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Sean last won the day on March 1

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  1. Sean

    Upload speed drops during 'evening' hours

    To me, the upstream issue does not appear to be cloud-syncing related, especially when the problem starts at a random time in the middle of the night. For testing the modem, one idea that comes to mind is to turn it off for a few minutes to see whether it affects the upload speed. If it's software or an internal component acting up during the slow upload speeds, turning it off for a while should temporarily restore the upload speed. Similarly, if a component that handles transmissions is failing such that it only works properly when the modem is warm, then turning it off for a while will likely cause the upload issue until the modem warms back up. If the fault is not with the modem, then turning it off/on should have no effect on the upload speed. So here's a few things to try: When the upload speed is poor, turn the modem off for 10 minutes, then run a speed test right after the Internet comes up. If the upload speed improved, try that step again the next time the upload speed is poor. If turning off the modem had no effect on the upload speed, wait until the next time the upload speed is back to normal and perform step 3. Then turn the modem off for 10 minutes and run a speed test right after the Internet comes up. If the upload speed deteriorated, try this step another time the next time the upload speed returns to normal. If turning off the modem improved the upload speed when it was poor or caused the upload speed to drop when it was otherwise fine, then the modem is likely the culprit. Otherwise if these steps had no effect on the upload speed, then the issue is likely at the ISP end or somewhere else. If you know a neighbour with the same cable ISP, it's worth asking if they could run a speed test at the time your upload speed is poor. If their upload speed is also poor, then the issue is clearly at the ISP end.
  2. Sean

    cookies banner

    As someone who lives in Ireland, nearly every website I visit displays a notice like this the first time I visit. Indeed it's rather annoying especially after I clear my cookies. I'm not sure if it's necessary to require the user to dismiss the notice to access the website. The least invasive ones I've come across display a notice like this at the top or bottom, where I can continue browsing the site without having to agree or dismiss the cookies notice: The BBC website displays a similar one. Of course the notice does not disappear until I click the 'Sounds Good!' button. I wonder if the cookies consent requirement would have been necessary had Facebook not existed. Even with the GDPR in place, the most severe complaints the Irish Data Protection Commissioner receives are Facebook related.
  3. The Ethernet throughput read-out can be pretty close to the actual user data throughput. Its read-out is always a little higher as it includes overhead data, such as for routing, handshakes, error checking/correction and so on. You can see this for the speed it shows in the other direction, i.e. the 0.3Mbps upload shown above is mainly overhead data as this test is taking place. So around 0.3Mbps of that 30.5Mbps is likely overhead data also. If let's say you run this over Wi-Fi or there was a poor Ethernet connection, that figure could be a lot higher than the actual throughput, such as if much of the data over the Ethernet connection to the Router consists of retransmissions. It was one thing that used to bug me with the Ookla test as it would filter out dips that accounted for less than 30% of the test duration, giving inflated test results over wireless connections. If there's a server on the network (e.g. workplace), the Ethernet throughput will include data that occurs over the local network. For example, Windows will periodically index network shares, Exchange databases and so on. Windows 10 also distributes Windows updates between PCs on the same network. Network devices that broadcast data (e.g. printers) will also add to the Ethernet throughput figure. Then again, running an Internet speed test at workplace can also be challenging as it's difficult to make sure the Internet connection itself is idle at the time of testing.
  4. Sean

    3G modem from "Three"

    Going by what I can tell, Three UK has not obtained any additional 4G spectrum and no mention of 4x4 MIMO yet. So it's likely Three will focus more on 5G when it launches than doing a major overhaul of its 4G network. They currently have 25MHz of 4G spectrum running in 4G Category 6, which can deliver a maximum of about 188Mbps under ideal conditions. The Huawei B525 has a category 6 modem, which you will not get any benefit with the Huawei B618. For Three, I would go with the B525 - It's cheaper, has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports (B618 has 2) and has 2 SMA antenna connectors (B618 requires two SMA to TS-9 adapters.) I currently have a pair of Wittenberg LAT 22 antennas at home, which work on 4G band 20 only as what Three uses in my area. I don't pick up any 4G signal without the antennas and also rely on a mobile repeater (StellaDoradus 900MHz) with a large 1.8m 900MHz GSM outdoor antenna to get indoor mobile 2G/3G coverage. Based on you getting just 2 bars of 4G reception, a 4G MIMO outdoor antenna would make a significant signal improvement, although I would suggest going for something like this instead of the Wittenberg I have, unless you're sure your area uses the 800MHz 4G band also. Good outdoor 4G antennas are quite expensive, mainly due to using two leads. For a test run, I suggest testing your router outside on a dry day to see what speeds you get on 4G before ordering an antenna. For example, if your 4G speeds are not much better with the router outside the front or back of the house, it could mean that those in your area who use mobile data are mainly using the 4G network. The above tests were all run on my phone. I was on my way home earlier, so pulled in to an area where I still had clear view of the local cell tower. At home, it's obstructed by a hill, which is why my home reception is so poor. These are my speeds at home with the outdoor antenna, regular followed by multithread. I don't get a 4G signal at all at home without the antennas attached.
  5. Sean

