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Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

stmirren87
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: 04-11-2008

Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

Evening all. Looking for any suggestions on the cause of some fairly major variations in download speeds I'm getting. I know from reading on here that speed tests aren't the be all and end all but even so, my download speeds are varying between 6.5m (mostly at off-peak times) and nonsense like 800k (mainly at peak times).
The Plusnet guys have run quite a few tests with no joy, I've tried replacing the router, I've tried connecting to the test socket, I've tried changing the filters, etc. etc.
Just as an example, the last few tests I've run have come up with:

Today 19:57 1238 kbps (155kB/s)
Today 19:43 6456 kbps (807kB/s)
Today 19:42 4621 kbps (578kB/s)
Today 19:16 896 kbps (112kB/s)
Today 19:11 1060 kbps (133kB/s)
Today 19:08 4464 kbps (558kB/s)
Today 19:05 2135 kbps (267kB/s)
Today 19:02 1360 kbps (170kB/s)
I don't know - maybe this is just what broadband speeds are like around rush hour? Any thoughts very welcome, especially from one of you top techy types (of which I am most definitely not one!)  Smiley
23 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,686
Thanks: 910
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

Which exchange are you on?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
stmirren87
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: 04-11-2008

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

Riccall (MYRIC).
Had a look at this and it appears to my untutored eye to be okay?  
For what it's worth, BT Speedtest gives the following:
Download speed achieved during the test was - 1039 Kbps
For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 600-7150 Kbps.
Additional Information:
Your DSL Connection Rate :8000 Kbps(DOWN-STREAM), 448 Kbps(UP-STREAM)
IP Profile for your line is - 6500 Kbps

Think they're working from a different definition of "acceptable" to me.
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

Hi stmirren87,
Are you conducting the tests wireless or wired? Wireless could cause those fluctuations. Are there any other computers on your network? I would imagine if it was down to contention then you would see a more consistent slow speed during peak hours. It could be something in the background using bandwidth as you're conducting the tests. Maybe try a bandwidth monitor such as this one to see if anything else is going on.
JojoSmiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,686
Thanks: 910
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

The tbbMeter isn't the one I'd recommend.
Some time ago Bob Pullen recommended NetWorX - it's far easier to set up and use.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

HI jelv,
Thanks for that. I had a feeling there was another one that was preferable but couldn't remember it. I shall bookmark that one for future reference.
Jojo Smiley
stmirren87
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: 04-11-2008

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

Thanks for the ideas guys. NetWorx dowloaded and installed but at the risk of sounding dumb, what am I looking for on it?
I've been testing the connection both wireless and wired (my desktop is wired and I've been trying it wireless on a laptop).
All Saturday, speeds around the 6mb mark, then...
Today 17:25 1751 kbps (219kB/s)
Today 17:23 1985 kbps (248kB/s)
Today 17:19 1788 kbps (224kB/s)
Today 17:13 1970 kbps (246kB/s)
Today 14:54 5953 kbps (744kB/s)
Today 13:44 6007 kbps (751kB/s)
Yesterday 18:51 2247 kbps (281kB/s)
Yesterday 18:50 2254 kbps (282kB/s)
Yesterday 18:36 3540 kbps (443kB/s)
Yesterday 18:30 1113 kbps (139kB/s)
Yesterday 18:23 2135 kbps (267kB/s)
Saturday 19:52 5422 kbps (678kB/s)
Saturday 19:28 5937 kbps (742kB/s)
Saturday 18:40 5867 kbps (733kB/s)
Saturday 18:13 5956 kbps (745kB/s)
Saturday 17:58 5972 kbps (747kB/s)
Saturday 17:42 5990 kbps (749kB/s)
Saturday 16:15 5906 kbps (738kB/s)
I'm no computer whizz but that ain't right.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,686
Thanks: 910
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

When you think that there is nothing using the internet make sure the graph shows no traffic - you'll need Ignore local traffic within the LAN enabled.
If you have multiple PCs you'll need to check them all.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
stmirren87
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: 04-11-2008

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

Gotcha. That NetWorx is a clever wee piece of software.
Well, there doesn't appear to be anything using my internet connection that oughtn't to be (the graph just flatlines when I'm not browsing).
So if it's not that and yet here I am again at peak time with speeds about a 5th of what they should be......
My limited knowledge showing through here but given the time thing, doesn't it sort of have to be either a traffic management or exchange thing?
ETA: Only have the one PC so no confusion there.
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

Hi stmirren87,
Definitely something amiss there. Have a look here for some tips. If they don't help then there's an option further down the page to raise a fault.
Jojo Smiley
stmirren87
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: 04-11-2008

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

Thanks Jojo. Tried everything suggested on that page already so I've logged a call (39881779 if you're interested) but I've logged this before and the tests they've run haven't shown anything  Sad
Very frustrating.
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

HI stmirren87,
In order for us to gather evidence for this you need to do some speed tests with the BT speed tester during the times it's ok and the times it's not, as we have access to these results and if need be can refer our supplier to them.
Jojo Smiley
stmirren87
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: 04-11-2008

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

Jojo
Here's one during the problematic peak time (8.30pm).......
Download speed achieved during the test was - 779 Kbps
For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 600-7150 Kbps.
Additional Information:
Your DSL Connection Rate :8128 Kbps(DOWN-STREAM), 448 Kbps(UP-STREAM)
IP Profile for your line is - 6500 Kbps
stmirren87
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: 04-11-2008

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

And one from a bit later (10.00pm) when it starts to gradually improve:
Download speed achieved during the test was - 2616 Kbps
For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 600-7150 Kbps.
Additional Information:
Your DSL Connection Rate :8128 Kbps(DOWN-STREAM), 448 Kbps(UP-STREAM)
IP Profile for your line is - 6500 Kbps
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Big Variations in Download Speed - Suggestions?

Hi stmirren87,
That's great. When the faults team pick this up it will really help.
Jojo Smiley