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Author Topic: ISP hotlist for gamers  (Read 3912 times)

boost

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ISP hotlist for gamers
« on: June 23, 2015, 12:23:03 PM »

I'm a gamer. I'm only concerned with latency of my gaming packets within the UK and perhaps to a few places outside (Frankfurt/Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Stockholm).
I'm not overly concerned with throughput but jitter is annoying and packet loss unacceptable :P

I don't know if this information is elsewhere but I'd appreciate any feedback. I'd like to create a TOP 3 list for gamers, if possible.
My experience so far:

1. Plusnet = very good (10ms to bbc, 12~ in game - UK)
2. Sky = very good (12ms to bbc, 15/16 in game - UK)
3. ?
4. ?
5. BT = poor (28ms~ to bbc, 35~ in game via 21CN nodes)

(All of the above are from different premises. The BT experience is my current, ultra short, line as seen on MDWS)

I'm currently based in Caerphilly, just outside Cardiff. I appreciate some ISPs will have different setups depending on what kit they have in which exchange or which backhaul agreements are in place in various bits of the country, so the 'TOP 3' may be different for some.

Information that is useful to this thread:

1. Your ping times to bbc.co.uk
2. Your first hop ping time vs final hop ping time
3. Your perception of the ISP as a gamer, whether you have any other info or not
4. Your perception of peak / off peak as a gamer
5. The names of any ISPs who use absolute minimal BT backhaul / transit
6. The names of any ISPs who prioritise gaming traffic
7. Any other info that might help gamers make an informed choice of which ISP is best for them

Thank you :)
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burakkucat

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015, 05:18:47 PM »

TalkTalk provide a service to The Cattery. Here follows some raw data for you . . .

Code: [Select]
[Duo2 ~]$ ping -c 10 -n 127.0.0.1
PING 127.0.0.1 (127.0.0.1) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.086 ms
64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.085 ms
64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.093 ms
64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=0.093 ms
64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=5 ttl=64 time=0.083 ms
64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=6 ttl=64 time=0.080 ms
64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=7 ttl=64 time=0.081 ms
64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=8 ttl=64 time=0.082 ms
64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=9 ttl=64 time=0.079 ms
64 bytes from 127.0.0.1: icmp_seq=10 ttl=64 time=0.092 ms

--- 127.0.0.1 ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 10 received, 0% packet loss, time 9000ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.079/0.085/0.093/0.009 ms
[Duo2 ~]$ ping -c 10 -n 192.168.1.254
PING 192.168.1.254 (192.168.1.254) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 192.168.1.254: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.450 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.254: icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.449 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.254: icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.458 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.254: icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=0.431 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.254: icmp_seq=5 ttl=64 time=0.449 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.254: icmp_seq=6 ttl=64 time=0.628 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.254: icmp_seq=7 ttl=64 time=0.479 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.254: icmp_seq=8 ttl=64 time=0.427 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.254: icmp_seq=9 ttl=64 time=0.627 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.254: icmp_seq=10 ttl=64 time=0.342 ms

--- 192.168.1.254 ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 10 received, 0% packet loss, time 9002ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.342/0.474/0.628/0.084 ms
[Duo2 ~]$ ping -c 10 -n bbc.co.uk
PING bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 212.58.244.20: icmp_seq=1 ttl=53 time=26.1 ms
64 bytes from 212.58.244.20: icmp_seq=2 ttl=53 time=26.9 ms
64 bytes from 212.58.244.20: icmp_seq=3 ttl=53 time=26.6 ms
64 bytes from 212.58.244.20: icmp_seq=4 ttl=53 time=26.1 ms
64 bytes from 212.58.244.20: icmp_seq=5 ttl=53 time=26.5 ms
64 bytes from 212.58.244.20: icmp_seq=6 ttl=53 time=27.3 ms
64 bytes from 212.58.244.20: icmp_seq=7 ttl=53 time=27.4 ms
64 bytes from 212.58.244.20: icmp_seq=8 ttl=53 time=27.0 ms
64 bytes from 212.58.244.20: icmp_seq=9 ttl=53 time=26.7 ms
64 bytes from 212.58.244.20: icmp_seq=10 ttl=53 time=26.3 ms

--- bbc.co.uk ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 10 received, 0% packet loss, time 9042ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 26.130/26.722/27.428/0.485 ms
[Duo2 ~]$

Ten pings to the local host, the gateway and the BBC.

