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Any way to test for 'slow' spots between two nationwide locations

Posted on 2011-09-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
A client telephoned me just now to complain our web application is broken because its working very slowly.  I went online and it was working perfectly well.  So, I blamed network traffic in their area to save our reputation(!).  The client is in Northern England, we are central England, and the server is in Southern England (about 400 miles in total between them and the server).

Anyway, is there any method to test whether the infrastructure is encountering issues between two geographical locations?  It would be lovely to just blame BT (usually correctly) but some proof would be also be nice...!

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Rouchie
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sakman earned 400 total points
ID: 36580495
400 miles isn't really that far - I can ping a site 1,000 miles away in less than 200ms.

You can try traceroute to check the time to reach each hop between yourself and your client.  

A nice web utility for traceroute and ping is at: http://tools.pingdom.com/ping/

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by:Pr1z
Pr1z earned 1600 total points
ID: 36580516
VisualRoute gives you a hop by hop analysis of the latency of a connection.  It will not give you the full picture but at least gives you an indication of where the problem lies.

There is a web version and a download version, you probably need the latter here ==> http://www.visualroute.com/

Good luck

Priz
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by:Pr1z
Pr1z earned 1600 total points
ID: 36580519
... Windows PC's have a pathping utility that will generate raw numbers for you.

Priz
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by:Rouchie
ID: 36581081
Thanks for your suggestions.  Pingdom and PathPing (from what I can understand) only seem to generate the figures from my current location (or their respective) location to a specified location.  Is it possible to specify both a start and end location with these tools?
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by:Pr1z
Pr1z earned 1600 total points
ID: 36581593
You can use web based servers to get from that servers physical location to a destination you specify ... but you  cannot pick an arbitrary start point.

Priz
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by:Rouchie
ID: 36585714
How about if I know the target and destination IP addresses - is that possible then?
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by:Pr1z
Pr1z earned 1600 total points
ID: 36586201
You can trace from You to the Target and You to the Destination, but not from Target to Destination.

The way these tools work is by slowly increasing the allowed number of hops that a packet is allowed to travel and measuring the responses.  If you "spoof up" a packet with a different source address, the responses will go back to that source.  You would need access to run the commands on Target and/or Destination to measure latency there.  Unless of course  the routing out there on the Internet happens to take your packet through Destination on it's way to Target.

Hope this helps

Priz
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Author Closing Comment

by:Rouchie
ID: 36597942
Thanks for your help :-)
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