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Any point in tweaking?

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Any point in tweaking?

Is there any point in attempting to tweak the MTU and RWIN?
To answer my own question I have found no benefit in it whatsoever with my Plusnet account.
I could list hundreds of settings and test results and they would prove/show very little improvement. I have produced spreadsheets and generated graphs to make seeing the results/trends easier to see (that's sad isn't it lol).
I set up on average 2 broadband connections a week for friends of friends etc (on a wide range of ISP's and ADSL Modem/Routers-all wired).
Findings so far suggest that with certain ISPs, tweaking is an advantage.
Even a tweaked system with an unreliable ISP can give poorer results than no teaks at all (Windows XP Home + Pro).
I have given up (well almost) trying to tweak my 2MB Plusnet connection as with contention it’s up and down like a yoyo anyway. So it is impossible to say whether a slight decrease is due to a poor choice of RWIN and MTU or contention. A new setting may well show a good result, then minutes later it will be poor, a while later good again-the yoyo affect.
I am certainly no expert, just an interested amateur and I may be totally missing something basic and fundamental......
It would be interesting to read other comments, especially from those that have 'given up' on tweaking for perhaps similar reasons described above.
Thank you.
8 REPLIES
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Tuning your connection Ivan

Hello rivertowy,

First of all I have to say I think your experience is NOT typical. In my experience tuning an ADSL (broadband) connection can make a significant improvement in speed and stability of a connection. I have to ask you how you adjusted the MTU value/s or what tools you used.

**Please note: there is alot of talk about changing,editing or adjusting MTU value/s for a connection but few or nobody pauses to mention how difficult that can actually be. The MTU value within the windows registry cannot easily be changed by hand ( I know I tried?) manually. This is becuase the registry key and its value are REG DWORD and have a hexidecimal or decimal value (looks abit like this 00x00000fdg) so you cannot simple write in by hand Oh! MTU =1500 or whatever value. It has to be written in by hex or decimal notation.

**I found that a common tool previously recommended Dr.TCP wasnt very good but then found what I think is a much better tool for tuning my connection. The tool in question is freeware and is called "TCPOptimiser.exe" and can be found on the following website (URL) http://www.speedguide.com. This small tool requires a live & active ADSL connection and might require a reboot afterwards for the new registry values to take effect.

**Running TCPOptimiser certainly made both a noticable visual difference in speed of page loads etc and also was confirmed by speed testing.

**A historical note: Why! do we tune our ADSL connections on PN, F9 & FOL because I can remember some time ago now, over 2 yrs ago, we had great trouble with BB connections & speeds on connections. It was discovered after much mashinations that the problem lay with BT's RAS servers which got bogged down with data packets of the wrong size & many packets fragmented thus the RAS servers had become a bottleneck . It was then found that changing the MTU value resolved this problem and hence we have been adjusting the MTU ever since that time.

Ivan
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Any point in tweaking?

Thank you for your response Ivan.
I have/am using both the tools you mention (prefer TCPOptimiser.exe) and kept up with the discussions that were everywhere on websites relating to ADSL as you mention some time ago regarding BT.
Perhaps you would be kind enough to let us in on one or two of your tweaking tips, as I said; I may be missing out on something.
After an individual tweak, what is your testing procedure?
What range of speeds (I don’t mind which format you use-KB/sec, kbps) do you find with one particular setting that is acceptable?
What are your opinions of using plusnet's own speedtest?
Any comments re. contention and affects would be appreciated.
I appreciate this is a lot of questions, but you seem like an expert and maybe a considerable number of users may find the information you post of great benefit.
Thanks again,
rivertowy
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Any point in tweaking?

ivn2mod. Tried the TCP Optimizer prog and a couple of questions. Does just running this program optimize the connection? The only thing we did was move the lever to the 2000 speed which we're on. Have noticed that the RWIN setting has changed from the one set on DrTCP that we've used 'till now. Is there anything else we have to do or set in the program? Many thanks.
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Replying Ivan

Hi twins4384,

No! with TCPOptimiser.exe just running the program alone WONT optimise the connection, (its not automatic) you have to ask the program to perform the optimisation process for you, I havent run the tool recently as the last results sorted things out for me and I was delighted with the results.