Code: [Select]
[Duo2 ~]$ sudo traceroute -I bbc.co.uk
traceroute to bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20), 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
 1  AP (192.168.1.254)  0.290 ms  0.433 ms  0.549 ms
 2  host-92-20-240-1.as13285.net (92.20.240.1)  21.215 ms  21.249 ms  22.279 ms
 3  host-78-151-238-149.as13285.net (78.151.238.149)  25.175 ms  26.144 ms  27.097 ms
 4  host-78-151-238-160.as13285.net (78.151.238.160)  32.027 ms  32.767 ms  34.477 ms
 5  host-78-144-12-45.as13285.net (78.144.12.45)  34.985 ms  36.216 ms  36.457 ms
 6  host-78-144-10-143.as13285.net (78.144.10.143)  37.420 ms  37.356 ms  38.761 ms
 7  bbc-pp-sov.as13285.net (78.144.5.1)  39.373 ms  25.579 ms  27.561 ms
 8  * * *
 9  * * *
10  ae0.er01.telhc.bbc.co.uk (132.185.254.109)  29.795 ms  26.746 ms  28.731 ms
11  132.185.255.149 (132.185.255.149)  28.361 ms  27.207 ms  28.509 ms
12  fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20)  28.697 ms  26.886 ms  26.982 ms
[Duo2 ~]$ sudo traceroute -T bbc.co.uk
traceroute to bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20), 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
 1  AP (192.168.1.254)  0.344 ms  0.289 ms  0.278 ms
 2  host-92-20-240-1.as13285.net (92.20.240.1)  19.649 ms  20.469 ms  20.353 ms
 3  host-78-151-238-149.as13285.net (78.151.238.149)  23.557 ms  24.302 ms  24.880 ms
 4  host-78-151-238-168.as13285.net (78.151.238.168)  28.222 ms host-78-151-238-136.as13285.net (78.151.238.136)  28.042 ms host-78-151-238-128.as13285.net (78.151.238.128)  28.926 ms
 5  host-78-144-12-13.as13285.net (78.144.12.13)  29.709 ms host-78-144-12-53.as13285.net (78.144.12.53)  33.462 ms host-78-144-12-7.as13285.net (78.144.12.7)  30.848 ms
 6  host-78-144-10-143.as13285.net (78.144.10.143)  34.945 ms host-78-144-10-155.as13285.net (78.144.10.155)  35.030 ms host-78-144-10-73.as13285.net (78.144.10.73)  32.425 ms
 7  bbc-pp-sov.as13285.net (78.144.5.1)  62.267 ms  26.826 ms  27.201 ms
 8  * * *
 9  * * *
10  ae0.er01.telhc.bbc.co.uk (132.185.254.109)  24.568 ms  24.372 ms  28.159 ms
11  132.185.255.149 (132.185.255.149)  29.296 ms  24.324 ms  26.820 ms
12  fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20)  23.443 ms  24.271 ms  25.096 ms
[Duo2 ~]$

Two traceroutes to the BBC. The first using icmp echo packets as probes, the second using TCP with a constant destination port (of 80).
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kitz

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2015, 12:24:58 AM »

This is from a PN connection up in the NW.

Quote
Tracing route to bbc.co.uk [212.58.244.20]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.1.1
  2    11 ms    11 ms    11 ms  lo0.11.central11.ptw-bng01.plus.net [195.166.128
.171]
  3    11 ms    11 ms    11 ms  irb.11.PTW-CR01.plus.net [84.93.249.17]
  4    11 ms    11 ms    11 ms  kingston-gw.thdo.bbc.co.uk [212.58.239.6]
  5     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  7    12 ms    11 ms    12 ms  ae0.er01.telhc.bbc.co.uk [132.185.254.109]
  8    12 ms    12 ms    12 ms  132.185.255.149
  9    11 ms    11 ms    11 ms  fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk [212.58.244.20]

Trace complete.

