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entrappedmind

Incredibly low download speeds, intermittent for years, becoming constant

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After getting nowhere despite a week of back-and-forth with my ISP's tech support, I've finally decided to seek answers elsewhere. Asking here because A: this is where I'm doing much of my testing and B: because I noticed moderator mudmanc4 running tests on my provider and getting considerably better results (which would invalidate much of what the ISP is attempting to tell me).

 

My plan calls for 100 down/5 up. Over the past couple years, I'd gotten used to just accepting the fact that at "prime" times, my speeds would drop to 30 or 40. Well, recently, they've been dropping to 2 or even 1 - and beyond.

 

I've tracerouted the typical DNS servers (Google, OpenDNS, etc), and found that at the times my speed is decreased, my ping is spiking from the ~15 to ~125   - just as the data hops from tier 2 (MaxxSouth) to tier 1 (HE, NTT, Cogent, and Level3). ISP claims this is unrelated and irrelevant, I don't think I agree. Feels too coincidental.

 

Originally, I had been using Speedtest.net for my testing. Those results: https://www.speedtest.net/results?sh=347ff22b5677a4a0107c1c787541b437  Since I discovered the scheduled testing here yesterday, I've switched. Those results: https://testmy.net/compID/123093662818

 

Where do I go from here? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Or is the ISP simply trying to frustrate me into giving up so they don't have to address an issue? I'm at my wits' end.

 

Thanks!

 

EDIT: After reading other threads, I ran a latency test, too: https://testmy.net/latency?gID=wmkv7k0wty

EDIT2: Wired connection, as I didn't specify before. And for reference, this is the intranet speed test result: http://buckeyebroadband.speedtestcustom.com/result/6d79a3a0-738e-11ea-a16c-a1e437aa21e6

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The first few hops of your Trace Routes appear to rule out the connection between your router and the ISP, so it does not appear to be an issue with your home network, router or its link.

 

Besides the excessive ping times, your ISP appears to have very high packet loss going by the number of individual stars.  Three stars in a row just means the gateway at that hop does not respond to ping requests, so you can ignore those.  For comparison, these are trace routes to 1.1.1.1 and 72.30.35.10 from my end, which is over a 4G cellular connection:

 

Tracert over 4G.png

 

Try a "ping -n 100 1.1.1.1".  Ideally this should finish with a "0% loss" and no more than 1%. 

 

High packet loss (3% or higher) will cause a drop in throughput as your connection will spend much of its time re-requesting packets that did not arrive. 

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Hi Sean, thank you for your reply.

 

Probably pointless to diagnose anything at this specific moment, as my speeds increased to normal overnight (as pictured below), but I'll add the current results and also re-test and reply again in an hour or two when my speeds inevitably drop.

cmd_QRRU0Skt7T.png

chrome_DhPDvWZLOc.png

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17 hours ago, entrappedmind said:

After getting nowhere despite a week of back-and-forth with my ISP's tech support, I've finally decided to seek answers elsewhere. Asking here because A: this is where I'm doing much of my testing and B: because I noticed moderator mudmanc4 running tests on my provider and getting considerably better results (which would invalidate much of what the ISP is attempting to tell me).

 

My plan calls for 100 down/5 up. Over the past couple years, I'd gotten used to just accepting the fact that at "prime" times, my speeds would drop to 30 or 40. Well, recently, they've been dropping to 2 or even 1 - and beyond.

 

I've tracerouted the typical DNS servers (Google, OpenDNS, etc), and found that at the times my speed is decreased, my ping is spiking from the ~15 to ~125   - just as the data hops from tier 2 (MaxxSouth) to tier 1 (HE, NTT, Cogent, and Level3). ISP claims this is unrelated and irrelevant, I don't think I agree. Feels too coincidental.

 

Originally, I had been using Speedtest.net for my testing. Those results: https://www.speedtest.net/results?sh=347ff22b5677a4a0107c1c787541b437  Since I discovered the scheduled testing here yesterday, I've switched. Those results: https://testmy.net/compID/123093662818

 

Where do I go from here? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Or is the ISP simply trying to frustrate me into giving up so they don't have to address an issue? I'm at my wits' end.

