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Just how 'good' is my Internet?

By jobeard
Feb 27, 2015
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  1. OK, Just how 'good' is my Internet? I will address the question in terms of Reliability - - the ability to access websites, email and streaming videos without 'undue lagging'. There's a lot to this subject so installment-1 covers only the transport layers - - sending and receiving packets.

    There are three points where your preceived Internet performace can have
    major issues:

    1) your Lan itself
    2) your connection to your ISP (and its DNS)
    3) each specific site you visit

    1) your Lan itself
    it should be obvious, but frequently overlooked is bad wiring or
    equipment you have installed. This includes the modem for accessing
    your ISP, any router and even all the ethernet cables.

    The test is easy: ping your router address.
    This will test the router, the wire (or wifi connection) and the tcp
    software (and its settings). If your router address is 192.168.1.1 then

    ping -n 100 192.168.1.1

    the results SHOULD BE consistent
    Pinging 192.168.1.1 with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=250
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=250
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=250
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=250
    these values should be very uniform ^^^^^^^^

    you have issues if you see large changes:

    Pinging 192.168.1.1 with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=250
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=9ms TTL=250
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=250
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=250​

    resolve this before you worry about anything else below

    2) your connection to your ISP
    If you can't access your ISP reliably, then everything else WILL
    be effected too. But you need to know the address of your ISP gateway.
    The easiest way to find it is:

    tracert 8.8.8.8

    Tracing route to google-public-dns-a.google.com [8.8.8.8]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:

    1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms aa.bb.cc.1
    2 10 ms 9 ms 9 ms cpe-75-85-0-1.socal.res.rr.com [75.85.0.1]
    3 12 ms 11 ms 9 ms tge0-9-0-23.wlvgcabn02h.socal.rr.com [24.30.172.141]
    4 11 ms 11 ms 11 ms agg22.vnnycajz02r.socal.rr.com [72.129.14.168]
    5 15 ms 15 ms 15 ms agg29.tustcaft01r.socal.rr.com [72.129.13.2]​

    ^C I terminated the test here as the ISP gateway is on line two,
    in this case 75.85.0.1

    To then test the reliability of your ISP connection, use:

    pathping 75.85.0.1 (aka use YOUR address found above)

    This tool performs multiple pings and gives you the statistical results like:

    pathping 75.85.0.1

    Tracing route to cpe-75-85-0-1.socal.res.rr.com [75.85.0.1]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:
    0 jeffpc7 [aa.bb.cc.5]
    1 aa.bb.cc.1
    2 cpe-75-85-0-1.socal.res.rr.com [75.85.0.1]

    Computing statistics for 50 seconds...
    Source to Here This Node/Link
    Hop RTT Lost/Sent = Pct Lost/Sent = Pct Address
    0 jeffpc7 [aa.bb.cc.5]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    1 0ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% aa.bb.cc.1
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    2 9ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% cpe-75-85-0-1.socal.res.rr.com [75.85.0.1]

    Trace complete.​

    You need to see 0/100 = 0% everywhere. On the above, we get that for each hop, but it also
    shows between the hops (hop:: these are the hardware boxes). Between the boxes, the tool
    is measuring losses between two points, ie errors on the connections. It is possible to
    see SMALL error percentages (small < 2% ), but anything larger, especially to your ISP
    is a problem.


    3) each specific site you visit
    So, if (1) and (2) above are reasonable, then we are at the mercy of "the Net" and every
    site we access will:

    (a) take a different internet path once it leaves our ISP
    (b) give different results, by site, site loading, time of day, and interference.
    (c) and there's nothing we can do to improve or alter the results.

    We can fix our PCs, complain to our ISP, but we can only be a victim if there are problems anywhere else in the Internet :sigh:

    The simple test for a specific site might be:
    $ ping -n 50 www.techspot.com

    Pinging www.techspot.com [184.173.241.66] with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from 184.173.241.66: bytes=32 time=50ms TTL=53 <first is typically higher than the rest
    Reply from 184.173.241.66: bytes=32 time=47ms TTL=53
    Reply from 184.173.241.66: bytes=32 time=49ms TTL=53 < 4.08%
    Reply from 184.173.241.66: bytes=32 time=47ms TTL=53 < 0.0
    Reply from 184.173.241.66: bytes=32 time=48ms TTL=53 < 2.12%
    Reply from 184.173.241.66: bytes=32 time=50ms TTL=53 < 6.38%
    Reply from 184.173.241.66: bytes=32 time=48ms TTL=53
    Reply from 184.173.241.66: bytes=32 time=47ms TTL=53
    Reply from 184.173.241.66: bytes=32 time=48ms TTL=53
    Reply from 184.173.241.66: bytes=32 time=49ms TTL=53

    Ping statistics for 184.173.241.66:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 47ms, Maximum = 50ms, Average = 48ms

    These are 'reasonible values', +- 2ms from the average.