I'm not a gamer these days so cant comment on that aspect.
Other ISPs perhaps to consider Zen & AAISP
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mrpops2ko

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2015, 06:40:06 AM »

BT infinity connection with 0 load / optimal conditions from Scunthorpe / NE.

Code: [Select]
C:\Users\mrpops2ko>tracert bbc.co.uk

Tracing route to bbc.co.uk [212.58.246.104]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.1.200
  2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  3     *        *       11 ms  31.55.185.129
  4    12 ms    12 ms    12 ms  31.55.185.168
  5    12 ms    12 ms    12 ms  195.99.127.136
  6    12 ms    12 ms    13 ms  195.99.127.23
  7    12 ms    12 ms    12 ms  194.74.65.42
  8     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  9    13 ms    14 ms    14 ms  ae0.er01.cwwtf.bbc.co.uk [132.185.254.93]
 10    14 ms    14 ms    14 ms  132.185.255.165
 11    14 ms    14 ms    14 ms  fmt-vip133.cwwtf.bbc.co.uk [212.58.246.104]

BT connection with my usual 18~ mbit of upload usage.
Code: [Select]
Tracing route to bbc.co.uk [212.58.244.20]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.1.200
  2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  3     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  4    67 ms    44 ms    47 ms  31.55.185.160
  5    33 ms    35 ms    38 ms  195.99.127.130
  6    33 ms    34 ms    35 ms  vhsaccess2-pos1-0.faraday.fixed.bt.net [195.99.127.9]
  7    30 ms    40 ms    42 ms  195.99.127.23
  8    32 ms    34 ms    36 ms  194.74.65.42
  9     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 10     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 11    31 ms    33 ms    36 ms  ae0.er01.telhc.bbc.co.uk [132.185.254.109]
 12    27 ms    14 ms    25 ms  132.185.255.149
 13    37 ms    19 ms    21 ms  fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk [212.58.244.20]

Trace complete.
Personally the best connection i've had for gaming was Virgin Media. I got much better ping in games than I do from BT. Only reason I switched was because of their draconian upload limitations.
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roseway

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2015, 07:20:28 AM »

Results from mid-Kent location, ISP = PlusNet:

Pings to bbc.co.uk:

Code: [Select]
eric@goldcrest:~$ ping bbc.co.uk
PING bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20): icmp_seq=1 ttl=56 time=15.5 ms
64 bytes from fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20): icmp_seq=2 ttl=56 time=13.6 ms
64 bytes from fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20): icmp_seq=3 ttl=56 time=15.9 ms
64 bytes from fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20): icmp_seq=4 ttl=56 time=13.8 ms
64 bytes from fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20): icmp_seq=5 ttl=56 time=15.9 ms
64 bytes from fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20): icmp_seq=6 ttl=56 time=13.8 ms
64 bytes from fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20): icmp_seq=7 ttl=56 time=15.9 ms
64 bytes from fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20): icmp_seq=8 ttl=56 time=13.9 ms
64 bytes from fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20): icmp_seq=9 ttl=56 time=15.8 ms
64 bytes from fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20): icmp_seq=10 ttl=56 time=13.8 ms
^C
--- bbc.co.uk ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 10 received, 0% packet loss, time 9017ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 13.626/14.838/15.948/1.022 ms

traceroute to bbc.co.uk using ICMP echo probes:

Code: [Select]
root@goldcrest:/home/eric# traceroute -I bbc.co.uk
traceroute to bbc.co.uk (212.58.246.103), 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
 1  192.168.1.254 (192.168.1.254)  0.392 ms  0.389 ms  0.439 ms
 2  lo0.13.central13.ptn-bng01.plus.net (195.166.128.231)  11.333 ms  11.345 ms  11.476 ms
 3  irb.13.ptw-cr02.plus.net (84.93.249.50)  11.517 ms  11.531 ms  11.563 ms
 4  ae2.ptw-cr01.plus.net (195.166.129.4)  11.696 ms  11.703 ms  11.723 ms
 5  kingston-gw.thdo.bbc.co.uk (212.58.239.6)  15.510 ms  15.527 ms  15.527 ms
 6  * * *
 7  ae0.er01.cwwtf.bbc.co.uk (132.185.254.93)  15.705 ms  12.579 ms  12.555 ms
 8  132.185.255.165 (132.185.255.165)  12.674 ms  12.783 ms  15.764 ms
 9  fmt-vip132.cwwtf.bbc.co.uk (212.58.246.103)  12.649 ms  11.794 ms  13.659 ms
root@goldcrest:/home/eric#

