February 27, 2006
So I had a few bandwidth issues recently, which you can see in the six-month alexa traffic graph for this domain.
There wasn't much I could do about the traffic spike. But I did make good use of two of my favorite tools for quick and dirty internet connection troubleshooting. The two most important questions to ask are:
How wide is your internet connection?
In other words, bandwidth. How many kilobytes per second does your ISP allow you to transmit and receive? Most consumer internet connections are highly asymmetric-- they offer extremely fast downloads but only a tiny fraction of that for uploads. Your typical cable modem is around 300 kilobytes per second when downloading (sometimes even faster), but only 30 kilobytes per second when uploading.
For quick bandwidth measurements, I like NetMeter. It only shows traffic on a single computer, but when run on a server it can give you a nice idea of how much bandwidth you're using at any given time. For such a lightweight little applet, it also has some surprisingly sophisticated long-term logging and reporting abilities-- you can see how much bandwidth you've used over weeks and even months.
How fast is your internet connection?
In other words, latency. How quickly does your ISP get your packets from point A to point B? Do they arrive in a timely fashion? Do they arrive at all? Unless your connection suffers from severe packet loss, this is a bit less of a priority than raw bandwidth. But it can be frustrating if your connection isn't responsive or is unreliable.
For latency measurements, I like PingPlotter. It comes in a few editions, including free. To test for latency or connectivity problems you'll want to run a few instances of PingPlotter over a series of days, all pinging large websites.
Set the graph interval to something wide like 24 or 48 hours, and once you collect enough samples, you'll have a nice idea of when your ISP's network is busy or unavailable:
Now, these are intentionally lightweight tools. They're no match for fancy, dedicated networking diagnostic apps. But they're simple to use and easy to gather data with. When you're calling your ISP's tech support, having these kinds of graphs to email them carries a heck of a lot more weight than generic complaints about "slowness".
Posted by Jeff Atwood
Excellent post. I was looking exactly for this. There are many complaints that Comcast is slow as dial-up during peak hours, a href="http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,15556763"http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,15556763/a . I'm going to use pingplotter to see if it's true.
For first one, I use DU Meter and it's great. Seems that their features are same.
I updated the post with the results of nearly 24 hours pinging download.com at 60 second intervals. And I added a few other sites as well.
This indicates there's some kind of serious network problem from about 8pm to 11:30pm..
Hi and thanks for the tips, most people don't give a second thought to the latency issues pertaining to the 3 main things i have considered.
1. The quality of your ISP ( ie how many connections/pipe )
2. Quality of your own system
( age, make model, mainly software you run and overall effeciency )
3. The age and reliability of your phone socket + line and carrier.
( it could be as simple as the age of the exposed line into your home )
All things considered, i have been searching for diagnostic tools like ping plotter for my ISP Tech to have a look at.
Now i know this is not my forum or page, but i also offer the following advice pertaining to slow or laggy connections.
1. ATF Cleaner ( avaiable from atribune.org ) is like very fast to download and very efficient cleaner, cleans up all the temps in windows including prefetch and Java Cashe, also has a second meny for Fire Fox users or Opera depending on your browser preference.
2. Run ATF Cleaner before running your Anti spy virus software, 10 times faster and more effecient on those hard to get rid of bugs.
3. If you run an older PC, consider what you are running that you can close off, mainly programs that run in the task bar. Usually half of these come on at start up and will never be used, close as many as you can leaving your Anti Virus Anti Spyware programs running.
4. Purchase more RAM for your PC, most older computers don't even run enough onboard memory by half.
for examply Windows Users need to consider a minimum of 512mb of ram. I wonder how many people actually have even given this a second thought since they purchased the computer 5 years ago ?
5. Last but never least, critical you will need to make back-ups and consider clean installing your Operating System, in most cases this is simply a matter of using your copy of windows to do a clean install of the operating system ( consider asking for professional help on this )