    But what if they are larger, like +- 10% or worse??? We then use the in-depth tool

    pathping www.techspot.com

    Tracing route to www.techspot.com [184.173.241.66]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:
    0 jeffpc7 [aa.bb.cc.5]
    1 aa.bb.cc.1
    2 cpe-75-85-0-1.socal.res.rr.com [75.85.0.1]
    3 tge0-9-0-23.wlvgcabn02h.socal.rr.com [24.30.172.141]
    4 agg22.vnnycajz02r.socal.rr.com [72.129.14.168]
    5 agg29.tustcaft01r.socal.rr.com [72.129.13.2]
    6 bu-ether46.tustca4200w-bcr00.tbone.rr.com [107.14.17.134]
    7 bu-ether14.lsancarc0yw-bcr00.tbone.rr.com [66.109.6.4]
    8 0.ae0.pr0.lax00.tbone.rr.com [66.109.6.135]
    9 te1-6.bbr01.cs01.lax01.networklayer.com [66.109.11.42]
    10 ae7.bbr01.cs01.lax01.networklayer.com [173.192.18.166]
    11 ae19.bbr01.eq01.dal03.networklayer.com [173.192.18.140]
    12 ae5.dar01.sr01.dal07.networklayer.com [173.192.18.179]
    13 po1.fcr01.sr01.dal07.networklayer.com [50.22.118.131]
    14 techspot.com [184.173.241.66]

    Computing statistics for 350 seconds...
    Source to Here This Node/Link
    Hop RTT Lost/Sent = Pct Lost/Sent = Pct Address
    0 jeffpc7 [aa.bb.cc.5]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    1 0ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% aa.bb.cc.1
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    2 9ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% cpe-75-85-0-1.socal.res.rr.com [75.85.0.1]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    3 9ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% tge0-9-0-23.wlvgcabn02h.socal.rr.com [24.30.172.141]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    4 12ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% agg22.vnnycajz02r.socal.rr.com [72.129.14.168]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    5 14ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% agg29.tustcaft01r.socal.rr.com [72.129.13.2]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    6 14ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% bu-ether46.tustca4200w-bcr00.tbone.rr.com [107.14.17.134]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    7 15ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% bu-ether14.lsancarc0yw-bcr00.tbone.rr.com [66.109.6.4]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    8 15ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% 0.ae0.pr0.lax00.tbone.rr.com [66.109.6.135]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    9 --- 100/ 100 =100% 100/ 100 =100% te1-6.bbr01.cs01.lax01.networklayer.com [66.109.11.42]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    10 --- 100/ 100 =100% 100/ 100 =100% ae7.bbr01.cs01.lax01.networklayer.com [173.192.18.166]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    11 --- 100/ 100 =100% 100/ 100 =100% ae19.bbr01.eq01.dal03.networklayer.com [173.192.18.140]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    12 --- 100/ 100 =100% 100/ 100 =100% ae5.dar01.sr01.dal07.networklayer.com [173.192.18.179]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    13 --- 100/ 100 =100% 100/ 100 =100% po1.fcr01.sr01.dal07.networklayer.com [50.22.118.131]
    0/ 100 = 0% |​
    14 48ms 0/ 100 = 0% 0/ 100 = 0% techspot.com [184.173.241.66]

    Trace complete.​

    Lines 9-13 LOOK bad don't they, but actually are not - - why?
    Because we still get to techspot.com at 184.173.241.66 with zero losses.
    This makes the point, a router can be configured to ignore ping requests!
    The clue is 100% loss yet moving to the requested address with good results.

    BAD cases will show losses > 1% and < 100% and typically induce errors to the next nodes
    in the path. Then you see poor browser response times, streaming errors or rebuffering
    or worse still, lost connections
    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015

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