    3G modem from "Three"

    As you are connected through a network cable to your mobile broadband router, that's probably the better Huawei B525. That is very impressive for 3G especially on TestMy. This probably means you have the mast to yourself. 😎 For comparison, the following is what I get a short while ago in 3G mode with a clear view of the cellular mast, followed by the test repeated in 4G mode: In Multithread mode, I get the same speed in 3G, but in the 30s on 4G: These results were all much higher in the past (40-60s), but no doubt dropped due to network congestion with all the customers Three signed up around here. 4G+ involves multiple band towers (800MHz band 20 and 1800MHz band 3 here) for what's called carrier aggregation. I ran a few tests from my Three phone in Donegal town earlier today to give an idea what 4G+ could deliver if it Three upgrades your area. I wish my area 4G+ enabled.
  6. Sean

    3G modem from "Three"

    That's great to see Three UK now offer an unlimited cellular based data service. 😎 If you are using the Huawei E5573bs modem that they advertise on the Three website, I suggest upgrading it to the Huawei B525, which costs around £120. This has a much more sensitive antenna and provides better Wi-Fi coverage as well as 802.11ac, much like the router offerings of fixed line services. If the cell you're connected to is not heavily loaded, this could greatly increase the speed further, especially if it is or becomes 4G+ enabled.
  7. Sean

    Stuttering and cpu usage

    I just after troubleshooting someone's laptop with a similar stuttering issue that took a few hours to finally catch the culprit. The laptop took a few boot attempts to get into Windows 7, usually with it hanging at the Windows logo before displaying a 0x0000007b BSOD. Once in Windows, it stuttered to the point where I was convinced the hard disk was failing. I took a spare SSD I had handy and did a 1:1 clone to the SSD using ddrescue in Linux. To my surprise, the clone process did not appear to slow down at any stage and completed without any error. I put the SSD in and just like the HDD, it took several boot attempts to get into Windows 7 and stuttered just as bad as before. The next time I tried is scan the HDD for Malware and the only thing present was a few potentially unwanted products in the Downloads folder, but nothing active. I uninstalled Avast, which I've had bad experience with in the past for causing unexpected boot failures (a Google on that BSOD code interestingly took me to an Avast problem thread). As the laptop seemed to boot into the Windows 7 Repair partition fine (although very slowly), I decided to change the SATA driver for the Windows default driver. This time the laptop booted up fine with each attempt, but still took a few minutes to fully boot. I even checked the BIOS to ensure AHCI mode was enabled, which it was. Finally as I was about to give up and do a clean Windows installation, I just thought I'll check Windows Explorer to see if there's any unexpected drive letters, like the past phantom floppy drive issue. While there was no floppy drive listed (no surprise given that laptops dropped them around 20 years ago), there was no CD/DVD drive either and that laptop had a DVD drive. Just for curiosity, I unscrewed and removed the DVD drive, booted and what a difference it made. It booted a lot faster into Windows (not 2-3 minutes) and the stuttering was gone. I restored the Intel SATA driver and it still booted without issue after multiple boots. Finally, I put the original HDD back in as the owner just wanted the stuttering issue fixed. While the HDD is a lot slower than the SSD, at least it was not stuttering like a HDD riddled with bad sectors. So another troubleshooting step to add when troubleshooting a stuttering issue - Disconnect that optical drive! 😄
  8. Sean

    Stuttering and cpu usage

    Check the PC's BIOS set up to see if there are any floppy drives configured. If there is any an 1.44MB drive listed, change it to 'None'. I have come across a similar issue before where some older motherboards automatically add a 1.44MB entry if the BIOS CMOS is reset, such as after replacing the CMOS battery. If a floppy drive is configured and there is no floppy drive connected (which are obsolete anyway), Windows will stutter terribly, especially when opening the file explorer.
  9. That made a big improvement on the ping test here to the UK server: The speed tests are about equal now between the two servers: I never thought of checking the ping latency the last day. Usually when the speed drops below around 5Mbps, I run a ping test and trace route to check the latency.
  10. Over at least the past week, I've been having problems running speed tests with the UK TestMy server, which CA3LE reckons is due to routing issues affecting my connection. I just want to check if anyone else in Ireland/UK is having a similar issue, i.e. much lower download/upload speeds with the UK server compared to the German server and high latency with packet loss pinging the UK TestMy server. The following is a speed test from my end against the UK and German servers in regular linear mode. My home connection is 4G based, so it's normal for me to get under 10Mbps in the evenings due to cellular contention. However, it has been very unusual for me to frequently get much lower test results with the UK TestMy server than the German TestMy server. The following is a trace route to uk.testmy.net from my connection: A ping test to uk.testmy.net with 100 pings from my connection: A ping test to the second last hop ( gives an average ping of 54ms and no packet loss. Finally, a ping test to de.testmy.net gives an average ping of 62ms and no packet loss.
  11. Sean

    No subforums for fixed wireless?

