Proving Gig Speed

Michael Thomas mike at
Mon Jul 16 21:19:13 UTC 2018

Thanks, Jason.

While I might have idle curiosity of how well my link performs when I 
first get it, beyond that the only time I care is when I or somebody 
else in the house starts screaming "THE INTERTOOBZ R [email protected]!".

I just had this happen to me the other night as I trying to watch 
possibly the worst movie ever on Amazon Prime. Maybe because I've been 
around a long time, my first suspicion is that something at home was 
slagging the ISP hop. This is often the case, but it is *maddeningly* 
slow to diagnose -- my popcorn was getting stale. Naively, I may have 
thought to hook up to one of the speed testers, but it would only show 
what was obvious from ping times, etc: lots of drops.

So where was the problem? I had to manually go around and start 
disconnecting things. Even after I thought I had found the perp several 
times, my popcorn's freshness suffered. And in the end, I never did 
triangulate out where the problem was... and by morning it had magically 
fixed itself. My popcorn, on the other hand, gave its all.

As we get more and more stuff on our home networks, the probability for 
crappy software, infected devices, piggy updates, etc multiplies. I'm 
sure this isn't news to $CORPRO network managers, but at home we quite 
literally have nothing to help us figure out and remedy these kinds of 
problems. Or if it turns out to *not* be our problem, that we have some 
reassurance when we decide to call the support desk and be put through 
IVR maze hell only to find out it was a local problem after all.

cheers, Mike

On 7/16/18 1:27 PM, Livingood, Jason wrote:
> I recently talked at the IRTF on this subject and followed up with a blog post at There's also an open source speed test project you may want to consider at
> Jason
> On 7/16/18, 2:00 PM, "NANOG on behalf of Chris Gross" <nanog-bounces at on behalf of CGross at> wrote:
>      I'm curious what people here have found as a good standard for providing solid speedtest results to customers. All our techs have Dell laptops of various models, but we always hit 100% CPU when doing a Ookla speedtest for a server we have on site. So then if you have a customer paying for 600M or 1000M symmetric, they get mad and demand you prove it's full speed. At that point we have to roll out different people with JDSU's to test and prove it's functional where a Ookla result would substitute fine if we didn't have crummy laptops possibly. Even though from what I can see on some google results, we exceed the standards several providers call for.
>      Most of these complaints come from the typical "power" internet user of course that never actually uses more than 50M sustained paying for a residential connection, so running a circuit test on each turn up is uncalled for.
>      Anyone have any suggestions of the requirements (CPU/RAM/etc) for a laptop that can actually do symmetric gig, a rugged small inexpensive device we can roll with instead to prove, or any other weird solution involving ritual sacrifice that isn't too offensive to the eyes?

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