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Significant Firefox and NordVPN Bottlenecks on Download


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Hello from Nova Scotia, Canada.

 

Recently, I upgraded my internet service to 100mbps. Installed a new modem/wifi router. I use a laptop for my internet. No other devices online other than a monitor.

 

For testing, I am using the Speedtest app by Ookla which I can run independent of the Firefox browser. For testing with the browser, I am using testmy.net.

 

I am finding a LARGE discrepancy between the download results I get with NordVPN on or off. The difference is around 1/2 performance, that is say 50mbps on/100mbps off. That is testing independent of a browser.

 

Then I am finding a HUGE difference between Firefox browser on or off. This difference can be up to SIX TIMES, that is testing through Firefox browser, say 20 mbps, and without Firefox, 120mbps.

 

So, for starters, since I can get 100mbps at times, my hardware all seems to be ok.

 

The first major bottleneck then seems to be Firefox 75.0.


Once, that bottleneck is solved the second major problem is NordVPN, at times, cutting download speed by 1/2.

 

I would like to know if these discrepancies are normal. If not, how to solve the Firefox problem first and then the NordVPN slowdown. I have researched these problems quite a bit and other than some minor tweaks can't find anything that would result in these major declines in download speeds.

 

Thanks.

Peter

 

 

 

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Welcome aboard :cool:

 

Try running the Firefox portable version to see if there is any difference.  This will help determine whether the issue is with your main Firefox installation as Firefox portable runs completely independent of it.

https://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable

 

Try also running TestMy with Multithread on.  Ookla's speed test runs all tests in multithread mode, unless you select single connection mode. 

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13 hours ago, Maritimer said:

Once, that bottleneck is solved the second major problem is NordVPN, at times, cutting download speed by 1/2.

 

Hi Peter, welcome to TestMy.net.

 

This is 100% normal.  When you connect through a VPN you're adding a middleman.  The difference between a good VPN and a great one is how little of a drop off you have when connected.  There will always be a loss when adding a middleman.  Just ask any broker ...after a couple a drinks.  :evil6:

 

13 hours ago, Maritimer said:

Then I am finding a HUGE difference between Firefox browser on or off. This difference can be up to SIX TIMES, that is testing through Firefox browser, say 20 mbps, and without Firefox, 120mbps.

 

Do you have any plugins installed?  I would look into resetting the browser to default and see if that improves the situation.  ... if you see that a browser isn't performing well, use the browser that does perform well for you.  TestMy.net tests your internet AND browser, if the browsers process is slow it affects the results.  Often this can be caused by plugins that are getting in the way of the normal process.  I'm running Firefox 75 and my results are very similar to my Chrome results... for many years they've remained within a small margin of each other, on all of my machines.  ... and I test --- a lot.

 

... knowing this, if I saw Firefox start performing at 25% of other browsers running on the same computer under similar tests -- I'd really want to look closer and understand why.  That doesn't happen unless something causes it to happen.  ;) 

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I have run a number of tests since last posting.

 

I am concentrating on the FF browser as the main bottleneck. I am ignoring any interference from VPN and not doing any testing with it on.

 

I ran tests using FF Portable on my desktop and did not find any difference than regular FF. The regular FF has only one extension active.

 

I use speedtest alone and usually get 120mbps.  run other tests to compare at about that same time. Consistently with regular FF, the best is can get is 25mbps. But usually I get 10-15mbps. Thus, at least 75% of potential speed at least is being lost using regular FF.

 

I also loaded FFPortable on to my desktop and most times actually got a worse performance than regular FF. I have also tested using just a basic, unmodified Chrome and get about the same results.

 

And on some occasions, with 120mbps through speedtest, I will get below 5mbps with regular FF. Absolutely dreadful!

 

So, I guess my basic question is what should the normal degradation of internet speed be by using FF or any other browser? Normally, I am operating at about 1/10 of the 120mbps internet speed available.

 

 

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On 5/4/2020 at 1:24 PM, Maritimer said:

So, I guess my basic question is what should the normal degradation of internet speed be by using FF or any other browser? Normally, I am operating at about 1/10 of the 120mbps internet speed available.

 

Normally there isn't any degradation.  But recently I have seen FF act up.  Tabs crashing, requiring restarts often.  I'll go to open a link in a new tab and the new tab opens crashed and tells me I need to restart.  This is just very recently for me.

 

Here's a FF result just now, 200 MB manual selection.

 

TestMy.net Test ID : 4-PO~sDOa

 

And here's the same 200 MB test immediately after in Chrome.  I have literally 50+ tabs open in Chrome too.
 

TestMy.net Test ID : 6~XIM_LfH 

So I'm seeing a 28% drop right now.

 

In your case, it's much more severe.  You may have something more going on.  If you haven't already maybe try restoring firefox to default and see if that improves.  You could also look into any add-ons you may have enabled and disable them one at a time and see if you get any improvement.  75% drop off between browsers tells me there's probably more going on there.  Because I personally never see that much of a discrepancy... and I'm running the same tests as you are.

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Thanks for the feedback.

 I have been trying to narrow down this problem to a few variables only but it is a frustrating business.

 

One recent problem surfaced which has to be dealt with before making progress on any other variables.

 

Today, without any browser loaded but Nordvpn running, I ran speedtest  and got 10mbps, all references are download speeds. I then turned off Nordvpn and ran speedtest and got 120mbps. I turned Nordvpn back on and got 10mbps. I turned Nordvpn off and then got 120mbps. AND I have noticed that with some testing I was doing previously with nordvpn on/off, I did not get such a severe degradation.

 

So, no browser running but nordvpn, there is a 92% degradation of download speed.

With no browser running and no Nordvpn running speed is 120mbps.

 

I have also done a lot of testing with other configurations, FFsafe, FFregular, Chrome, VPN on/off but this is the first time I am experiencing such a severe degradation through NordVPN alone. Until I solve that problem further testing is nailing JELLO to the wall.

 

So, I suggest either:

1. NordVPN is incredibly inefficient or possibly

2. My ISP detects NordVPN running by its server address and then throttles my speed.

 

Thanks for any suggestions.

Peter

 

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2 hours ago, Maritimer said:

So, I suggest either:

1. NordVPN is incredibly inefficient or possibly

2. My ISP detects NordVPN running by its server address and then throttles my speed.

 

Have you tried comparing a different VPN host?  Try GigaNews (VyprVPN) -- you can use their 15-day trial for testing and cancel it if you no longer need it.

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