[kwlug-disc] netalyzr/ispgeeks interpreting [was: Re: Reliable Broadband speed test]

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Sat Mar 5 19:51:23 EST 2011

Cedric Puddy wrote, On 03/04/2011 2:51 PM:
> ispgeeks.com has a speed test that exposes more of the underlying
> data from which speed estimates are typically derived, so I usually
> use theirs -- it gives me enough additional information that I can
> you usually get a bit better idea of how the line is actually
> performing.
> The http://netalyzr.icsi.berkeley.edu/ also identifies lots of
> interesting potential issues that could be holding up the train on
> a given broadband link (including buffer-bloat).

OK, that's just way cool.

Anyone up to speed on what 'tor' (https://www.torproject.org/) is all 
about / effective / whatever?

Test results also note SORBS DUHL (http://www.au.sorbs.net/), on the 
FAQ (http://www.au.sorbs.net/faq/dul.shtml) page of which is:
It is a matter of debate as to whether a user at home should be 
running their own mail server. It is the opinion of SORBS that anyone 
competent enough to do so should be allowed to run their own mail 
server, but also, that all outgoing mail from dynamically assigned 
address space (and in a few cases even from statically assigned space) 
should be made to flow through the mail server(s) of the Internet 
service provider in question.

Which I mostly agree with, except ... what if the ISP mail server 
won't allow this? Such as Rogers. What's one to do then, eh? / How to 
work around that? (From a SORBS acceptable perspective.)

 From my netalysr test results:
Direct TCP access to remote SMTP servers (port 25) succeeds, but does 
not return the expected content.

This suggests that your network enforces a mandatory SMTP proxy which 
may or may not allow you to send email directly from your system. This 
is probably a countermeasure against malware abusing infected machines 
for generating spam. You ISP also likely provides a specific mail 
server that is permitted. Also, webmail services remain unaffected.

The applet received the following reply instead of our expected header:
"220 AVG ESMTP Proxy Server 9.0.845/9.0.872 [271.1.1/3461] "
Direct TCP connections to remote POP3 servers (port 110) succeed, but 
do not receive the expected content.

The applet received the following reply instead of our expected header:
"-ERR AVG POP3 Proxy Server: Cannot connect to the mail server! "

Network buffer measurements (?): Uplink 1100 ms, Downlink is good

We estimate your uplink as having 1100 msec of buffering. This is 
quite high, and you may experience substantial disruption to your 
network performance when performing interactive tasks such as 
web-surfing while simultaneously conducting large uploads. With such a 
buffer, real-time applications such as games or audio chat can work 
quite poorly when conducting large uploads at the same time.

Is this an allusion to the asynchronous nature of the (ISP) service? 
[8/512]. i.e. Rogers is accomplishing upload rate limiting via 
buffering / dropping?

> Between those two tools, you can get a pretty good idea of the
> state of the nation.

ispgeeks.com is, indeed, interesting. Thank you for both links.

> Naturally, old habits die hard, and I've often typed
> http://speakeasy.net/speedtest too... :)

Yeah, but often because digging out an ISP's own accepted test 
mechanisms / results criteria can be such a miserably hard process. 
After all, if they don't tell you what they use, when you call and 
complain they dismiss the legitimacy of your tests. But when you use 
their recognized tests, then they might actually have to do or 
investigate something. Just remember their good ol' fall back - we 
only promise speeds *up to*.

Remembering that the OP question stemmed from home use - usually the 
connectivity / speed questions are 'connecting?' and 'reasonable speed 
to ISP?'. 'cause after that, all bets are off, there is no control, 
and there is no choice. [You're trying to get somewhere particular, 
there's no alternative, and the ISP disavows that anything has 
anything to do with them.]

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