Need to find my network bottleneck here

By Vigilante ยท 8 replies
Sep 26, 2006
  1. I've been looking for a utility to scan my network and map the nodes. And then be able to run some speed tests between nodes, to try and find where bottlenecks might be. See which nodes are most active etc...
    Any such program?

    Otherwise, I just ran DSLReports speed test with these results: speed test result on 2006-09-26 16:03:22 EST:
    2572 / 7
    Your download speed : 2572 kbps or 321.5 KB/sec.
    That is 46.8% better than an average user on

    Your upload speed : 7 kbps or 0.8 KB/sec.
    That is 98.8% worse than an average user on

    Um, ya, that's a problem. Apparently my upload speed is utterly shot, and that's probably why all my Internet-connected apps have so much trouble. Pages will attempt to load, and then die, or I'll barely be able to use it at ALL, if at all.

    Assuming my download speed actually stays constant, or at least about that good. How can I find the upload bottleneck? This station is on wireless as well. I suspect other PCs on the network might be the cause, but I can't say. I need to test it all somehow. There are 3 wireless PCs and two wired, plus a network-attached printer. All XP, using Linksys hardware.

    Any ideas?
  2. altheman

    altheman TS Rookie Posts: 425

    What about doing a speed test on each computer individually, with the rest disconnected from the network, and make sure some user hasn't install p2p software or something. Also, have you tried changing the channel that the wifi uses?
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    was wanting to avoid having to test each station by itself, I've got other work to be doing. Plus I can't say if that test was just a fluke, I only ran it that one time. Will run again tomorrow.

    Cause sometimes the Internet seems to work just fine. But often, bad.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    data from the ISP to you is the DOWNLOAD and any forms data you submit is
    the UPLOAD. While your upload is poor, it is not the primary problem for
    browsing. To move from page-to-page, only a short URL is sent UPSTREAM to the server and eveny with your 7kbps, this is trivial.

    if you want some stats on node to node performance, try
    pingpath -n 250 $your-ISP-name​
    you'll see the times between nodes and the percentage of packets lost
  5. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    Ya I know what upload/download is, but I upload a lot more then you think. My ratio is apparently about 6 to 1. 6 downloads to 1 upload. Or, say I download 600mb, I will have uploaded 100mb. So says my bandwidth monitor.

    When trying to view anything, you still have to upload the ack packages. I'm guessing when my computer doesn't respond to requests that data arrived good, it causes the page to fail. That is, for every so many kilobytes, it will ask my computer if I received it. If my computer doesn't respond, it may try to ask again, or send data again, or timeout etc...

    Unless my theory is wrong, having a "98.8%" WORSE than average upload must be problematic.

    I tried using pathping but it doesn't get past the modem. It traces good from me to the router, then gets lost. On hop 2 it just says 100% loss and doesn't seem to do any more hops.
    When I use tracert, hop 2 which should be my router, times out. I don't even get a hop on the modem. And then it continues on along the trace path (to google).

    The only thing I can think is that my modem is on a different subnet. The PCs and router in here are x.x.1.x and the modem uses x.x.0.x.

    Anyway, I'm still trying to figure it out, I'll run some more speed tests when I get an extra minute.

  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    use some of these techniques to find settings that will give you a better
    reliability. if you're experiencing high packet losses, your performance will
    always stink :(

    btw: using pathping $your-dns-address will help keep your dns request to
    be more responsive (by virtue of preloading the arp and dns cache )
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    A nice read, but probably isn't going to help in this scenario. Only because, of course I'm connected to the Internet and my ISP works fine. Why I'm dropping so many upload packets I can't say.

    It would be one thing to just go around testing each station, but the problem, on top of being weird, is also random. Like sometimes I can listen to streaming music and download a file while sending a 4mb E-mail attachment, but othertimes I can't even CHECK E-mail, it fails.
    There is a small window of opportunity (when it stops working) when I can run some tests, but need the right tools.

    I still suspect the router, because remember my other thread about the wireless DSL router that was disconnecting a lot? That was this one, but started working when I updated the firmware. Maybe it's bad after all.
  8. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    I finally got to run speed test this morning. As I suspected, the wireless PCs were all the ones with bad connections. Here are some results:

    Wireless Station 1: ( my pc )
    Download - 1378kbps
    Upload - 266kbps and another test 26kbps

    Wireless Station 2:
    Download - 919kbps
    Upload - 59kbps

    Wireless Station 3: (worst of all)
    Download - 69kbps
    Upload - 26kbps

    Wired Station 1:
    Download - 4,369kbps
    Upload - 741kbps

    Wired Station 2:
    Download - 4,356kbps
    Upload - 748kbps

    As you can see, the wireless sucks cheese. Note that this is all 802.11g, and the wireless control panel says I have a 54kbps connection with strong signal. Router is only about 15 feet away. So I don't think it's just the signal, but I don't know.

    Now I need to figure out how fast my connection is, up and down, between a wireless station the the router. If that thest coincides with the speed test, I'll have my culprit. But if it passes, I have no idea.
  9. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    the only way u can have a decent test is to have it wired (straight through to the modem) would be best, but even hard wired to the router would be a whole lot better than wireless. wireless tests can be shaded by manny things.
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