Speed Test Results

Scott Berkman scott at sberkman.net
Mon Dec 26 02:10:17 UTC 2011

The MIT article is good read, thanks for sharing that.

One thing to watch out for is if the last mile provider is the one hosting
the speedtest site, that's another variable removed from the equation.  In
some cases that is a good thing, in others it's not, depending on what you
are trying to measure.  It's also theoretically possible (and in my opinion
not only likely but probably fairly common) for some large residential ISP's
to not rate-limit these on-net test sites (either by design or as a side
result of at what point in the network they apply the rate limiting),
thereby showing much higher results than the end user could ever possibly
see in a real world scenario.

Also, when using some of the popular public Ookla/speedtest.net sites, their
FAQ clearly states that the tests are not suitable for certain connection
types like high speed services and non-residential services in general.  One
good example is Speakeasy's site, which in my personal experience has been
the one most commonly used by end users (especially those contacting us
about "speed problems"):


"Our speed test is tuned to measure residential broadband services up to 20
Mbps over HTTP. It takes a very customized installation to be able to
accurately measure up to 100 Mbps over HTTP."


-----Original Message-----
From: Frank Bulk [mailto:frnkblk at iname.com] 
Sent: Sunday, December 25, 2011 8:28 PM
To: 'Michael Holstein'; jacob miller
Cc: nanog at nanog.org
Subject: RE: Speed Test Results

We host an Ookla Speedtest server onsite and find it a very reliable means
to identify throughput issues.  The source of any performance issues may or
may not be ours, but if a customer says things are slow we can usually
identify whether it's their PC or network (browsing is slow but speed test
runs fine) or a local or regional network issue (speed test runs slow).

If a customer gets less than 90% of the advertised throughput, we follow up
on it.


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Holstein [mailto:michael.holstein at csuohio.edu]
Sent: Friday, December 23, 2011 1:27 PM
To: jacob miller
Cc: nanog at nanog.org
Subject: Re: Speed Test Results

> Am having a debate on the results of speed tests sites.
> Am interested in knowing the thoughts of different individuals in regards
to this.

They are excellent tools for generating user complaints.

(just like the "do traceroute and count the hops" advice from gamer mags
of old).

(my $0.02)

Michael Holstein
Cleveland State University

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