1) Open the TCPOptimiser (Run the .exe file)
2) Ensure an open active ADSL connection
3) goto the settings tab and select the interface or network adapter interface (wan interface) and connection type i.e. DSL, cable, dialup etc you want to use. see the small radio button selector.
4) Select MaxMTU tab and select start button, this should then run the optimisation process (Note: the URL is speedguide.com, also note it should say find the largest non fragmented packet)
5) after it has completed re-boot the system and after this the new optimised MTU value should be effective.
6) Check for any changes or improvements by speed testing, I like the speed checker at http://www.adslguide.org.uk/tools/speedtest.asp

**Make sure if you have a firewall inplace that you either allow the connection to pass through (permissions) or temporarily disable it just for the optimisation process then turn back on again once done.

Thats about it really, nothing mysterious or arkain!! just does the required job.

Ivan
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F9 FOL Forum Moderator
F9 Broadband Premier 2MB User
Your Forum Your Voice,Get Involved!
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Any point in tweaking?

Hi rivertowy,

I can understand your interest in tuning your connection but frankly there are No! BIG secrets No! arkain science to all this. If you do your home work and read up about ADSL and how it works then you will come to realise that there are only so many ( a limited number) of tweaks you can apply inorder to improve the connections speed & quality. Infact its possible to over do the tweaking and screw it all up, tweaking & tuning definately does have a value in the overall scheme of things but once tuned I leave well alone unless performance noticable changes (and checking the MTU in that situation wouldnt be my first thought though).

for more tweaks have a look at http://www.tweakxp.com

**The main thing is to know what product your running on 512K, 1BM or 2MB and then taking into account the TCP connection overheads. This will give you a range of figures when testing that tell you the actual connection speed uplink & downlink and the speeds inclusive of the overheads (total values). On a typical 2MB connection my values are between 1.8MB and at its best 2.1MB's.

**I tend to use several speed testers, I'm NOT that keen on the PN or F9 testers as I have found them to be abit unreliable from day to day (although to be fair they have been much better recently). I like the tester at http://www.adslguide.org.uk/tools/speedtest.asp or http://specials.zdnet.co.uk/misc/band-test/

Ivan
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F9 Broadband Premier 2MB User
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Any point in tweaking?

ivn2mod. Thank you for your instructions. Ran the program and found it recommended exactly the setting we already had. As you commented in your other posting here, we maybe are too keen to change things in the hope of slightly better speeds. With a 2Mb connection downloads between 220 and 240 are what we should expect and in fact we are getting on most occasions with the settings we have.

For those interested, for our particular connection our settings are Rwin 128480 and MTU 1478.
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Replying Ivan

Hi Again,

Yes! thats entirely it you do have to be abit careful NOT to over egg the custard as it where!!. The reason I prefer the TCPOptimiser tool apart from it being a freebee (which we all like of course :lol: ) is that "it does" the MTU value adjustment for you without you having to go into the registry & edit the values.

On my 2MB connection I'm getting on downloads 250 to 260 Kb/sec regularly and I have been told that I shouldnt be getting this but I confirm that I am. I think I'm just lucky as the quality of my connection seems to be pretty good.

Ivan
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F9 FOL Forum Moderator
F9 Broadband Premier 2MB User
Your Forum Your Voice,Get Involved!
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Any point in tweaking?

Settings on my pc have not been changed for the following reults, the loss of over 400kbps between highest and lowest result is down to contention with plusnet, is it not Ivan?
02-07-2005 20:35:56 1900.7
02-07-2005 20:31:34 1577.1
02-07-2005 19:55:00 1903.4
02-07-2005 19:30:28 1912.3
02-07-2005 19:29:31 1950.9
02-07-2005 19:28:46 1986.2
02-07-2005 19:28:16 1900.7
02-07-2005 19:27:41 1911.9
So how can someone tweak RWIN and MTU and be assured that their speed results are accurate?
If someone had been getting something along the lines of the suggested average of 1840kbps and had a result of say as in 1557.1 above after a tweak, they would straight away think that that tweak was no good, while in fact it may be ok, if it were not down to contention.
So multiple tests over a long period of time per tweak setting must surely be the only way to conduct a 'fair test' (the scientist in me lol)?
Or are your results always the same?
Regards,
rivertowy