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Bob Alder

Download test variability

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I'm sorry your question previously went unanswered.


Before anything can truly be determined you'll need to test a little more.  First go to mirrors and change to another server near you, try a few different ones.  You want to establish that it's not just the connection out of Dallas.  If other servers vary widely still, same kind of pattern you've been seeing, then you'll want to establish that it's not your browser.  Do the test using the server that returned the most favorable results in more than just Firefox (like I see you've been testing with).  Try Chrome.  If multiple browsers also do the same thing then you should try another machine.  If possible try testing on another computer or device on the same network.  It's best if the machine is known to perform well on other connections using TestMy.net, this gives a known baseline to work from.  For instance, I can take my laptop to anyones home who has a connection slower than mine and pretty much know for a fact that any degradation in performance is on their network.


Another thing to do is make sure you test with more consistent sizes between tests.  When you're having issues the auto sized tests aren't always the best.  On your connection I'd try 50 or 100 MB manually selected.  On https://testmy.net/download you'll see a "Manual Test Size" drop down.


Screen Shot 2016-09-11 at 11.49.54 AM.png


If you haven't already you should unplug your router and modem briefly (10 seconds) to make sure we're starting fresh.  I just had a major issue yesterday because my router was in dire need of a reboot.  I had transferred hundreds of GB of data over wifi over a short period... guess it was too much for the ol' Netgear Nighthawk.  Quick power cycle, less than a minute and everything was back online and running perfect again.

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I found time to poke around more based on your great suggestions   I've tried to standardize on using the "manual" 100 mb test.  Also, I did what you suggested and tested speeds of various Domain name servers and concluded that my ISP (Comcast) was consistently good but that a Google servers equally good.  So designated it as the secondary domain name server.  That change didn't seem to help with the lethargy of rendering webpages).


 Here's what I've observed and what I've concluded:


1. I've tested three browsers (Firefox, MS Explorer, and Edge) ack-to-back. .  They seem to produce comparable speed test results.  Also tried pining the same web page on each browser.  Similar lethargy.  So I don't think I can blame Firefox.

2. I've tested my desktop using both a Wi-Fi dongle to connect to the router as well as a hard wire connection.  Speeds via Wi-Fi seem consistently slower (40-60 mpb/s) than the hard wire speeds 90-100+ mb/s) . No surprise there.

3. I've done speed test using my wife's laptop which uses a Wi-Fi connection to the router.  Her Wi-Fi- speeds are comparable to the speed obtains (i.e. 60-70 mn/d).  Yet her laptop will render identical pages must faster than will my machine.


The whole reason for going thru all this is my very slow website rendering.  Abysmally slow on many occasions.  It seems to have trouble quickly rendering graphics or embedded videos.  (slow to "pop").  Thus I began this saga of testing of download speeds on MyTest.com.  Interestingly (and importantly) my wife's laptop, with test speeds about the same as my machine when on wi-fi, renders identical pages like crazy whereas my machine (whether on wi-fi or hard wired) can't even come close in the speed which her laptop renders them.


This leaves me with the conclusion that it's something with my machine.  Yes, it's a bit older (Gateway Pentium dual core 2.6 GHz, Windows 10)  but...... rendering speed is clearly getting worse and is dreadful upon occasions.  I've run all the usual things, Spybot, Malware Bytes, etc.  Nothing identified.   Even made sure Firefox was a clean install (no add-ons).  Same lethargy. 


I hate the thought of upgrading to a new machine.  Yes, I can do it.   But . . .. . not unless I just have to.  Are there any other  tuning suggestions or should I just bite the bullet and get a new machine?


Thanks for your sage advice.


P.S.  Love your speed testing site.  One suggestion.  It would be neat to be able to be able to log a "Note" on each speed test to give some info, e.g. that you'd tweaked something before the test, which machine, how connected, etc.   This would really help remember which test did what and maybe why.



Bob Alder





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As you'll note from my prior posting, I deduced that periodic extremely slow browsing was probably specific to my machine, not the internet connection per se.  But damned if I could figure out why.  Now here's the weird part of this saga;


Several days ago MS put the big new WIN10 update (Anniversary Update???) on my machine.  It was done automatically per my update settings.    But scared the hell out of me because all of a sudden one evening my machine was doing the update with all the "Don't turn off your machine" warnings.  It took about two hours and involved I don't know how many reboots.   That's a scary update.


This is the weird part.  My browsing speed has returned to normal.  Who would have thought that a MS OS update would actually fix anything like this????  Life is full of surprises, sometimes even nice ones.


Anyway, thanks for all your help.


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