Sorry, I can't comment on any of the gaming aspects.
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boost

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 01:49:18 PM »

Thanks for the feedback so far :D

Anyone know if Zen or AAISP prioritise gaming traffic? It was good to see that Zen rep in that other thread!
ISP reps, feel free to help us out here! :)
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GigabitEthernet

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2015, 01:54:43 PM »

  • Zen do know prioritisation whatsoever: every process has the same priority;
  • Plusnet certainly use QOS although I believe it only works when their network is under intense load;
  • Can't answer for AAISP I am afraid but I suspect they're the same as Zen.
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Azzaka

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2015, 11:03:39 PM »

Thanks for the feedback so far :D

Anyone know if Zen or AAISP prioritise gaming traffic? It was good to see that Zen rep in that other thread!
ISP reps, feel free to help us out here! :)

G'Day mater,

The above poster is right, we don't prioritise any traffic, however on saying this, we do not over subscribe either. What games are looking at in particular? Quite a few of us at work play the likes of SC and EVE which are of course the online MMO variants, however offline there is a lot more diversity.

Let me know.

-Azz
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boost

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2015, 08:29:46 AM »

Quakelive and WoT mostly :)
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GigabitEthernet

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2015, 08:53:52 AM »

I had a very good experience with Zen, excellent support and very good speeds when I had ADSL with them.

It was mainly the high prices that made me look elsewhere but as I've learnt (ahem *TalkTalk*), cheaper doesn't mean better :)
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guest

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2015, 11:35:58 AM »

Sky FTTC in Leics :

Code: [Select]
C:\Windows\System32>ping bbc.co.uk

Pinging bbc.co.uk [212.58.244.20] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 212.58.244.20: bytes=32 time=9ms TTL=56
Reply from 212.58.244.20: bytes=32 time=9ms TTL=56
Reply from 212.58.244.20: bytes=32 time=9ms TTL=56
Reply from 212.58.244.20: bytes=32 time=8ms TTL=56

Ping statistics for 212.58.244.20:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 8ms, Maximum = 9ms, Average = 8ms

C:\Windows\System32>tracert bbc.co.uk

Tracing route to bbc.co.uk [212.58.244.20]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.0.10
  2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  3     9 ms    10 ms     9 ms  02780842.bb.sky.com [2.120.8.66]
  4     9 ms     9 ms    13 ms  ntl-ge2-9.prt0.rbsov.bbc.co.uk [212.58.238.189]
  5     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  7     9 ms     8 ms     9 ms  ae0.er01.telhc.bbc.co.uk [132.185.254.109]
  8     9 ms     9 ms     9 ms  132.185.255.149
  9     9 ms     9 ms     9 ms  fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk [212.58.244.20]

Personally one of the first things I look at with ISPs is the extent of their peering & who their primary carrier is.

One of the things that put me off AAISP (years ago) was that they were pretty much using Level3 for all traffic which restricted peering a lot - this obviously meant that gaming traffic took sub-optimal routes in terms of latency. I've no idea what they're like now, I just used it as an example.

Played tanks for a while but was playing with some Aussie mates so we were on the Asian server - was playable apart from the Asian players (sky cancer/morons/etc).

Sky has good peering to the major Euro internet exchanges & decent connectivity across the pond. I'm usually on a TS server located in Texas & I have a stable ping of 110ms to that with 0% PL.

"Normal" Sky support say they don't support gaming - just means nobody has a script for it rather than anything else. Works fine :)
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tommy45

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2015, 06:09:14 PM »

In,my experience as a online gamer it depends on the following factors (my list is not exhaustive)

1 fast path or interleaved
2 Isp routing and Peering agreements , also capacity
3, the Geo location of the games auth/master server is located (if not hosted on 3rd party hosting servers)
4, If server hosted by individual player  then there system (gaming rig CPU speed) and their latency to you or vice versa,
5 the software coding used to publish the game itself,( some are diabolical)

Then you have peak time congestion issues or peering capacity issues, and your location  as well as other things

unfortunately there is no real guarantees as what may work well for person A may be really poor for person
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Weaver

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2015, 07:50:15 AM »

AAISP might be a good choice for several reasons

1. They offer BTW's "premium" traffic prioritisation in Ipstream Max Premium as an extra cost option, but don't oversell its potential benefits. I have this on all my lines, cost £10 per month per line. See aa.net.uk.

