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Good way to test the honesty of ISP for upload and download speed

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-07
Recently one of our office got a T3 line and at first it seemed great but recently it is slower and I am wondering what the real speed is.  What is the best utility for getting a true read on the Internet speeds?  
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Question by:Gary Gordon
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Accepted Solution

by:
Hutch_77 earned 125 total points
ID: 35200913
speakeasy.net/speedtest
It is accurate and usually does good even when ther eis some traffic.
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Expert Comment

by:residents
ID: 35200923
I always use speedtest.net and run a series of tests to different areas in the country. Does that interest you or are you looking for a type of software etc?
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Assisted Solution

by:ahdfx
ahdfx earned 125 total points
ID: 35200942
http://test.lvcm.com has been the most accurate for me.
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Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 125 total points
ID: 35200971
At some point, you are on a shared line - you're only dedicated so far down the line.

MOST sites will not have 45 Mbit uploads (maybe some of the major ones, but they will probably throttle you back anyway).  There are so many factors involved, I would probably look into contacting a regulating agency.  Online speed tests are ROUGH ESTIMATES at best.  Most accurate way, I'd say, is to disconnect all but one computer from the link, run network monitor on it, and look at the throughput as you download 5-20 different ISO images... and then remember, that your hard disk needs to keep up with downloading the images as well, so you could have performance issues because of that.
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Author Comment

by:Gary Gordon
ID: 35200992
hutch, residents, ahdfx,

Thank you for your suggestions.  My ISP says we are supposed to have 10MBPS download speed and when I use the Speakeasy speed test (and connect to LA), I get 5.69 download and 8.94 upload.  Shouldn't we have 10.0 download speeds?  Are they cheating us?
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Expert Comment

by:Hutch_77
ID: 35201015
With those numbers you probably have 10 up and down.  
You have to remember unless you are all by yourself plugged directly into the router that there are other things pulling from windows updates to incoming email.  8.94 is not far from being 10 with a little bit of uploading.  5.69 can be 10 with a lot of stuff coming in.

Leew's point is excellent as well.
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Author Comment

by:Gary Gordon
ID: 35201247
excellent folks - appreciate your help - will distribute points later on.
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Expert Comment

by:ahdfx
ID: 35201522
A T3 is a dedicated synchronous Trunk all the way to the ISP CO..  It is never a shared circuit or line.
A hard drive to keep up with 10 Mpbs could not be the problem..  remember 10 Mbps is only 1.19 MB per second.  Today's HD's have a sustained rate of 1000Mpbs or 12MBps.

It is like the others have said.  you would need to isolate the connection for an accurate test.

One thing you can do it test throughout the day and then request a data usage chart from your ISP.
See if the Usage plus your test equals the 10Mbps.
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Assisted Solution

by:BigBlake
BigBlake earned 125 total points
ID: 35202313
Like the others say, any web based bandwidth test (Speedtest.net, speakeasy etc) really can only show you the UNUSED bandwidth on your link as they can't allow for what other devices on your network are downloading.

Most accurate way I have found is to measure the throughput at the point of entry - your internet router. If you can enable netflow on your router (Cisco routers and a lot of other major brands support this) and export the data to a tool like Adventnet NetflowAnalyser or Solarwinds Orion (Both have free downloadable demo versions) then you will be able to get a true picture of how much traffic is entering and leaving your network. It is then easy to do like Leew said and run simultaneous large downloads from a number of different sites to find out where the maximum throughput really is.
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