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Message 1 of 12
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Site speed prioritisation?

Hi,

This is really a question to the people at Virgin Media. I've been with your service a week now and when I do a speed test I'm getting between 200-220 on average which is great. The problem is, I only ever get that on speedtest.net. Steam maxes out at about 60-100mb equivalent or below and no other download sites provide me with anywhere near what it's supposed to be. Steam can definitely max connections so there's no issues on their side.

I am in the fabled area 31 which I know has an over-utilisation issue at present reading from other posts here. I know other people who have the service in other areas that get the full speed through steam and other sources. My question to is therefore are you prioritising traffic to speedtest.net in over-utilised areas because I really can't think of another explanation for what I'm seeing.

Don't get me wrong, 60-100mb (8-13mb/sec equivalent) is fine but I've recently bought a 60gb game and tasks like this are taking a long time and was hoping it would dramatically speed things up after moving from BT.

If you could just answer with a categoric yes or no I'd be grateful Smiley Happy

Thanks for your time
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Superuser
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Message 2 of 12
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Re: Site speed prioritisation?

Ahead of an official response from VM staff, which can take around a week

Theres a world of difference between a speedtest which uses small files and is (if you are are using the default server) on VM's infrastructure, and achieving it on a sustained transfer from a server in a location that comes through peering.

There WAS an issue a while back with single threaded transfers (always use multi threaded when possible) but AFAIK Steam IS multi threaded.

If you are seeing average speeds at the upper level of your tier on a speedtest, basically your connection is performing as expected.

We can exclude cables, NIC and power level issues as your speedtests are fine.

Try a test in modem mode see what that does. Also check your version of windows isn't suffering form the old half open connections issue.

SpeedGuide.net has a decent tool to make sure windows is tuned to your connection..

http://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php

 

 


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Message 3 of 12
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Re: Site speed prioritisation?

Many thanks for that explanation Kippies. I'll have a play around and see what I get. No need for Virgin to get involved then Smiley Happy Thanks again!

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angrypanda
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Message 4 of 12
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Re: Site speed prioritisation?

Hi,

Ignore what that guy says, they definitely do prioritise Speedtest traffic to fiddle the books.

We were in an area with high contention rates and yet Speedtest was reporting the theoretical maximum speed on every test I was asked to run. Fortunately I had a samknows whitebox, which consistently showed that for a theoretical 200mbps line I was getting around 50mbps at best. The internet was slow, gaming was laggy and streaming was a stop/start affair. Eventually got through to a good guy in the back-office team in Sheffield, who confirmed that there was a contention problem, indicated that it would be fixed and that I was entitled to a partial refund for the months until the modem count was increased in the local cabinet.

The whole time we were waiting for the fix Speedtest was reporting full steam ahead 200mbs, but downloads maxed out at 4MB/s and everything felt slllllooooowwwww. Six months later the contention issue was finally addressed, modem count increased, downloads now motor along at 20MB/s downstream, everything feels zippy, samknows box showed a jump in the download speed to where it should be. I can supply data if needed.

At no point did Speedtest.net ever show anything less than 200mbps download. So, yes virginmedia do prioritise this traffic to pull the wool over your eyes.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Jon

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cje85
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Message 5 of 12
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Re: Site speed prioritisation?

I've never seen that reported before and have been on this forum for a few years. Surely other people would have noticed by now? Not to mention sites like ThinkBroadband who pay close attention to the performance of ISPs. It would be interesting if you could do a video or screen capture of speedtest.net showing 200Mb but other tests/downloads showing a much lower speed as this could be quite a big story.

Whenever people on this forum are affected by utilisation problems (including myself in the past) speedtest.net always shows a low speed in line with other speed test sites.

There was a fault in some places with single thread download speeds, which caused typical file downloads to be much slower than multithread downloads and tests like speedtest.net, but that has been solved in the majority of areas (if not everywhere) now.

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Superuser
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Message 6 of 12
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Re: Site speed prioritisation?

they do not priorities the traffic. Sam knows is not tested on the VM network. The speedtests are.

Ignore what @angrypanda says

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angrypanda
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Message 7 of 12
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Re: Site speed prioritisation?

@apcyberax Really? Ignore the gold standard in speed testing that was chosen by Ofcom to provide users with an indication of real world performance? Really? Really really?

You may not know this, but most of the internet does not run on VirginMedia's network! So when people see poor internet performance, then it's actually helpful to get an objective measure of this.

The fact that I could tell (without my samknows whitebox telling me) that VM had fixed the contention rate issue in my area (thank you VM!) - the internet just started to zip along after months of crawling - suggests that the whitebox information was more useful (than SpeedTest) and better reflected my experience.

If VM don't prioritise traffic to SpeedTest then I apologise, but VM technical support and support pages should suggest using a SpeedTest server that doesn't sit on their network to get a better idea of whether a user has a problem or not. Stacking the odds in your favour to present a rose tinted view of VM's network speed is just a nonsense.

Cheers, AngryPanda.

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angrypanda
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Message 8 of 12
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Re: Site speed prioritisation?

@cje85 thanks for your reply.

I was amazed myself - SpeedTest would, without fail, report 200mbps download speed over the period in question. I've attached a JPG that shows the equivalent monitoring period from my whitebox - with what SpeedTest was reporting shown on top.

Either VM prioritise speedtest traffic or speedtest prioritise servers on VM's network - either way it's bad and doesn't reflect reality.

Hope this helps someone.

chart.png

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Roger_Gooner
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Message 9 of 12
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Re: Site speed prioritisation?

I'm on VIVID 200, so I expect 200mbps down, 12mbps up. I've just done testing using speedtest.net and thinkbroadband.com which look good to me and are consistent with each other.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/7051768565.png

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/_assets/speedtest/button/1518440498677801455.png

--
Hub 3.0, TP-Link Archer C8, TP-Link TL-SG1008D 8-port gigabit switch, V6
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angrypanda
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Message 10 of 12
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Re: Site speed prioritisation?

Hi @Roger_Gooner,

The point I was trying to make is not to rely on SpeedTest if you think you have problems with your VM connection as it might show you that everything's fine and dandy, whereas the reality (in my case) was that I was paying top dollar for a 3rd rate service. Very happy now VM have fixed the contention rates, speed is exactly what I'd expect.

Cheers, Jon

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