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Odd behavior of OOKLA Speedtest?


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#1 saluqi

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:53 PM

Being rather new to real high speed Internet I sometimes play with the Speedtest.  It always seems to default to a Comcast server in Atlanta GA, giving me ping times usually around 60-90 msec and download/upload speeds on the order of 30/20 Mbps.  Having once accidentally (I've no idea how it happened) landed on a server in San Jose CA (much closer, I am only a couple of hundred miles away) I noticed strikingly faster speeds (ping <20 msec) and wonder w hat is going on.  Supposedly the program is searching for the "best" server but in fact if I don't fiddle with it it always lands on the Comcast one in Atlanta - it seems to think I am located in the East.  I am an Easterner by birth (born in Boston!) but have lived in the West for a good many years now (I even wear Wranglers and Justin boots and what back East would be called a funny hat, though those things are mostly dictated by the nature of my work).

 

Note I am not complaining about my Internet service, which seems to be more than adequate (for watching live sports for example) nor about Speedtest which I understand to be only an approximate tool anyway.  I also recognize that the "measured" speeds can vary quite a bit according to time of day and goodness knows what and even from minute to minute (right now we are having a terrific dust storm with howling wind, though it doesn't seem to be disturbing my Internet reception at all)

 

I am just curious about how the Speedtest actually works, and how it picks its sites, etc.

 

BTW when I first encountered that site it was pushing some dubious software ... but installing the MVPS "hosts" file seems to have eliminated that.



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#2 czarboom

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:11 PM

the "gold standard" has been speakeasy

http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/

 

But there are some schools of thought on this overall pick the one location the furthest away from your location.  This will give you a good test of how your computer connects to the internet when servers are in other states or countries. 

 

Also, getting outside of the gateway of your ISP.  Meaning take Time Warner, for example.  If you at peak speeds select the test from their site they will get you to the nearest location, and say your speed is great.  Which as long as you are in time warners side of the internet it is.  The issue is when you leave Time Warners gateway to get to the outside world.  That is when you get the slow down.  So Netflix or youtube, etc. will be slow when you cross that line.  (there are many other items that effect this as well but in general assuming all others are good). 

 

The speed test is a certain size packet that is sent and sent again until a max throughput is maxed. Go here to read more about the in and outs of the frame to packet testing pool.

 

Also the testing server when used can be misleading.  If your connection has max latency then it will be low vs low latency.  Speedtest.net has more info about how it works.  Find that link here.

 

With some speed tests it will give you a site based on either your ISP or the first site open.  Sites like Speekeasy.net allow you to pick the one you want.  So you can test over and over at different times of the day to see the best results.

 

hope that helps


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"Never Stop Asking Questions, Question Your Environment, Question Your Government, above all Question Yourself.  We all lose when you Stop asking Why?

#3 saluqi

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:19 PM

That helps a lot!  Very illuminating (and a lot of things that look to me like common sense <G>).  Thanks much!



#4 czarboom

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:22 PM

anytime that is why we are here... to learn and help.  You can also use tracert command in a CMD prompt to see the places that your connection goes through when doing the test google search tracert and viewing my connection online, that should give you the command.  NOTE, that might not work in Windows 8, ping functions are limited unless Admin users is selected.


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"Never Stop Asking Questions, Question Your Environment, Question Your Government, above all Question Yourself.  We all lose when you Stop asking Why?

#5 clayto

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 07:42 AM

I too found this interesting and will have a look at Speakeasy (I use Oookla and Bing, in the UK) I am finding one particular Server which gives significantly better results. What I want to know is, can you switch Servers for everyday use or get your ISP to use your prefered Server? I have not seen any reference to this from my ISP, which is British Telecom. The difference in reported down speed is a worhwhile 10mps, and upload is even more.






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