New internet connection misbehaving

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New internet connection misbehaving

Postposted on Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:34 am

I just got a shiny new FTTC (think you call it FIOS in the States) installed, 40 down 10 up. The system consists of a DSL modem and a separate firewall/router using PPPoE. For the router I'm using a rather old Zywall5 which isn't ideal because it can only manage 30Mb in any direction when the firewall is on but it should and appears to work OK.

The problem is that when I go to a speedtest site like speedtest.net I'm told my connection is 30 down 10 up, as I'd expect since downloads are limited by the firewall. If I try to actually download anything though the most I ever get is 2Mb (about 200KBps as reported by the browser).

Anyway I immediately thought "traffic shaping" and called the ISP to shout at them, they however deny that they do anything like this.

Cutting a long story short I've tried another router which behaves in exactly the same way and I've also tried the speedtest on this site: http://www.thinkbroadband.com/
Image

Given those results that site suggests:
The speed test looks at various parameters, and in this case there was a large difference between the two download tests. A common cause for this on older computers (e.g. Win XP) is that the RWIN value is too small, connection tweaking software can improve this. Another reason can be congestion, either with the broadband provider or others in the home using the connection.

If the issue is congestion the two results will generally be better at off-peak times, so try running a test after midnight and before 3pm in the afternoon.


I can't honestly believe the rwin setting can have anything to do with it, none of the equipment I'm using is that old and some of it has been used on similar connections from the same ISP.
No one else is using the connection when I'm testing it.
I've tested at 1AM and it's no different.

Any thoughts?
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Re: New internet connection misbehaving

Postposted on Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:47 am

I would eliminate the router from the equation, and see what happens when you connect directly to the modem.
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Re: New internet connection misbehaving

Postposted on Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:58 am

The Egg wrote:I would eliminate the router from the equation, and see what happens when you connect directly to the modem.

Just connected a laptop directly to the modem, setup pppoe in windows and it was exactly the same.
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Re: New internet connection misbehaving

Postposted on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:12 pm

cheesyking wrote:Just connected a laptop directly to the modem, setup pppoe in windows and it was exactly the same.

Was the modem supplied by your ISP? Have you ran a new cable from the wall to your modem?
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Re: New internet connection misbehaving

Postposted on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:47 pm

The Egg wrote:
cheesyking wrote:Just connected a laptop directly to the modem, setup pppoe in windows and it was exactly the same.

Was the modem supplied by your ISP? Have you ran a new cable from the wall to your modem?


Yeah the modem was supplied by the ISP, they sent an engineer who fitted a new socket on the wall. If it was a problem with the modem I'd expect that all tests to be slow.

Thanks for the suggestions BTW.
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Re: New internet connection misbehaving

Postposted on Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:03 pm

First off FIOS is Fibre To The Home (FTTH), what you have is Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) which then uses VDSL from the cabinet in to your house. I've got 25/10 VDSL2 at home on a dry loop with IPv6 and IPv4 connectivity by PPPoE.

Which server are you using at speedtest.net? It defaults to using the closest. If your ISP has one and you get full speed to that then you have a good VDSL connection. If you don't get good speed then you want to try and pull the line stats from your modem.

If you do have good speed on that first test, you then want to test to one slightly farther away but still local so it is going off your ISPs network without going through too many other things. If that sucks whilst your local test is good then the problem is that your ISP has overloaded peering links. winmtr is quite popular for showing where the network falls apart - try it to somewhere like google.com
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Re: New internet connection misbehaving

Postposted on Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:29 pm

cheesyking wrote:Yeah the modem was supplied by the ISP, they sent an engineer who fitted a new socket on the wall. If it was a problem with the modem I'd expect that all tests to be slow.

Sorry, I had to re-read your original post to get the whole picture. If I'm understanding correctly, the connection performs well when doing a Speedtest, but much worse than expected during actual usage? Sounds like it could be some sort of DNS/routing issue. I would first try a different computer wired directly to the modem, and then try manually entering Google's public DNS servers (8.8.8.8, and 8.8.4.4).

If you're still having issues at that point, I'd say you're completely off the hook and it's an ISP issue.
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Re: New internet connection misbehaving

Postposted on Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:16 pm

The Egg wrote:
cheesyking wrote:Yeah the modem was supplied by the ISP, they sent an engineer who fitted a new socket on the wall. If it was a problem with the modem I'd expect that all tests to be slow.

Sorry, I had to re-read your original post to get the whole picture. If I'm understanding correctly, the connection performs well when doing a Speedtest, but much worse than expected during actual usage? Sounds like it could be some sort of DNS/routing issue. I would first try a different computer wired directly to the modem, and then try manually entering Google's public DNS servers (8.8.8.8, and 8.8.4.4).

If you're still having issues at that point, I'd say you're completely off the hook and it's an ISP issue.



I'd also check the status on the VDSL2 line:

Image

If the SN or attenuation values are off, that would indicate a line issue (or somebody spliced in a splitter somewhere).
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Re: New internet connection misbehaving

Postposted on Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:37 pm

The Egg wrote:
cheesyking wrote:Yeah the modem was supplied by the ISP, they sent an engineer who fitted a new socket on the wall. If it was a problem with the modem I'd expect that all tests to be slow.

Sorry, I had to re-read your original post to get the whole picture. If I'm understanding correctly, the connection performs well when doing a Speedtest, but much worse than expected during actual usage? Sounds like it could be some sort of DNS/routing issue. I would first try a different computer wired directly to the modem, and then try manually entering Google's public DNS servers (8.8.8.8, and 8.8.4.4).

If you're still having issues at that point, I'd say you're completely off the hook and it's an ISP issue.

You've hit the nail on the head. Speedtest.net says everything is fine but actual usage is horrible. That image I have in the op shows what I'm getting, the "Avg HTTP x6 Download" is 36Mbps while the "Avg TBB Download" is 1.9Mbps. Despite the test suggesting HTTP traffic is fine what I'm actually getting when browsing web pages the 1.9Mbps shown in the "TBB" test. The dead flat green line just above the x axis is the actual performance of the connection as I experience it. Just for reference here is the tiny amount of detail they give on what that test is:
The download tests use both a custom 'TBB' protocol and a standard web protocol (HTTP) to help highlight variations in connection performance.
The Avg TBB figures use a custom socket test and equate to our older speedtest results.

Not a lot to go on there.

I've now tried two different machines connected straight to the modem one running vista the other linux and the both behave the same.

Anyway, just playing around I noticed something else odd. When I visit youtube I can watch videos just fine, they stream out to me at what ever speed they need to, well over 2Mb for the HD stuff. Vimeo on the other hand is stuck at 2Mb and keeps buffering. I feel another shouting match with the ISP coming on.
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Re: New internet connection misbehaving

Postposted on Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:02 pm

Sounds like the ISP has some congested peering links.

If you can find a proxy that you have decent connectivity to, that might be a workable interim solution until they get their issues sorted.
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