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good old Broadband from yorkshire.. or not!

GhallTN6GhallTN6 Posts: 505
edited July 2011 in The hub
Any nerds have any bright Ideas on this one..

Been with Plus.net for about 10 years, and although I've had the odd problem, the biggest one has always been download speed.. I get about 2.5MB at best, and recently, like last night, when you go to certain websites such as autotrader, or other sites that have a database back end, well it just times out..

But.. when I connect up to my work VPN, suddenly any web site I'm on performs as normal, and my internet speed goes to 5mb, they have a 10m fibre leased line.
(speed tests done with speedtest.net).

Now I'm paying for the Plusnet Pro package, "up to" 20mb download speeds and prioritised traffic.. When I phone up plus.net they assure me I'm not on any throttling bands. when I do a tracert to google on the VPN, I can see tracert going through my company's default gateway and not through my ISP's.. and giving me 5mb so this makes me think differently.

I'm thinking that the 5mb is the limit of the exchange, and when using plus.net they are limiting my download to 2.5mb.

Any ideas folks!

Posts

  • tomwardilltomwardill Posts: 21
    Your VPN traffic will still be travelling down your plusnet connection, so it's very strange that you see such a difference.

    Have you tried changing your DNS servers to something publicly available? (8.8.8.8 for Google is usually a good bet). This might make a difference to the 'perceived speed' of the connection. With most VPN settings, it'll push that over the VPN, so if your company has better/more reliable DNS, it'll appear to resolve sites faster.
  • GhallTN6GhallTN6 Posts: 505
    Yeah I tried changing my DNS to the ones on open DNS, becuase I was thinking the same lines, but this didn't make much of a difference..

    Actually thinking about it, VPN traffic is prioritised by Plus.net, but HTTP Isn't, but would that explain why there would be a difference in speed as they are adamant that there is no limits set by them!
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    Have you spoken to them?

    I'm a user and have no speed related grumbles (eg my download speeds can get close to what my router say it's connected at).
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    These 'upto' 20mb speeds they advertise are exactly that. Generally to acheive them you have to live in the phone exchange and have kryptonite cables, and hope nobody else in the world is using the net.
  • GhallTN6GhallTN6 Posts: 505
    yep, have spoken to them numerous times, I complained so much last time they upgraded me to the Plus.net Pro for free (I was paying that price anyway it turns out), but the last few weeks it's really started to p*ss me off.
    honestly, I don't want to move ISP's as I like the prioritisation for VoIP and gaming etc, but when it comes to downloading it takes an age, even in the twilight hours.

    Might have to go back to them and kick up another stink!
  • GhallTN6GhallTN6 Posts: 505
    supersonic wrote:
    These 'upto' 20mb speeds they advertise are exactly that. Generally to acheive them you have to live in the phone exchange and have kryptonite cables, and hope nobody else in the world is using the net.

    yep, aware of that one, what I'm totally confused with is why the speed doubles when I connect to the company's VPN.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    GhallTN6 wrote:
    Yeah I tried changing my DNS to the ones on open DNS, becuase I was thinking the same lines, but this didn't make much of a difference..
    I've had some serious problems with OpenDNS recently, and had to switch back to my ISP's ones - chainreaction for example was taking an eternity to load.
  • GhallTN6GhallTN6 Posts: 505
    I basically feel that I'm going back 10 years and am back on dialup, any website apart from simple HTML is timing out or taking ages to load!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Same here, and it was actually caused by OpenDNS.
  • Stiff_OrangeStiff_Orange Posts: 218
    GhallTN6 wrote:
    Any nerds have any bright Ideas on this one..

    Any ideas folks!

    You could say I'm a bit of geek on this, having set up worldwide networks and helped with the launch one of the major Broadband suppliers.

    Most ISPs will throttle connects at peak time and they will throttle sites that they consider high usage such as iplayer. Whatever the techies on the phone say, they do throttle.
    When you got to it directly via the ISP, they can see that you are making a request to the servers which run websites regardless of what DNS you use.
    They do this by intercepting and caching/proxying all the HTTP traffic or by looking at the IP address(es) your machine is connecting to after resolving the DNS name, they can then throttle accordingly.
    However when using a VPN the traffic is encrypted in an IP packet that is always designed for the VPN device owned by you company, so basically they don't know what sites your going to.

    The other thing to remember is that most internet connections have more 'download' capacity that 'upload'. Why? because most web browsing or streaming involves you sending a small request (the url) and getting a lot of data back (the webpage).
    So when you tested the speed at work did you get 10MB both download and upload because when you are connecting from home via a VPN your download speed will be equivalent to the upload speed of the work link. Also remember that the IT guy's at work may have a limit on the speed of the VPN connections to avoid a remote worker saturating the internet connection. So the five meg limit might be imposed by them.

    Many things can affect the speed of broadband, including distance from exchange amount of users in you area using the same service (contention ratio) etc. So the upto speed is a bit of a waste of time. Have you tried any of the speed prediction tools from any of the providers to see what their esitimate of the max speed should be.

    The BT one is here

    http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/c ... icId=25795

    This BT one predicted a speed of 3MB max whatever broadband package.

    All the major suppliers offered me 20MB broadband on a line that could only take 3MB. In the end I opted to Virgin and it's been a godsend, 20MB speed allday everyday.

    And lastly don't forget that plusnet is BT, just in another guise.
  • GhallTN6GhallTN6 Posts: 505

    Most ISPs will throttle connects at peak time and they will throttle sites that they consider high usage such as iplayer. Whatever the techies on the phone say, they do throttle.
    When you got to it directly via the ISP, they can see that you are making a request to the servers which run websites regardless of what DNS you use.
    They do this by intercepting and caching/proxying all the HTTP traffic or by looking at the IP address(es) your machine is connecting to after resolving the DNS name, they can then throttle accordingly.

    Cheers, I was pretty sure about the rest buth this is the bit that interests me.. not sure what I'm going to do with it though
  • Stiff_OrangeStiff_Orange Posts: 218
    GhallTN6 wrote:
    Cheers, I was pretty sure about the rest buth this is the bit that interests me.. not sure what I'm going to do with it though

    You could try something like TOR https://www.torproject.org/ but that mainly for anonymity, so performance isn't garaunteed. Basically it's another type of VPN.
  • lovewaleslovewales Posts: 411
    I wouldn't complain at all about a 2.5mb connection - my house has only 150Kb download, so slow that it won't even allow the VPN from work to connect. :x
    If every action has an equal and opposite reaction does that mean I will be eaten by a fly?
  • also consider once you get into your companys internal network you are highly likely to be then behind a proxy caching server for all you web requests so the speed reported to you for download will include the proxy caching the file as well.

    In this instance its probably best to try an ftp from a public site both on and off your vpn (thats if you have ftp access from your work vpn to the internet) as this wont be "cached" and will max out your tcp throttle
    Im also on Plusnet and having sinilar issues, i complained and they have reset my line to "learning mode" like it is when you move in/connect up and funnily enough my daily connection speed has upped from 1 - 1.5mb to 2.5 to 3mb depending on the weather!
    In the first instance talk to Plusnet and be firm but not angry they are a good bunch and still small enough to care!
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