'Speed Test' Sites are all but wortheless (I could even say conspiracies)



  • Speed measurement results from sites like Ookla, DSLReports, etc, are entirely inconsistent these days. If I disable my VPN, AT&T blocks access to the DSLReports speed test. In short, I can't get any consistent results from any of the speed test websites. I'm convinced there have been methods put in place to make these tests entirely inaccurate. Has anyone else has the same experience? Or, am I becoming a conspiracy nut?


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Yet another black mark for AT&T. I will never buy a home where AT&T is the main/incumbent ISP unless something changes dramatically between now and that time.

    Speed test sites certainly tend to become more and more worthless as speeds increase.

    You might try one of the free iperf sites. Far fewer people use them.

    https://iperf.fr/iperf-servers.php



  • @derelict said in 'Speed Test' Sites are all but wortheless (I could even say conspiracies):

    You might try one of the free iperf sites. Far fewer people use them.
    https://iperf.fr/iperf-servers.php

    Thanks for this... though I see why 'far fewer people use them'... I think I need a weekend to figure this thing out! What happened to GUIs. Again, thanks, nevertheless.

    Side note, I'm getting decent accuracy (I think) from speedtest.net

    I think one other thing that's thrown me off, PIA (Private Internet Access) has become HORRIBLE. I'm getting 10% of the speeds I got just a week ago. I subscribe to multiple VPN services for just this reason. my 'slower' VPN is at par. PIA is underpinning from every access point I've tried.

    Sorry to make this thread multi-topics, but PIA seems to bit the dust. Furthermore, I've been unable to find any reliable speed tests to confirm this (aside from ookla... to a point).

    Anyone with time on their hands. Help me find out what happened to PIA.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    I have never thought that model was sustainable as residential bandwidth increased. Not at the rates they charge.



  • @talaverde said in 'Speed Test' Sites are all but wortheless (I could even say conspiracies):

    Speed measurement results from sites like Ookla, DSLReports, etc, are entirely inconsistent these days. If I disable my VPN, AT&T blocks access to the DSLReports speed test.

    The dslreports test will fail with errors or connectivity problems. I have had two sites lately that had problem cable modems that caused the test to fail. Once we replaced the modem with a Broadcom based newer replacement the test began to complete.

    My guess is that your on Uverse??



  • @chpalmer said in 'Speed Test' Sites are all but wortheless (I could even say conspiracies):

    My guess is that your on Uverse??

    Technically 'Gigapower' as I have gigabit fiber, but.. yea. Same corporate umbrella.

    About 3-6 months ago, they started pushing updates to the modem that caused all sorts of problems. ICMP pings were blocked, etc. Ironically, I've avoided most because my default is via VPN. Anything I try 'raw' has issues I can't even begin to catalog.



  • Speedtest sites are gamed as much as the ISPs can manage. You must always assume a corporation is cheating if there is no penalty for not cheating.



  • Yea, there were some low level protections on the Modem that previously worked fine. After that update, they caused all sorts of problems. Even with them all off, there were still problems. As I need to ping DNS servers so pfSense knows if my WAN (or WAN2) is up, I figured out if I change the ping frequency a about 3 times as long, it would stop blocking the ICMP pings. So annoying. Big brother at it again.

    We all know the iSPs suck, but was hoping this thread would turn into a conversation about some good speed test websites. There are less and less. DSLReports was my favorite by far, but it's had problems lately. I think there are too many trackers. Ookla seems to be the best at the moment, but lost about 10-15% of it's speed when it changed it's method of measurement. Worst, it seems very inconsistent.

    @Derilict - How in the hell do you use https://iperf.fr/iperf-servers.php ??

    Any cliff notes for instructions?


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    SSH in and drop to the shell (Menu option 8)

    pkg install -y iperf3
    iperf3 -R4c iperf.he.net

    But those suck too. Only showing a fraction of what ookla does right now. scottlinux is refusing connections.



  • @talaverde said in 'Speed Test' Sites are all but wortheless (I could even say conspiracies):

    hoping this thread would turn into a conversation about some good speed test websites.

    The problem is that any known speed test site will be put into the ISP's hyperspeed queue and shaped so that you get the best results, which makes your ISP look good. Many ISPs have started putting Ookla nodes in their own networks, so when you run a test you get the max rated speed on their local network.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Which I would argue is what a speed test site should test. ISP has little-to-no control what happens outside their network. When you buy a gigabit residential connection you are not buying a guaranteed gigabit link between you and every destination/VPN provider on the internet.

    You could buy them but they would be cost-prohibitive.



  • Yes, but testing the local loop or user-to-headend is kind of pointless for what the user is trying to determine. Testing outside the local network can give you a feeling for what kind of peering is going on, for example. Having a fast last-mile is great unless their links to various backbones are saturated and slow.



  • Someday, someone will create a REAL speed test which measures the speed to 5-6 various sites (i.e. microsoft, nike, porsche, etc).

    dslreports was once awesome. I really trusted them. Now that I'm using Firefox and all the anti-tracking toys, their site doesn't work very well. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why. (I simplified that, but you get the point)

    As an example, I get a bunch of Snort alerts when trying to run dslreports/speedtest now.

    Sensitive Data was Transmitted Across the Network
    138:5
    SENSITIVE-DATA Email Addresses
    139:1
    (spp_sdf) SDF Combination Alert

    I'm assuming these are false alarms, but I don't know enough about Snort to know for sure. At least, why does a speed test have to be throwing false alerts? Anyway, unless someone can explain these to me, I've retired dslreports.

    I have to admit, speed tests don't mean that much. Having a Porsche that breaks 200mph doesn't really matter 99.999% of the time.

    My biggest concern these days is with all the anti-tracking apps, like pfBlocker, Snort, uMatrix, Ublock, Squid (for http virus), and so on, all these start adding up to more and more latency. 800 MB/s doesn't matter as much as not taking 5 seconds for a site to load. That's even harder to measure... but it can be.



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