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Making sense of bandwidth drops seen in my speed test


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I've been having an ongoing problem with my internet speed dropping off, and could use some help making sense of it.

 

Essentially, I notice that occasionally (& regularly) the speed drops off a cliff, which typically results in streams that I'm watching in buffering. When I run a speed test, I pretty much always see the fast speed advertised with my service.

 

So I tried out testmy.net, running an automatic download test every 5 minutes for 8 hours. The resulting graph looks like a saw blade. Every 3 or 4 intervals, the speed is very slow: https://testmy.net/quickstats/MooseP?type=user_name&q=MooseP&limit=100

 

?t=u&d=04-29-2020+%2F+04-30-2020&l=100&q=MooseP's Speed Test Results

 

This is on a wired desktop, and I can't think of anything else in my house that would be causing this. Does this look like my ISP throttling me?

 

Edited by CA3LE
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I don't think your ISP is throttling you.  It would be an odd way to throttle.

 

ISPs who throttle are usually up front about it... or really sneaky.  They'd either tell you, "once you hit your data cap, speeds will be limited." -- when throttled in that scenario speed would completely drop off until next billing cycle.  Or they may throttle parts of your connection, like to certain services like youtube, netflix, hulu... etc.  To test this you might want to connect through a VPN and see if the situation improves.  I use Giganews VyprVPN - they give a 14 day trial on all plans and are very fast.  See this recent post about VPN's being a middleman -- you speed will be slower through a VPN but if you're being throttled this may be an extreme improvement... sometimes a middleman is a good thing.  ;) 

 

To cut your connection in and out like you're seeing... there's something else going on.

 

It could be on your ISPs end but I think you first should make sure it's not on your end.

 

One thing you can do is alert yourself when the connection drops significantly.  Under My Settings choose the "Email Results" option... maybe select 20% -- so in your case (average 55 Mbps down) it will email you any time your speed is lower than 44 Mbps.  When you get that email go to your computer and try to troubleshoot during that window of time. 

 

 

During that window of time I'd be running a traceroute and ping to google's 8.8.8.8 and cloudflare's 1.1.1.1 as well as the testmy.net test server I'm testing against.  Go to mirrors and hover over the server to get the address.

 

 

Maybe disconnect all other devices for a period so you can isolate the variables a little more.  If the problem persists then try disconnecting that computer and trying a different one (if you have that option)... this will help make a case that it's not one computer or the other, in that case it's probably something before the computers.  If only one computer displays the issue... you'd have a different answer to look deeper into.

 

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