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Speed test hangs at beginning


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First, welcome back! Been a while since you've logged in. One of the first 1000 members, I'm glad to see you're still visiting.

Under certain circumstances the progress bar can lag... which doesn't effect the outcome of the test. I've seen this on VNC and on Android 2.x phones. When I've seen this it never pauses, then turns into a fluid progress bar (meaning that it moves smoothly). It will pause then JUMP... as if the browser couldn't keep up with the java used to update the progress. Regardless of how the progress bar updates the flow of data is uninterrupted. On the other hand you might have an issue that's causing this. If it pauses, moves, pauses... then the bar fluidly moves for the remainder of the test... I'd bet that there is something wrong.

First thing I would check would be MTU. You're on Bell South, which is DSL (right?)... PPPoE. Which means that the optimal MTU for your computer and router is 1492. Optimal MTU for cable Internet and most other providers is 1500. When I was on DSL for a while I was having a similar issue... my equipment was configured for my previous cable connection (I'm back on cable and don't miss fiber DSL at all, okay... the upload was pretty awesome. My connection on cable is much more stable and is especially much better for gaming. Plus, my nick is CA3LE... lol.) and changing the MTU resulted in a drastic difference. Like night and day. Check this out... CA3LE March to April 2010 -- you can see where I fixed it and stabilized my connection. (note that some of the results in that query are unrelated... TMN didn't have the filtering and identifying options back then so I can't narrow the search down to exactly the related tests. Only pay attention to the Qwest.net results). It's a very important setting and can have a profound impact on your performance. An easy way to tune your TCP stack in windows is with Speedguide.net's TCP Optimizer. But your router may also need to be configured correctly for PPPoE, it may have an MTU setting or may just ask you what type of connection you have. If you're coming from a different provider it's pretty common for this to be incorrectly set.

Here's a topic very similar to this one... Hanging while testing - I think his issue was resolved with a new NIC. So that could be the issue too.

A little side information, TestMy.net is different than the rest.

If you test on the majority of other Internet speed tests out there you may not see this effecting your results... because they've designed their tests to ignore the worst part of your results. I personally don't understand the mindset behind that, it shows where their interests lie... hint, they don't work for your best interest. TestMy.net on the other hand just calls it how it sees it. If there is a pause in the flow of information, it's reflected in the results.

Say that you download a 10MB file and it takes 10 seconds. Let's say that there is an extra 2 second pause at the beginning of that download. You might not notice it because once the download starts to flow it's going fine...... but does that mean that the 2 second pause never happened? Hell no! Even though it might have happened without you noticing, it still happened. In turn effectively dropping your speed for that download by about 17%. Now, let's say that you were downloading only 1 MB at the same speed, then the issue is compounded and effectively drops your speed by about 67%. I've had users, especially satellite users, that tell me that I should design the test to start the time after the speed has picked up... but wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the test? If your connection has pauses and blips, that's important information to know. It's the reason that you came here... right? You might stabilize at 8 Mbps (in our theoretical scenario) but that doesn't mean that's your real speed. Issues that cause that kind of problem make a HUGE impact on browsing speed, VoIP, gaming... etc. Ignoring that crucial information is exactly what most speed tests do, something TestMy.net will never do.

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Ooh. Response from the big man himself. Maybe there's hope of actually getting this resolved. Feels a little bit like talking to...maybe not quite god... let's go with gandalf. :P And I never really left testmy.net. :) Been visiting at least weekly to test ever since I signed up. Just neglected to sign in. >.< Anywho, thank you for all the suggestions and reading material. Unfortunately, there wasn't much of that I wasn't already familiar with or hadn't previously poured through. So let me shine a little more light on the issue.

First off, I'm a mac user. (*le gasp!*) While a windows machine is accessible if necessary, I can say this problem affects all machines on my network regardless of OS. Even Linux which does tend to pull down faster downloads (~80KB/s +) sees this issue.

Now for the details. This has been an issue for about two years. I am on AT&T's 6 mbps plan. Most days the modem claims it's a little faster. Best days I can see speeds hovering around 810 KB/s. These were not so rare for a short period. However, as of late my network condition seems to have declined for whatever reason and this problem has gotten worse.

I've tried various setups. Nothing really makes a difference. Currently I have my motorola 2210 modem set to bridge mode, with an apple airport extreme handling the pppoe. But, even with ethernet cable plugged straight from my computer into the modem and the modem handling pppoe, this issue has presented itself.

It's not just a TestMy.net issue either. It affects my results on Speedtest.net as well. Testing on my laptop doesn't visualize it so well. But my iPhone does provide an interesting little graph of what's going on.

skitch.png?resizeSmall&width=200

I used to think it was my router since the problem seemed to be, although present on ethernet connection, worse over wifi. But three different routers later and it's still there. And like I said earlier, wired directly to the modem it still happens.

Now about that MTU. I'm truly hoping my apple router automatically figures that one out because it certainly does not have an option to change it unless I along with most of the rest of the internet have been oblivious to something. I have changed it on my computer and nothing really changed. Also with previous netgear and linksys routers I have manually set it in both stock and ddwrt firmwares and while it made me feel better, nothing really changed. If I remember correctly, ddwrt actually defaulted max mtu at 1492 for pppoe.

