How can I monitor my broadband speed in OS X

azzo

Active Member
Hi, does anybody know how to monitor my Virgin broadband speed either in OS X, or as a seperate App. I am 'suppose' to be getting 2MB, sometimes surfing is fine, but others (and most) it just grinds to a halt.
Anyway, any help would be greatly received.
Many thanks
azzo
 

williemaykit

Active Member
You can check your connection speed on sites like dslreports.net. As for a dedicated app, have a look on tucows.com.

Consumer broadband connections have contention rates. As their name suggests, you are contenting with other people for the same internet pipe. If people are downloading heaps, then this will have an impact on your connectivity/experience.
 

jont

Well-known Member
Try speedtest.net for ad-hoc measuring - useful because it allows you to record your tests and look for trends over time ... try netmonitor for live upload/download speeds ...

Jon
 

azzo

Active Member
I have thanked everyone and will pursue this further when I get home.
I should have added I am using a cable modem and wireless router.
I will remove the router from the equation and try dslreports.net and speedtests.net
It took 10 minutes to load a google map last night - reminds me of the good old days of dial up.
Knd Rgds
azzo
 

azzo

Active Member
Ok, back at home now and trying to sort my internet out -
jont, my webbrowser just tells me that speedtests.net doesn't exist
itsamac, dslreports.net just keeps redirecting me to different ISPs and windows sites which do the testing (e.g netflow) (and I am on cable, so I don't know if these would help anyway)
Does anybody know of any other web-sites/apps that can simply tell me how poor my connection is.
Kind Regards
azzo
 

jont

Well-known Member
thanks LFC - was too hasty typing !!

is your test on a 4mb line ?

Jon
 

azzo

Active Member
LFCRules, thanks for that - I am currently getting ...

which is OK, (It must a contention ratio problem as other times it is unusable, at least now I can check!)
NewBeetle, I like this program, very easy to use - I spent ages on speedtest trying to work out what to do.
Many thanks to all
azzo
 

azzo

Active Member
OK, I have tested using both web-sites and they confirm that I have 2MB pings.
However, I think I have a problem. It isn't so much the speed, it's more of stutter. For instance, when I first go onto a page (say the avforums), it might take up to a minute - it would say loading items 1 of 56, 2 of 56 etc at the bottom of Safari quit quickly, it would then get up to 55 of 56 and then just pause, for like a few minutes, If I refresh the page, then it would load instantly.
Quite often, I also get page unreachable, but then I do a refresh and it would load.
I initially thought that maybe I was just getting a slow connection problems, but this seems a bit more eratic than that. I must admit I haven't removed the routher from the equation, I will have to sort this out at the weekend now.
Thanks for any help
azzo
 

williemaykit

Active Member
Try the experiment with Firefox by loading the same pages. I know that Safari has a delay before it loads pages. You can reduce the delay through the Preferences file or there is a plugin you can buy which removes it all together (can't remember the name off the top of my head).

Which version of OSX are you using? Is it up to date? There were some initial wireless problems with 10.4.10 but this has since been patched.

Here is my speedtest on BE (usually get between 8Mb and 11Mb)

179007752.png
 

barongreenback

Active Member
I'm using wireless n through my imac so shouldn't make too much of a difference here. This is based on a sync of 10,556

 

rob_finch

Active Member
OK, I have tested using both web-sites and they confirm that I have 2MB pings.
However, I think I have a problem. It isn't so much the speed, it's more of stutter. For instance, when I first go onto a page (say the avforums), it might take up to a minute - it would say loading items 1 of 56, 2 of 56 etc at the bottom of Safari quit quickly, it would then get up to 55 of 56 and then just pause, for like a few minutes, If I refresh the page, then it would load instantly.
Quite often, I also get page unreachable, but then I do a refresh and it would load.
I initially thought that maybe I was just getting a slow connection problems, but this seems a bit more eratic than that. I must admit I haven't removed the routher from the equation, I will have to sort this out at the weekend now.
Thanks for any help
azzo

That sounds more like a DNS resolution problem than a pure speed problem. Have you restarted your cable modem recently? Try powering it off for 20 seconds then turn back on. It should refresh your IP address and reconnect to the right DNS servers.
Also, have a search through the
Digital Spy forums, lots of people have been helped through there.

Good luck!
 

azzo

Active Member
Thanks for all of the help, I get the same problems on my Vista laptop.
So it could be the router, but I am coming to the conclusion that these
are probably DNS related problems. (The fact that sometimes a web-site just can be found, then a refresh brings it back in)
I presume, these are likely to be remote ISP problems and there is nothing local I can do?
I guess I am going to have to bite the bullet and call Virgin.
many thanks
azzo
 

jenic

Well-known Member
I'd just like to point out that i hate you all :mad:

I pay for up to 8 mb/s but am only provided with 1.5 mb/s, just because i live miles from the exchange, however there is a closer exchange but for some reason all my village is on a different one which gives us the dialling code of the town next to us (which confuses everyone).

180058827.png


:thumbsdow crap results, this is wireless, my d/l is about 200 higher on my wired connection and sometimes hits 2500 on a quiet day.
 

azzo

Active Member
cwick, the openDNS bit looks like it is doing the trick - I will monitor it for a few hours/days before I change my router as well as my mac.
I must admit, I am in IT, but I don't quite know what this is doing!
Thanks
azzo
 

Southernguy

Active Member
My new imac via virgin broadband on a wireless connection through their netgear router gives me:

440 kbs download.
372 kbs upload.

This is using speedtest.net and from the london server although i am in portsmouth area??
 

azzo

Active Member
Southernguy thanks for the stats.
I think I have now resolved the issue - it is not the speed of the connection but a problem with the DNS servers that I am using via Virgin media.
Using the new one from opendns.com seem to have fixed the problem - but then again it may be time/day related.
I will keep you posted.
Many thanks again
azzo
 

jont

Well-known Member
When comparing speedtests don't forget to check to see if you are comparing bits and bytes - an 8meg connection is 8 mega'bits' or 1mega'byte' ... most speed test sites and onthe fly checkers allow you to set bits, bytes, kilobits, kilobyte, megabits, megabytes to check ... so speed can appear inadvertantly appear 8x slower or faster ...

Jon
 

azzo

Active Member
cwick, my internet cocnnection has been great all day.
I have one question though - is there any added security risk by using an alternative DNS server. I mean, I presume I used to go through one provided by Virgin Media. Is it simply just an address finding tool and that is it?
Kind Regards
azzo
 

Tenex

Novice Member
I have thanked everyone and will pursue this further when I get home.
I should have added I am using a cable modem and wireless router.
I will remove the router from the equation and try dslreports.net and speedtests.net
It took 10 minutes to load a google map last night - reminds me of the good old days of dial up.
Knd Rgds
azzo
Its the traffic shaping. VM are a complete waste of time now they throttle back your speed if you exceed fairly low d/l limits in a 24hr period. I'm on a 4Mb connection and I've occasionally taken a couple of minutes to d/l a 20Kb file. That's the price of torrenting now.
 

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