Speedtest limited to about 500 Mbit download?

thomasmerz Member Posts: 35
10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Likes Photogenic
Why can't my Fingbox measure any speedtest much more than about 500 Mbit on my Gigabit (1000 MBit) connection? Upload is always correctly measured with around 50 Mbit.
If I use any other speedtest on my Macbook Pro (for example Ookla), I'm measuring up to 700 Mbit via WiFi. Why can't my Fingbox speed-up to the 1 Gigabit via LAN that my ISP provides me? Fingbox says it's connected to 1 Gigabit so it should be able to speed-up to 1 Gigabit if also my Devices can this via Wifi.


Best Answers

  • Chris_MLAB
    Chris_MLAB Member Posts: 5
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Answer First Comment
    #2 Accepted Answer
    M-Lab is a very different Internet measurement platform than Speedtest.net/Ookla, so it is not unexpected that our measurements are different and sometimes lower than Ookla. M-Lab values and encourages people to run both our test and Ookla's regularly, as they measure different aspects of your connection. Regarding the suggestion that M-Lab's test caps at ~500Mbps, this is demonstrably false-- we regularly see very fast measurements above 1Gbps, which anyone can query for in our public dataset. For details on how to gain free query access to M-Lab data, please see: https://www.measurementlab.net/data/ .

    Though the metrics (download/upload speed for example) are the same as other tests, the architecture of M-Lab's platform and our test methodology is not. Further, what M-Lab's test, NDT, measures is also different than what Ookla's. You can read more about why this test measures differently than other platforms in this FAQ and this blog post. More details follow.

    How M-Lab measures the Internet

    Running an exclusively off-net platform, M-Lab currently hosts three measurement services, of which the most widely known is the Network Diagnostic Tool (NDT). NDT measures the single-stream performance of a connection’s capacity for bulk transport, as defined by IETF RFC 3148. NDT reports the upload and download speeds and latency metrics. When using M-Lab’s NDT data, people should keep in mind these points of clarification:

    1. Off-net vs. on-net measurement: All of M-Lab’s measurement services, including NDT, are hosted on our off-net platform. “On-net” refers to measurements performed on the same network as the network it is measuring, such as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) measuring itself. It only captures one segment of any path that data is likely to be traversing. In contrast, “off-net” measurements extend beyond a user’s access provider’s network to measure the complete path across the Internet from user to content including interconnections. By definition, on-net measurement can not even detect the effects of any performance limitations at interconnects between ISPs. All of the measurement services hosted by M-Lab inherit the off-net platform methodology for nearly all users.
    2. Link capacity vs. bulk transport
    : When using NDT tests specifically, Internet users are sometimes confused when their individual results don’t confirm the speeds promised by their Internet service provider. “Speed” is often associated with "link capacity," which is the maximum bitrate of a link; in other words, the best performance possible. However, NDT measures “bulk transport capacity” -- the rate that TCP can deliver data across the end-to-end path; in other words, the reliability of that connection. It is important to note that many link problems (such as low level packet loss and reordering) typically adversely impact both MLab measurements and real application performance.  These two ways of measuring performance, link capacity and bulk transport capacity, are different and are often conflated when both concepts are referred to as “Internet speed.” When using NDT data to discuss speed, it is important to clarify these terms to have more effective conversations about Internet speed.

    3. Single-stream vs. multi-stream tests: NDT measures the single-stream performance of bulk transport capacity. While modern web browsers will use multiple streams of data, testing for multiple streams can compensate for data delivery problems that are exposed by a single stream. A multi-stream test can return measurements closer to link capacity but it would not represent the adverse performance impact of low-level packet loss. By testing for single-stream performance, NDT is an effective baseline for measuring a user’s Internet performance.

    I hope this clarifies the differences between our test results and Ookla's. Both are valid measurements, they're just measuring different things. If you have additional questions please let us know.
    Best, Chris
    M-Lab Support - [email protected]
  • Robin_from_Fing
    Robin_from_Fing Administrator, Fing Team Posts: 4,761
    250 Answers 2500 Comments 500 Likes 100 Awesomes
    #3 Accepted Answer
    Hi @thomasmerz

    We have been in contact with our Speedtest partners, M-Labs. They confirmed that they have recently rolled out an upgraded of their infrastructure & migration of machines to a new platform. This is being done to improve the overall Speedtest performance going forward. By doing this, initially they have cut of the multi-stream download Speedtest that we rely on for our Speedtests. However, they have greatly improved the single stream download Speedtest (previously the single stream download could measure up to 250 Mbps, where now it can measure up to 500+ Mbps). With speeds above this, the measured speed reported will be lower than before, due to the single stream limits.

    To note for Fingbox users: this will also affect Fingbox Speedtests. We have released a new firmware version for the Fingbox which will allow single stream download to work again, firmware version 1.14.13 and onwards. If you have not yet received the new release, please power-cycle the Fingbox, this will automatically update the firmware on the Fingbox.

    M-Labs are working on re-introducing the mutli speed download speedtest, to include it again in the future. Currently, we have no time-frame on when this will be re-introduced. Unfortunately at this stage, there is no further steps we can take to expedite this process.



  • thomasmerz
    thomasmerz Member Posts: 35
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Likes Photogenic
    Here's Ookla:

    And here's MLAB:

    For real Fingbox-Support I could sent them my IP-Adress so you can check with MLAB more speedtest from IP. I won't post it here for data privacy.

  • thomasmerz
    thomasmerz Member Posts: 35
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Likes Photogenic
    I already have 1.14.19 running on my Fingbox :-)
  • PeterP
    PeterP Member, Beta Tester Posts: 62
    Second Anniversary 25 Agrees 25 Likes 10 Comments
    I also have the latest firmware on my Fingbox, but continue to get very poor speed test results. M-Labs single stream test is garbage. Those of us with home networks are interested in keeping our ISPs honest and we typically have multiples users. A single stream test provides no value.  I have 1GB service from Comcast and see over 800mbps speed tests from other sources, but the Fingbox test never shows more than 160mbps, totally useless.

  • TheDawgFather_48
    TheDawgFather_48 Member, Beta Tester Posts: 1
    First Comment Photogenic

    I am all about knowing/reviewing/investigating different speed results from different servers.

    A very easy solution which I would be ecstatic to see deployed is a variety of set speed tests that are completed one after the other and each result is displayed to show the different speeds results.

    If there is a specific difference with each test site as your article describes, a info icon could be beside each provider to provide data context.

    I would love this feature. Show me the highs from my ISP but also the lows from a single stream source.