

So, I did a Speed Test check, and got back this:



OK, this is just bullshit. Am I really supposed to believe that a "300Mb/s" (I pay for 250Mb/s) internet connection can't support a 1080p video scream? Comcast has to be doing network throttling on their end.
 
Jan 8, 2010
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#2
throttled? other issues?

I found that a few apps, such as wfi sniffers and phantomjs cause my nic to go nuts and drop tons of packets and I can't stream when they are running.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#3
Welcome to "paid prioritization", and "peering issues", with the repeal of "Net Neutrality".

The ISPs just need a little palm-greasing from the content providers, and then your streaming will be tip-top.

That's assuming that you DON'T have hardware / signal problems.
 
Jul 1, 2001
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#4
Maybe someone should come up with a VPN that masks your true Internet traffic and makes it look like speedtest.net traffic, so I actually get the 250Mb/sec that I paid for :)
 

Carson Dyle

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2012
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#6
Are you also questioning the speedtest results? Comcast over-provisions their connections by about 20-21%.
 
May 24, 2003
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#7
Didn't you guys in the states lose out on net neutrality a while back? I think this is just normal now. ISPs are more likely to just throttle stuff by default to discourage use of services that compete with theirs. Completely legal now. Sadly, we're fighting for this here in Canada again too. It's a never ending battle.

Eventually they might start offering "fast lane" packages but guess it takes a while to get all the billing and logistics stuff setup to offer that.
 

Paladin3

Diamond Member
Mar 5, 2004
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#8
Even if we leave throttling and politics out of it, aren't speed tests only good as far as the short hop to the nearby test server that is flooding you with all the data it can for the very purpose of the test? It's not like you are testing with the actual service way over there [points off in the far, far distance across the endless Internet] that you are experiencing the slow down with.
 
Jul 1, 2001
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#9
Are you also questioning the speedtest results? Comcast over-provisions their connections by about 20-21%.
No, I'm questioning why my broadband speed tests say that I have 300Mb/s internet access, but it when I play streamed content it plays like it was streamed off of an old DSL modem for 2004.

I highly doubt that the issue is on YouTube's or Netflix's side... they have giant data centers with all the bandwidth they could ever need.

What's odd is that the speed tests continue to look good even when I choose a server from another company further away. It seems that Comcast has mastered the art of "content prioritization" when it comes to speed tests.
 
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JoeBleed

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2000
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#10
No, I'm questioning why my broadband speed tests say that I have 300Mb/s internet access, but it when I play streamed content it plays like it was streamed off of an old DSL modem for 2004.

I highly doubt that the issue in on YouTube's or Netflix's side... they have giant data centers with all the bandwidth they could ever need.

What's odd is that the speed tests continue to look good even when I choose a server from another company further away. It seems that Comcast has mastered the art of "content prioritization" when it comes to speed tests.

Peering issues don't have anything to do with the youtube or netflix's data centers. it has to do with your ISP's connection to the internet. They either can't handle the bandwidth demand coming in/out or they are throttling select traffic. Prioritizing traffic for speed tests was pointed out some years ago if i remember right. try the speed test on dslreports site. also, someone listed the netflix speed test.

the only other option i can suggest is a routing issue either inside your ISP or along the route. For any speed reference, i have 6Mb/s DSL. i can stream 1080p/30 youtube and usually 720p/60 from youtube. i don't have a netflix account. I can stream HD from amazon, i don't remember what that actually is though.
 
Mar 1, 2000
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#11
Peering issues don't have anything to do with the youtube or netflix's data centers. it has to do with your ISP's connection to the internet. They either can't handle the bandwidth demand coming in/out or they are throttling select traffic. Prioritizing traffic for speed tests was pointed out some years ago if i remember right. try the speed test on dslreports site. also, someone listed the netflix speed test.

the only other option i can suggest is a routing issue either inside your ISP or along the route. For any speed reference, i have 6Mb/s DSL. i can stream 1080p/30 youtube and usually 720p/60 from youtube. i don't have a netflix account. I can stream HD from amazon, i don't remember what that actually is though.
ehhh what? Peering has A LOT to do with it (but is not the only limiting factor... no single thing is)

Your ISP can have OC192s running into every house they service. Netflix can have OC192s dedicated to every video they offer. If the peering between your ISP and Netflix is a POTS line, your service is going to suck
 

JoeBleed

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2000
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#12
ehhh what? Peering has A LOT to do with it (but is not the only limiting factor... no single thing is)

Your ISP can have OC192s running into every house they service. Netflix can have OC192s dedicated to every video they offer. If the peering between your ISP and Netflix is a POTS line, your service is going to suck
Didn't mean to say Peering has nothing to do with it, it's meant to mean Peering issues have nothing to do with the youtube or netflix data centers. though i shouldn't say nothing or never. it's just less likely to be their data centers.

But i didn't say only one thing would be a problem anyway as you can see in the rest of my post.
 
Jul 1, 2001
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#15
Funny... the fast.com speed test says that I'm running at 240 Mb/sec. I'll have to try that again the next time I have streaming problems.
 
Nov 18, 2005
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#16
speedof.me is also vastly superior to Ookla's speedtest.net.

And as others pointed out, it doesn't even need to be a case of them gaming/prioritizing speed tests. Generally that is simple HTTP traffic - you can see for yourself by downloading some Linux ISO from a webpage (HTTP/HTTPS). You might need to try a few but generally traffic is shaped/prioritized based on protocol, not specific destination (save for video services, which while served over HTTPS/443, always comes from specific content delivery networks (CDNs). While a lot of internet traffic comes from CDNs, Netflix and Youtube and others all operate their own CDNs, so when throttling/prioritizing occurs on specific content that shares a protocol with just about everything else on the web, they target CDNs to throttle traffic.

So if you just go and find random but major operating system webpages, be it from Microsoft, Red Hat, Canonical (Ubuntu), etc... and download a large installer/ISO, you're probably going to find yourself maxing your connection. That's the speed you are getting in real life more often than not. Or if you game, Steam and Origin tend to utilize all your bandwidth just as easily. Then if you can go back and watch video streaming services come to a crawl, and more than one, you can guarantee that data is getting throttled.


Maybe someone should come up with a VPN that masks your true Internet traffic and makes it look like speedtest.net traffic, so I actually get the 250Mb/sec that I paid for :)
That's essentially what just about every privacy-oriented VPN service offers. ISPs cannot tell what data is being moved about in a VPN tunnel, they just know it's VPN traffic. Because VPN traffic in general is often legitimate, they would get themselves into a tricky game if trying to throttle VPNs regardless of where the tunnel ends. There are so many VPN services, it's not like there is a VPN CDN that can be easily throttled without impacting other VPN use cases, so that's been an effective loophole when dealing with ISP throttling.
 
Feb 23, 2005
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#18
Just because you get 300Mb/s on a speedtest doesnt mean you'll get that from any site you visit.
 
Jul 1, 2001
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#20
Just because you get 300Mb/s on a speedtest doesnt mean you'll get that from any site you visit.
I'm not expecting 300Mb/s... I'm just expecting to be able to stream in HD from Netflix. I should be able to do that with a connection 1/10th that speed.
 
Feb 23, 2005
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#21
I'm not expecting 300Mb/s... I'm just expecting to be able to stream in HD from Netflix. I should be able to do that with a connection 1/10th that speed.
Agree.

Doesn't Netflix have their own speed test to test the connection from you to them?
 

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