    Going by the database log, it looks like the majority of the high test results (~54Mbps down) are with the same connection ID. This could be someone that is connected to a wireless mast with very few other customers and running a repeat scheduled test. There haven't been many discussions here about fixed wireless Internet, which is likely why there is no sub-forum here. If you have 4G LTE coverage with any cellular provider, see if that provider offers mobile broadband with 4G LTE connectivity. The latency will be similar to fixed wireless and the monthly caps are generally much better than satellite. For example, here in Ireland all three major mobile providers (Eir, Three and Vodafone) offer 4G based broadband packages with monthly caps of between 60GB and 750GB. Like fixed wireless, the speed will depend on the network load of the nearest 4G cell and the signal strength. The price will depend on the monthly cap. My own home broadband is 4G based as my only other options are DSL (4Mbps max), satellite and a wireless provider I had terrible experience with. I usually get around 20 to 30Mbps with the 4G service as there is not much load on the Three cell in my area.
  12. Sean

    What about DNS response?

    Probably the best way to test DNS response times is with this DNS Query Sniffer utility. This let's you see the individual DNS response times when opening a website. The following is an example loading TestMy in the Chrome browser: Blank response times are probably cached entries and the green indicators on the left indicate successful responses. A red indicator means a DNS error such as an invalid host name. If you see any yellow responses, this can be a sign of packet loss, which with DNS would lead to some DNS look-ups that never receive a response. If the 'Duration' column is showing unusually high figures such as over 100ms or you see multiple yellow icons on the left, I suggest trying DNS over HTTPS to see if it performs any better. This page shows how to configure Firefox for DNS over HTTPS with the Cloudflare HTTPS DNS server. When this is set up, no entries from Firefox should appear in DNSQuerySniffer. If the intermittent lag continues, then it is unlikely DNS related.
  13. Sean

    Wireless interference

    Indeed they should definitely offer a lot mor ethan 30Mbps. I used to peak around 60Mbps with my former Huawei router with only 300Mbps over 802.11n (2.4GHz). With my current set-up, a Huawei B525 with 802.11ac, I get around 110Mbps between it and my desktop PC (TP-Link Archer AC1900 USB) based on a load test between the PC and a laptop connected to the router. This is with the Huawei B525 in the loft at one end of the house attached to a pair of LTE antennas and my desktop PC on the ground floor at the opposite end. Based on my experience troubleshooting Wi-Fi performance in the past, nearby power supplies can severely deteoriate the Wi-Fi performance. For example, I remember my brother struggling to get over 3Mbps over Wi-Fi, only to discover his router was on a shelf with its power supply socket directly underneath the shelf. Due to the shelf location, he couldn't move the router and there was just the one power socket nearby, directly underneath the shelf. As an experiment, he placed a sheet of aluminium foil underneath the router. His Internet speed tests over Wi-Fi jumped straight to about 76Mbps, the same as with a network cable.
  14. Sean

    Rural Satellite Internet Help

    Unfortunately what you describe is quite common with satellite Internet and very likely down to their traffic management policy. For example, with some satellite operators here, once a certain amount of data is consumed within rolling time period (I think an hour), the maximum speed is halved. This process repeats until basically the connection is rendered unusable until data consumed earlier falls out of the rolling time period. So basically something like a Windows 10 feature update (3-4GB) could render the satellite connection unusable in a very short period of time. If you are getting 3G or 4G/LTE connectivity on your phone from the WeBoost, try running a few speed tests over the phone's cellular data connection at different times of the day. A good 3G (HSPA+) signal with a lightly loaded mast can provide over 10Mbps. If you are able to get over 1Mbps on most of the tests, that will likely give you a much more stable and consistent connection than over satellite, regardless of the 10s of Mbps they claim to deliver. In this case, I suggest getting hold of a dedicated router and data SIM. If you are unable to get out of your satellite contract, it will still be useful as backup or to supplement the cellular data connection, e.g. download bulky files overnight over satellite such as Windows updates and use cellular data for your VPN connection where low latency is more important.
  15. No problem. I had a quick check and toggles back and forth fine now in Edge, Firefox and Chrome while logged out.
Speed Test Version 15.9
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