2. They have a strict “we aim not to be the bottleneck” policy, are very careful about congestion and keep stats on the latter. See aa.net.uk.

3. They are a good isp anyway. :-)

4. Their “constant quality monitoring” facilities help to keep the service as it should be. See aa.net.uk

5. Their kit prioritises small packets. this might poss be relevant to your usage. (If you use a Firebrick as your router,  as I and some other A&A users do, this box prioritises small packets for upstream in this way, but doesn't seem to understand QoS otheweise)

6. They have a strong interesting in VoIP, low jitter and latency are things they understand.

7. The MD himself is a mad gamer.  “Thrall Horde”

I don't work for them, I’m just a customer. :-)

« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 09:58:26 PM by Weaver »
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Weaver

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2015, 08:38:28 AM »

re your Q6: AAISP definitely don’t prioritise gaming traffic. But then they aim to never be congested anyway, so you should just get full speed as far as it is within their control.

Here's a traceroute from me in Skye, Outer Mongolia to bbc.co.uk:

A couple of points to note
(i) Performed over wireless LAN, which is a bad thing to do, so disregard the huge latency of >20ms for WPA2 encryption/decryption*4 for the first hop, this round trip just to get across to the Zyxel WAP in the next room and into the Firebrick router to the WAN link.

(ii) hop #2 from my router to A&A ~60ms includes DSL maximum-depth interleave-introduced extra latency. This is a bonded set of three very very long, slow DSL lines each ~1.75 Mbps, so can't blame A&A for this, this is all my line, plus BT, plus geography.


traceroute to bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20), 64 hops max, 56 byte packets
 1  sent:84 loss:0% last:24.909 ms avg:22.844 ms
    lan.firebrick (81.187.147.254)
 2  sent:84 loss:0% last:65.175 ms avg:59.966 ms
    alt.c.gormless.thn.aa.net.uk (90.155.53.73)
 3  sent:84 loss:0% last:43.452 ms avg:60.689 ms
    a.aimless.thn.aa.net.uk (90.155.53.41)
 4  sent:84 loss:0% last:74.137 ms avg:69.476 ms
    bbc-linx.pr01.thdow.bbc.co.uk (195.66.224.103)
 5  sent:84 loss:100% last:0 ms avg:0 ms
 6  sent:84 loss:100% last:0 ms avg:0 ms
 7  sent:84 loss:0% last:69.543 ms avg:61.434 ms
    ae0.er01.telhc.bbc.co.uk (132.185.254.109)
 8  sent:84 loss:4.8% last:49.559 ms avg:61.936 ms
    132.185.255.149
 9  sent:84 loss:0% last:41.62 ms avg:66.481 ms
    fmt-vip71.telhc.bbc.co.uk (212.58.244.20)

(iii) I’ve included a minimal traceroute to the A&A ping test node too

traceroute to 81.187.81.187 (81.187.81.187), 64 hops max, 56 byte packets
 1  sent:101 loss:0% last:1.317 ms avg:19.512 ms
    lan.firebrick (81.187.147.254)
 2  sent:101 loss:0% last:55.253 ms avg:55.612 ms
    bottomless.aa.net.uk (81.187.81.187)

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Re: ISP hotlist for gamers
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2015, 09:14:19 AM »

Some specific pages within the encyclopaedic A&A site:

Latency and A&A for gamers : http://aa.net.uk/kb-broadband-latency.html

traffic shaping : http://aa.net.uk/kb-broadband-shaping.html

congestion : http://aa.net.uk/kb-broadband-contention.html

the ‘premium’ option :  http://aaisp.net/broadband-premium.html

congestion measurements and the ‘premium’ option : http://clueless.aa.net.uk/linkreport.cgi
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