 

Thanks!

 

EDIT: After reading other threads, I ran a latency test, too: https://testmy.net/latency?gID=wmkv7k0wty

EDIT2: Wired connection, as I didn't specify before. And for reference, this is the intranet speed test result: http://buckeyebroadband.speedtestcustom.com/result/6d79a3a0-738e-11ea-a16c-a1e437aa21e6

All of your latency tests look really big. On your Buckeye Broadband test the ping test said 13 mSec. That would have been to a very nearby server (one of theirs). So it’s not your equipment. Ask them to route you differently.

Edited by Pgoodwin1
Added info

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15 hours ago, Wilma deaton said:

My internet keeps stopping then working again then stopping it just don't stop an work right at all an can't get no help from hugesnet by the time they did answer my internet when out again hope they don't charge me for a year its Ben awful with them an I tried to cancel before the 30 day free trial an they said I didn't have one so never get them for your provider its just horribl

Looking at your test data it shows something happened after 3/23/20. Your tests after that changed to really low. 
 

Try selecting the Dallas test server with Multithread off. I notice your results have multithread on for download tests and the Dallas server selected for upload testing. I assume the Dallas server is the closest to you. Is that true?

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On 4/1/2020 at 8:03 AM, Pgoodwin1 said:

All of your latency tests look really big. On your Buckeye Broadband test the ping test said 13 mSec. That would have been to a very nearby server (one of theirs). So it’s not your equipment. Ask them to route you differently.

 

Thank you for your response, Pgoodwin1.

 

I've tried that for over a week. They continue to claim there's nothing that can be done on their end.

 

Here is a redacted-where-necessary copy/paste of all communications I've had with support thus far: https://pastebin.com/wcZjy2FZ

 

Buckeye Broadband - tech support conversations by entrappedmind.txt

Edited by CA3LE
added .txt file for records

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I don’t think their comments about them not being able to control things beyond their system footprint is entirely true. I believe they can do something about it by identifying where the bottlenecks are and having those providers help diversify traffic. I don’t personally know what it is that can be done. Maybe @CA3LE can comment here about what to request them to do.

 

Bottom line is for them to have happy customers. They’re an Internet Service Provider not just a Buckeye Broadband access service.

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41 minutes ago, Pgoodwin1 said:

I believe they can do something about it by identifying where the bottlenecks are and having those providers help diversify traffic. I don’t personally know what it is that can be done.

 

Sounds as if we're of an entirely like mind. Thank you for your insight (and attention), at least!

 

41 minutes ago, Pgoodwin1 said:

Bottom line is for them to have happy customers.

 

You'd certainly think so... That is rule #1 of business, after all... But with them having a monopoly on broadband access in my area (and many others nearby), popular opinion seems to be that they don't care whether or not their customers are happy, only that they pay. Case in point is their outright refusal to lift data caps or waive overage fees for people under lockdown. Sorry, off on a bit of a tangent there. 

 

 

EDIT TO ADD: Current Latency test: https://testmy.net/latency?gID=6padd20cj5  Current ping 1.1.1.1 -n 100 and tracert comparisons for @Sean and screencap of recent speeds attached.

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Another update... It appears I've found the problem.

 

Remember those traceroutes? Well, using the Looking Glass at each of the providers to reverse traceroute from them to me, I was able to discover something. A hop that doesn't exist on my traceroutes. One hop shared by every trace.

 

 What's worrisome is that Level3/CenturyLink - where every byte of my data is funneling through - has this (https://www.centurylink.com/business/help/network/overview-of-traffic-shaping.html) featured somewhat prominently in their offerings.

 

This info, coupled with that hop being hidden in my own traces, coupled with their reluctance to take any action whatsoever... It makes me wonder. Am I being deliberately throttled - which they've guaranteed numerous times in writing that they do not do - or am I just paranoid?

 

Any advice on how to proceed?

