Internet speed test

jdiek
jdiek Member Posts: 3
First Comment Photogenic
Fing reports on my internet speed are about half those that I get from using a site like Speedtest.net. I don't understand the big discrepancy. Does it have something to do with the servers used?
VioletChepil

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  • VioletChepil
    VioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    #2 Answer ✓
    Hey @jdiek just moving this one over to Fingbox category too.
    We use MLAB speed test method. Here are some more details on why MLAB speed test methods may differ from others:
    https://www.measurementlab.net/faq/#why-are-my-m-lab-results-different-from-other-speed-tests
    More details are copied in below. 

    Why are my M-Lab results different from other speed tests?

    Internet performance tests may provide different results for a lot of reasons. Three of the main reasons for different results among tests are listed below:

    1. Differences in the location of testing servers

    Every performance test has two parts:

    • client: This is the software that runs on the user’s machine and shows the user their speed results.
    • server: This is the computer on the Internet to which the client connects to complete the test.

    A test generates data between the client and the server, and measures performance between these two points. The location of these two points is important in terms of understanding the results of a given test.

    If the server is located within your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) own network (also known as the “last mile”), this is referred to as an “on-net” measurement. This approach lets you know about how your Internet connection is performing intra-network within your ISP, but it does not necessarily reflect the full experience of using the Internet, which almost always involves using inter-network connections (connections between networks) to access content and services that are hosted somewhere outside of your ISP. Results from on-net testing are often higher than those achieved by using other methods, since the “distance” traveled is generally shorter, and the network is entirely controlled by one provider (your ISP).

    “Off-net” measurements occur between your computer and a server located outside of your ISP’s network. This means that traffic crosses inter-network borders and often travels longer distances. Off-net testing frequently produces results that are lower than those produced from on-net testing.

    M-Lab’s measurements are always conducted off-net. This way, M-Lab is able to measure performance from testers’ computers to locations where popular Internet content is often hosted. By having inter-network connections included in the test, test users get a real sense of the performance they could expect when using the Internet.

    2. Differences in testing methods

    Different Internet performance tests measure different things in different ways. M-Lab’s NDT test tries to transfer as much data as it can in ten seconds (both up and down), using a single connection to an M-Lab server. Other popular tests try to transfer as much data as possible at once across multiple connections to their server. Neither method is “right” or “wrong,” but using a single stream is more likely to help diagnose problems in the network than multiple streams would. Learn more about M-Lab’s NDT methodology.

    All NDT data collected by M-Lab are publicly available in both visualized (graphic), queryable, and raw (unanalyzed) forms.

    3. Changing network conditions and distinct test paths

    The Internet is always changing, and test results reflect that. A test conducted five minutes ago may show very different results from a test conducted twenty minutes ago. This can be caused by the test traffic being routed differently. For example, one test might travel over a path with broken router, while another may not. A test run today may be directed to a test server located farther away than a test run yesterday. Additionally, IPv4 and IPv6 routes may take different physical paths. Some IPv6 routes may be tunneled through IPv4, from the client, or at any point after the client depending on local network management.

    In short, running one test will give you a sense of network conditions at that moment, across the best network path available at that time, to the specific server coordinating the test. But because Internet routing and infrastructure change dynamically, testing regularly and looking at the data over time are much more reliable ways to gauge representative performance.

    NDT measurements satellite Internet connections

    The NDT test sometimes presents unexpected results when measuring a satellite Internet connection. ISPs that use a proxy prior to the satellite uplink terminate the TCP flow at the proxy. As a result, NDT is measuring the speed and latency to the proxy rather than all the way through the proxy. M-Lab is working on updates to NDT which we hope will resolve this issue for satellite customers in the future.

    Community Manager at Fing

    HronoskeithKkranen
  • VioletChepil
    VioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    #3 Answer ✓
    @jdiek it is not unheard of to be honest. We've got a lot of users tweeting their ISPs for example and I'm definitely aware of some that have used our reports to get discounts etc.

    Community Manager at Fing

    Hybirdgate26

Answers

  • MDavide
    MDavide Member Posts: 53
    Second Anniversary 25 Likes 10 Comments First Answer
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    edited September 6, 2019 #4
    Uhm... can you help us making a short description of your network ?
    ....And also some values of your nominal speed, speed measured by fingbox and speed measured by other tools ...
    Thank you.  
    Davide
    VioletChepilHybirdgate26
  • jdiek
    jdiek Member Posts: 3
    First Comment Photogenic
    Thanks, Violet Chepil answered the question for me.
    VioletChepil
  • nexusnet
    nexusnet Member, Beta Tester Posts: 21
    10 Comments Photogenic 5 Likes Name Dropper
    edited September 8, 2019 #6
    Intriguing thread. I have several devices that perform speed tests- Turris Omnia router, Ubiquity UniFi Gateway, multiple Fingboxes and a Firewalla Blue. Results never agree, which makes sense given this discussion. Causes me to realize that we need to know the testing methodology of each to make any sense or use of the results, not to mention having any hope of making useful comparisons!!
    Kkranen
  • VioletChepil
    VioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    @nexusnet I wonder if there is an app for this.
    @Joe I can inquire more about why your server is sometimes Dublin. I'm guessing it would be due to overloading of server in London or temporary outage so M-LAB users the most viable server at the time. But, to be confirmed. I'll revert shortly.

    Community Manager at Fing

  • VioletChepil
    VioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    @Joe I've split your question into a new thread actually since it does warrant it's own discussion I think.
    https://community.fing.com/discussion/581/why-does-mlab-change-servers-for-speed-tests-to-a-further-location

    Community Manager at Fing

  • nexusnet
    nexusnet Member, Beta Tester Posts: 21
    10 Comments Photogenic 5 Likes Name Dropper
    @VioletChepil Yes there are apps for speed testing - M-Lab may be one of them. I've found them useful as well. Same issue applies, though. I've realized that I need to spend more time understanding the testing methodology so I know which device-based or app-based or web-based tests to compare (and which to not bother comparing bc the methodologies are different in significant ways).
    VioletChepil
  • jdiek
    jdiek Member Posts: 3
    First Comment Photogenic

    With the variability and complexity of measuring internet speed, it makes me think it would be hard to hold internet service providers to their speed guarantees.

    VioletChepil
  • keith
    keith Member, Beta Tester Posts: 64
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    Ookla's speedtest offers multi or single stream. (On my devices)
    It will show you the difference in measured speed, from 30-50% slower for single.
    VioletChepil
  • VioletChepil
    VioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    Thanks @keithatpda

    Community Manager at Fing