Measuring quality

Continuous Speed Test Tool - FAQ

Please explain setting "Bandwidth Target". How to find the proper setting?

Can you please explain what setting the bandwidth target is meant to do and how to find the proper setting? I am on a 100 Mbps connection, should I set this target bandwidth to match my max speed or is it the size of the files being sent? If i set it to 100Mbps, my ping increases and I start getting 100% packet loss on my uploads column. Both download and upload columns change from green to yellow and orange. So what is the deal with this bandwidth target?

The concept of "target bandwidth" is confusing because this "continuous speed test" is different from other short-term internet speed tests. In our test we test internet during a long time with a specific ("target") speed. It is like when you test a car, you test it at 60mph and see how far it goes without breaks. When you test a car, stability is more important than "highest speed of the car".

It depends on how you do the test. Total bandwidth depends on type of application that you are using in the internet. There are 2 ways:

  • (recommended) Run the test at 200kbps (default) and at the same time run your application (browser, youtube, skype, etc).
  • Run the test with target bandwidth = expected consumed bandwidth for the application you use. For example for YouTube 1080p HD video it is approximately 4Mbps, so you set target = 4Mbps.

What are most popular reasons of bad internet quality?

  • Some invisible process that consumes bandwidth without letting you know about it
    • Windows Update: Microsoft silently downloads huge files
    • Torrents: the torrents with unlimited (by default) bandwidth consumption
  • Radio signal with bad quality
    • Obstacle between wifi router and device
    • High distance between wifi router and device
  • Issues in wifi routers
    • Software bugs, memory leaks
  • Multiple devices working on same wifi channel at same time, with same router
  • Too many concurent speed tests running via same router

How to solve internet quality issues?

In our experience these things really helped:
  • Move wifi router and/or device to another location
  • Buy a new wifi router
  • Set up dedicated wifi router for every connected device

Extremely high upload packet loss

How should I interpret the results? My test (using the Easy, for users tab) shows that the Upload has extremely high packet loss - only occasionally less than 40% and usually 100%, and my question is what does this mean? My troubles with my ISP appear to me to be on the Upload side. There is enormous latency in making an Upload connection. So much so that most vanilla internet speed tests (and lots of other apps) actually time out and report "no internet connection" faults.

Yes, it looks like there is a problem with upload direction. One thing I would try - change network adapter. If you use wifi, can you try wired connection (LAN, ethernet)? It can help to clarify situation - is it ISP's or adapter's issue.

Is packet loss value = 0% good or not?

What if the the "Packet Loss" column says "0.00%" - do we have good signal or vice versa?

Yes, packet loss of 0% is perfect result. Normally in internet there can be small packet loss below 1%, and peak packet loss below 3%. Higher packet loss means congestion in upstream or downstream data channels, in internet provider, or in WiFi/4G/LTE routers

What does it mean if RTT/ping column varies from 10s to 100s?

It means that round trip delay (RTT) is too high. It means that packets are stored in routers in queue for such long time, and it means too long delays between client and server

How do I translate the results into something my ISP can fix?

For about a month now my ISP has been horrible, I've had so many calls to tech support it's not even funny. I'm a very technical person and have designed networks and the like for years now.. here is my dilemma.
Every night about 9PM to 12AM my bandwidth drops from 10Mbps (which is what I pay for) to anywhere from 3Mbps to 8Mbps and specifically Twitch video streaming (not upload, just watching live streams) suffers so bad it's pointless to even watch.
I attributed this to them not having enough bandwidth to my tower (they are a WISP) and they said they would do something about it, but honestly I don't think they know what the heck is wrong at this point and its VERY frustrating considering they are the only ISP I can get where I am at.
I would perform ping tests even when the bandwidth dipped down to 3Mbps and would only see about 1% loss here and there, nothing to bawk about.. until I found your tool..
Running your tool even set to 4Mbps target I get 10% loss and constant "down" statuses even when I'm not using my connection. How do I translate this into something my ISP can fix?
I'm using an Edge Router X router, but I've bypassed it before directly to hook into their Ubiquiti PowerBeam antenna on my roof, and it doesn't make a difference with or without my equipment hooked to theirs. I'm very familiar with UBNT equipment as I install it for my customers.
What can be done?

Before further investigation can you confirm (and maybe send screenshot) proving that it is ok at some small bandwidth (lets say 1Mbps)? To make sure that the results can be good in your environment?

Please run the CST test at 1Mbps, and at same time run trace route tool (tracert.exe), Windows command line "tracert.exe". After that, increase CST target bandwidth gradually, and see at which point CST results get bad (above 10% packet loss). Then see difference in tracert results and see which IP address (hop) gets bad quality - it will show to your ISP where internet connection gets bad, where they have overload. Then send it to your ISP (if they are willing to talk to you and listen). They should investigate what happens at that hop, which other customers suffer too, and probably replace their hardware or reconfigure it.

If the test setting is set to 3Mbps, how is the actual download speed determined?

Our tool connects to multiple servers (peers). Actual download speed is measured as sum of download speeds of all connected peers. For example:
server#1 transmits 1Mbps, server#2 transmits 1Mbps, server#3 transmits 1Mbps to your PC.  At your PC the tool receives =0.5Mbps from server#1, 0.7Mbps from server#2, 0.8Mbps from server#3. Result will be: 0.5+0.7+0.8 = 2.0Mbps of download speed.
you can see detailed report about the speeds per peer (per server) in "avanced" GUI.
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