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I notice in your TestMy results table of download tests: all of the bad results have a 40MB test file size, and all of your better ones have a test file size of 122MB. Maybe try some manual testing with either 100MB or 125MB chosen manually. If the test time is excessively long because of low speeds, reduce it from 100 to 75. See if there’s any consistency with the larger test file sizes.
 

The file size is probably not the issue, but I did notice all your lousy download speeds were with the 40MB test file size.

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That's only because I'd set 40MB as a minimum after seeing earlier tests top out at 1-6MB when my bandwidth dropped, based on past conversation I read here. The "better" test results have a higher file size because the test automatically ramps up past the 40MB minimum and retests at higher file sizes when my speed actually allows it to.

 

Furthermore, I'd tried setting a higher minimum, but A: the test took too long to complete (100MB at 500kbps takes a little under a half hour)  and B: provided no better result. Basically, I noticed the same thing two days ago, but already ruled it out. Good eye, though - thanks for the suggestion!

 

Any thoughts regarding my last post, above? The mystery Level3/CenturyLink hop?

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On a whim, I did a couple tests as you suggested @Pgoodwin1, with a manual file size of 100MB. I sandwiched 4 manual 100MB tests on either side of a scheduled 40MB test. The results were surprising, though I feel like it's got to be completely coincidental. Once my speed drops for the day (which based on past days' tests should be between now and 1:30), I'll try a few more manual 100MB tests, and see if these results were an aberration or not.

chrome_V0PwUulTxF.png

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Not sure what's going on today. Seems like maybe they're attempting to fix whatever is going on (after assuring me nothing is wrong then ignoring my emails for over two days). Rather than maintaining ~100Mbps from 12a-12p and ~4Mbps from 12p-12a as it had been predictably doing (see attached), it's now attempting to maintain ~100Mbps, but dropping to ~4Mbps at seemingly random intervals.

 

chrome_IxeGtW8JHr.thumb.png.345c98e59ba145487e0b9fdd422db4a4.png

chrome_JTK6guYXa4.png.00cfb7b4babcc2e71dee075a100dfbba.png

 

Anyway, that being said, here's the 100MB manual test results I recently got. Doesn't appear to be a whole lot of consistency there, either.

 

chrome_7lfK8FRvBy.thumb.png.fb396c2c686aa50cd7707a8c59782437.png

 

Any other ideas? Anybody? My wall's getting quite a dent from figuratively bashing my head into it over this.

Edited by entrappedmind
add'l info

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Yesterday's & today's test results, running a 50MB test every ten minutes (https://testmy.net/quickstats/entrappedmind).

 

chrome_BDmIw1DxOg.thumb.png.3f7cb8d0fdf1e3053b5d18d5226d4ed1.png

 

No idea whatsoever why it spent a little over a day spiking from one extreme to the other as opposed to the predictability I'd grown accustomed to, but now it appears to be back to struggling again, at least for the moment.

 

chrome_wNmTk8U1SJ.thumb.png.c4aabddefc10570ddb6363f1164b4229.png

 

Still hoping to hear back from anybody with some sort of suggestion, especially since I'm now on day three of the ISP's techs ignoring my emails.

 

Can someone at least reassure me that my suspicions of throttling are just paranoia?

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Weird. Your ping spike would imply that your issue is intranet, where mine would imply the opposite. But, as I said, my issues go back way further than tonight, so any example I provide may very well be tainted by whatever I'd already had going on.

 

EDIT: I take that back. Again, all I can say is "weird."

cmd_wowZnduxZh.png.15ad0b0d25af5dbc6c283468211bef2a.png

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9 hours ago, entrappedmind said:

Yesterday's & today's test results, running a 50MB test every ten minutes (https://testmy.net/quickstats/entrappedmind).

 

chrome_BDmIw1DxOg.thumb.png.3f7cb8d0fdf1e3053b5d18d5226d4ed1.png

 

No idea whatsoever why it spent a little over a day spiking from one extreme to the other as opposed to the predictability I'd grown accustomed to, but now it appears to be back to struggling again, at least for the moment.

