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Author Topic: BT Wholesale speed test reports different speeds to others  (Read 888 times)

cbull

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Hi All,

I posted a while back about some issues I was having with my bonded ADSL from Eclipse (resold Sharedband). Throughput on each line would drop terribly, down from about 18meg peak to 3-4meg. At the time I was convinced that I had a problem with one of my BT lines - however following 3 BT engineer visits during which they were unable to see any faults on the line, even though I could show them that the throughput was nowhere near the sync speed, it has become obvious that the issue lies elsewhere.
Following the third engineer visit, Eclipse support asked me to disable all the bonding settings on the routers and run the speedtest at speedtest.btwholesale.com whilst I was experiencing a drop in throughput. To my surprise, the speedtest at BT Wholesale came back with speeds of near enough 100% of the sync speed for each line. So they sent me additional hardware - essentially an additional router for each line to do the bonding, alleviating the processing load on the netgear dg834's. For a while, no issues. 'Brilliant!' I thought, 'Problem Solved!'. Nope. It's started happening again.
So every time I notice the drop in throughput happening, I disconnect the second routers, hook my laptop into the isolated netgear on each line, and run the BT wholesale speedtest. Every time, speeds are good on the BT wholesale checker.
Which (finally!) brings me to the point in the title.
Today, I tried a different tack. When the throughput was poor, I ran the BT Wholesale speed checker on each line as usual. 11 meg on one line, 10 on the other. Then I ran speedtests at speedtest.net and speedtest.sharedband.net (which is the one eclipse reccomend to use). Even though the BT wholesale tests were 11/10meg on each line, the other two speedcheckers were showing speeds of 3/4meg.
Does this offer any pointers as to where the trouble might be? It's making me think that there's a routing issue or a router somewhere that's getting overwhelmed at certain times. Am I right in thinking that the BT Wholesale speed checker is not affecting by the ISP's routing?
Any help or insight is much appreciated, sorry for such a long post! I'm seriously at my wit's end with this, it's been going on for 7-8 months now.
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pcourtney

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Re: BT Wholesale speed test reports different speeds to others
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 11:27:06 AM »

very common problem, especially in the afternoons, according to the Sharedband website, only buying direct from Sharedband themselves will cure your problem, Eclipse and others just traffic shape and do their best to cope with all the traffic on their network, don't expect any preferential treatment


Sharedband slows down in the afternoon/evening.

http://support.sharedband.com/kb/kb18/Sharedband+slows+down+in+the+afternoon%2Fevening



If your sharedband service slows down in the afternoon, this issues is normally caused by either traffic shaping or contention on the lines that are bonded.

What is contention?

Due to the ever increasing use of the internet, ISPs are finding that at peak times, normally between 3pm and 11pm, traffic is many times more than what is available.
It is uneconomical for an ISP to provide every customer with 100% of the bandwidth all the time (this is one of the reasons leased lines are so expensive), especially as most customers don’t use 100% all the time.

Another way to explain this is like the water supply to your house. You only have a finite amount of water per second coming in. If somebody is having a shower and then someone else decides to flush the toilet, the shower and the toilet are now both trying to use all the available water, so the water supply is split in two and the person in the shower gets a shock.

To try and avoid one customer being able to use all the available bandwidth and thus affect other customers, some ISPs use traffic shaping.


What is traffic shaping?

Due to the ever increasing use of the internet, ISPs are finding that at peak times, normally between 3PM and 11PM, that traffic is many times what is actually available, this causes contention issues (see contention above).
To minimize disruption during peak periods, some ISPs prioritise web and email traffic but penalise other traffic like VPN, Gaming, P2P and other unknown programs. Because sharedband is still relatively unknown it sometimes gets categorised with all the other “undesirable” traffic.

This results in the customer getting sub-optimum sharedband performance during peak periods.

Testing for traffic shaping and contention.

Log on to the sharedband NOC using the details you were given when you signed up with Sharedband. If you get your service direct from sharedband then the URLS are below. If you buy from a Sharedband partner then you will need to raise the issue with their support department.

UK: http://noc.uk.sharedband.net/customer/

UK: http://noc.sharedband.net/customer/

US: http://noc.us.sharedband.net/customer/

Once you have logged in, click on Status and then Historic Speedtests or Historic Table.
These speedtests are used to balance your lines and ensure optimum sharedband performance.
If you notice that your speeds are much lower in the afternoons and evenings than they are overnight and in the morning then you have a contention issue.

If the results are reasonably consistent throughout the day then it’s likely you have a traffic shaping issue.

A Contention Issue

You will need to speak to your ISP and explain that you are seeing slow down in the afternoons.
If you are using Sharedband ADSL routers you may need to follow this guide (http://support.sharedband.com/index.php?act=article&code=view&id=2) to disable sharedband and test just using the normal ISP connection. If you are using neutral routers you should be able to plug directly into the ISPs modem/router.
Bear in mind that you will need to do this at the same time of the day you normally see the slow down. You can use our speedtest site to test by visiting http://speedtest.sharedband.net and choosing the server located closest to you. We would recommend you do x3 speed tests per line to ensure consistent results.

A Traffic Shaping issue

To further test this you will need to power down all but one of your sharedband routers. Do not unplug one router from the rest of them, you MUST power off the other sharedband routers otherwise you will skew the results.

Now test each router, one at a time and record the results. If you have traffic shaping issues, then the speed tests you have just conducted will be very different to the speeds reported by the NOC.
Bear in mind that you will need to do this at the same time of the day you normally see the slow down. You can use our speedtest site to test

http://speedtest.sharedband.net , pick the nearest server to you. We would recommend you do x3 speed tests per line to ensure consistent results.

You will then need to speak to your ISP and explain that you are being traffic shaped. Traffic shaping is much more aggressive on residential lines so you will often need to upgrade to a business package to avoid it.

If you need to do additional testing then please raise a technical support ticket here: http://support.sharedband.net

Does sharedband use traffic shaping or have contention issues?

We cannot speak on behalf of our partners but if you buy the service direct from Sharedband then we do not traffic shape within our infrastructure.
We understand that customers use our service to get more bandwidth so standard web browsing or an obscure program, they all get treated freely on our network.

As for contention, Sharedband always aims to keep up with peak demand. Due to our position in the network, close to main peering providers like LINX, SIX, AMS-IX, Global Crossing etc, bandwidth is comparatively inexpensive. We rely on other ISPs to provide the expensive bandwidth between the customer and the internet. Adding extra bandwidth is not an issue for us and is available at a moments notice.
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