How do I compare hosting companies in terms of connectivity to a particular country?

Is there a way for me to perform a test and see how's the connectivity between server of hosting companies to a particular country?

Some hosting company provide me with choices of server location, I would like to be able to test what works best for me to meet my target audience.

Any shell command to be executed to perform such a test and what values to look for?

Or any other alternative method?
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I would ask each of the hosting companies if they could indicate a (public) client website in each of their data centers (preferably one with some larger files that could be downloaded). Then have someone in your target countries attempt to surf each one as various times during the day to get a representative mix of speeds.

Ping will only tell you if you've got a slow round trip time, and even then it's sometimes blocked or assigned low priorities on intermediate router hops. To give you a feel for ping times, check it out yourself be pinging google servers. For example, I'm in the USA.  If I ping I get a ping time of 13ms.  If I ping (Germany) I get 158ms, and (Japan) is 184ms. Much slower ping times, but the website responses in Germany and Japan are actually quite satisfactory.  But, I'd have to verify if the download speeds were good if I wanted large file transfers.

Usually, the closer the better, but it assumes what kind of peering the hosting company has between them and the countries you want to communicate with. Testing is the only way to verify this and unfortunately, ping isn't it.
well to my mind the us has most of the internet traffic going in and out whereas europe is also getting bigger every month so if your target is not in the us or the eu you need to ask a hosting co for a web site in their infrastructure so you can do a decent test via ping etc

jay28leeAuthor Commented:
so the ping result will give me a sense of connectivity?

what's a good number indication?

any other way?  how is it different from traceroute?
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jay28leeAuthor Commented:
btw, my target audience is in asia.
jay28leeAuthor Commented:
i just got the ping results from two data centers.

is 173ms vs 290ms between two data centers going to make a big difference?

should this figure be the major determinant factor for me to choose one over the other?
your ping is really only the local ping being returned it is also the shared load on the server , the technology involved like a database driven web site,

A tracert shows in 30 steps how many hops(routers) the connection goes through the mojority of internet routers is not goiung to really cause a problem

I would say if your customers are in asia then I would host in asia. The hosting in Asia and china especially is growing faster than the us and the eu

Also its worth noting the cloud is going to have a large impact on the hosting companies as they will be going cloud based in the next few years after it start in 2012 - 2013 which could mean additional load so its worth asking the hosting company if they are going to go cloud based
jay28leeAuthor Commented:
cost of hosting service in asia is still considered relatively high at this point.

the hosting i'm evaluating does have both cloud (290ms ping result) and dedicated servers (both 173ms and 290 ping result).

is a 290ms ping result considered relatively slow to a 173ms ping result?  is it an obvious browsing experience for the end user in terms of page loading and responsiveness?

for my usage, mostly static content serving, i know that it won't utilize that much cpu/memory and the bandwidth should be sufficient.

my consideration is only the speed and responsiveness for the browsing experience for the visitors.
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