I feel like there were other details I wanted to include, but those are lost in a world of other thoughts right now. Let me set aside a small amount of modesty for a moment and say that I tend to have a great deal of skill for diagnosing and finding a solution to an issue even when I may not initially have a complete expertise in relation to the issue. But this has baffled me. I don't understand why every device in my house seems to have to ramp up in the first few seconds of a download to reach that peak speed. All the same devices on other networks will easily perform at the max of that network's download capabilities. The speed is there. It's apparent when the download gets stable. But I don't know what's wrong there at the beginning and lately it's made my web performance absolutely terrible. Page loading is far from snappy.

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From CA3LE

" .... When I've seen this it never pauses, then turns into a fluid progress bar (meaning that it moves smoothly). It will pause then JUMP... as if the browser couldn't keep up with the java used to update the progress. "

My iPad behaves like that. The progress bar updates roughly every 2 seconds or so. It doesn't bother me.

I have a new talent....counting and calculating Mbps. My download speeds normally vary between 6 and 10 Mbps. My average over a year is about 8 Mbps, and the test sizes are usually about 8 MB. When I hit the start button, I count one thousand, two thousand...until the progress bar completes. During the upload test, I've gotten good enough that I can now calculate the download test result in my head to within 10%.

The mind is a terrible thing.

Edited by Pgoodwin1
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More testing. Weird results. So, I hooked up directly from my Macbook into my modem again. Double checked MTU was still set to 1492 for ethernet. But kept my modem in bridge mode and logged in pppoe from my macbook. The following info is from the exact same test. Have tested multiple times with the same results.

dZ0TF84.png

skitch.png

So testmy.net says I'm getting 625 KB/s while my down stream throughput shows 1250 KB/s. It's exactly half. Why?

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Been tinkering. Speeds are decent at around 650 KB/s. But I still have the initial hang. Modem Reports 800 KB/s+ connection. But even connected directly, I'm not actually seeing that speed. Pulled it out of bridge mode for a sec to look at some stats. Pingtest.net shows good latency is fine, around 30 ms, no packet loss, jitter at 1 ms. Used to always be 0 jitter. Not sure what's changed in the past months. But I'm not sure if 1 ms is cause for alarm.

Played with various MTU settings from 1400-1500. Only ever got a 0.2 mbps difference. Left it at 1492. Hoping my airport extreme base station utilizes pmtud. Same experience at the start of any download regardless of the mtu though. Ramps up or does a few triangle waves before stabilizing.

skitch.png

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I was also thinking about those filters, if i remember correctly , if one of them anywhere in the house is crappin itself, it effects everything. Could be wrong it's been some time since i used it. In fact we were just discussing it this past week, getting a line dropped for this.

Pretty sure it's not just my computer because I've tested on many devices. But I have not yet tested at the box. If the rain will ever stop, I'll give that a shot. It has crossed my mind though. The wiring in this house seems to be pretty poor.

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Ooh. Response from the big man himself. Maybe there's hope of actually getting this resolved. Feels a little bit like talking to...maybe not quite god... let's go with gandalf. :P And I never really left testmy.net. :) Been visiting at least weekly to test ever since I signed up. Just neglected to sign in. >.<

I'm flattered :smiley: --- don't forget to sign in dude! Otherwise it's hard to track your old results, it looks like your ISP seems to change your IP frequently.

Could be your computer?

Java is VERY iffy imo

Where is the java ?

Not java... javascript. Big difference. The javascript used for the progress bar is very simple and can be handled by even severely outdated computers.

Been tinkering. Speeds are decent at around 650 KB/s. But I still have the initial hang. Modem Reports 800 KB/s+ connection. But even connected directly, I'm not actually seeing that speed. Pulled it out of bridge mode for a sec to look at some stats. Pingtest.net shows good latency is fine, around 30 ms, no packet loss, jitter at 1 ms. Used to always be 0 jitter. Not sure what's changed in the past months. But I'm not sure if 1 ms is cause for alarm.

Played with various MTU settings from 1400-1500. Only ever got a 0.2 mbps difference. Left it at 1492. Hoping my airport extreme base station utilizes pmtud. Same experience at the start of any download regardless of the mtu though. Ramps up or does a few triangle waves before stabilizing.

skitch.png

If you're getting 650 kB/s and your sync rate is 804 kB/s you're right where you should be. Just over 80%. Obviously you'd like to see better but at those speeds I wouldn't be too alarmed either. I watched your video and the pauses aren't as bad as I was expecting. I've seen it before where it craps out for a couple seconds.

Do you have home phone service? If you do, mudmanc4 is right... if filters aren't installed or faulty then noise on the line will drop your speeds. Check this out, it may help > Upgrade Your DSL Connection Using Filters -- Wikipedia information on DSL Filters -- Most DSL providers will provide filters free of charge. ... line noise could very well be why you see CRC errors on your modem status page. ;)

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