 

chrome_wNmTk8U1SJ.thumb.png.c4aabddefc10570ddb6363f1164b4229.png

 

Still hoping to hear back from anybody with some sort of suggestion, especially since I'm now on day three of the ISP's techs ignoring my emails.

 

Can someone at least reassure me that my suspicions of throttling are just paranoia?

It’s a pain to have to go thru this stuff I know. I suggest you call them instead of emailing. Be polite but persistent. If you don’t get satisfaction from talking to their first level support person, ask to speak to a supervisor. I assume you have some kind of problem ticket number that your emails are posting to. 

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2 hours ago, Pgoodwin1 said:

I assume you have some kind of problem ticket number that your emails are posting to.

 

No, they have no "ticket" system.

 

2 hours ago, Pgoodwin1 said:

I suggest you call them instead of emailing.

 

They've refused to allow me to record calls on my end, and I insist on having a record of communications.

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On 4/4/2020 at 11:17 AM, entrappedmind said:

 

No, they have no "ticket" system.

 

 

They've refused to allow me to record calls on my end, and I insist on having a record of communications.

I don’t see how they can prevent you from recording anything on your end (and how would they know). And since they have no ticket system, they aren’t behaving like a real service company. Sounds like you should end your service with them ASAP if you can’t get some action via phone calls. Don’t let them bully you with talk about your contract. They broke the contract with lack of service. 

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22 minutes ago, Pgoodwin1 said:

I don’t see how they can prevent you from recording anything on your end (and how would they know).

 

They can't prevent it (nor am I required to notify them), as Ohio is a one-party state as far as "wiretapping" laws are concerned.

 

The issue comes into play whenever something discussed in a previous conversation is referenced. As far as Buckeye is concerned, if it's not recorded in your account, it doesn't exist. And, as is demonstrated quite clearly in my email correspondence referenced earlier, they refuse to record anything that isn't beneficial to them in a customer's account.

 

31 minutes ago, Pgoodwin1 said:

Sounds like you should end your service with them ASAP

 

I would have, a decade ago at least, if there was any alternative. As I said, they have a monopoly on service in my area.

 

51 minutes ago, Pgoodwin1 said:

They broke the contract with lack of service. 

 

Not according to them.

 

"We do guarantee your speeds to us.  Beyond our network we can not do anything about that."

"...you are getting your correct speeds to us which is what we guarantee."

"...we have no control over what happens with data once it is no longer in our footprint."

"...we can guarantee are tests performed at speedtest.bex.net, as that traffic stays entirely on our network. We have no control over internet traffic once it leaves our network."

 

55 minutes ago, Pgoodwin1 said:

Don’t let them bully you with talk about your contract.

 

That's the other reason I refuse to deal with them on the phone. I can't justify the health risks of getting that worked up by combative representatives over the phone.

 

The answer can't simply be "talk to their service reps." That not working is what led me here in the first place. They have repeatedly refused to do anything. So, with that in mind, what can I do?

 

Just for reference's sake, here's the graph of my last thousand tests, in case anything might jump out at somebody.

 

chrome_mVn3ls3Da5.thumb.png.f471400ae87c321273a22d8883727016.png

 

And an intranet test, completed just now.

 

chrome_TOuOIkEGvg.png.54b76732e6bb5e2688416cab313a1ee2.png

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@entrappedmind  too bad it’s your only option.

 

@CA3LE  do you have any comment on entrappedmind’s comment:

 

Not according to them.

 

"We do guarantee your speeds to us.  Beyond our network we can not do anything about that."

"...you are getting your correct speeds to us which is what we guarantee."

"...we have no control over what happens with data once it is no longer in our footprint."

"...we can guarantee are tests performed at speedtest.bex.net, as that traffic stays entirely on our network. We have no control over internet traffic once it leaves our network”

 

If I remember correctly, you’ve made some comments in the past about how ISPs help customers for issues outside the ISP’s network by negotiating re-routes 

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