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How accurate are the published shaping stats?

spheric
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 14-11-2010

How accurate are the published shaping stats?

Good Evening Everyone
Im new to plusnet, having previously been spoilt by Zen/Be, who are unavailable on my exchange now I've moved.
Before signing up I took a close look at the traffic shaping data, to make sure I was happy with the sorts of speed I'd see. I've no desire to swamp the network with big downloads at peak times, but tonight I found myself needing to grab 30 megs or so worth of PARs from my preferred usenet provider (easynews for the record). I fired up my download manager to find....
3 kb/s between four files. - averaged over a 45 minute or so period.
Obviously, I was a little shocked, and had a poke around. Normal web pages seem fine, so I take another look at the traffic shaping information, to see if I've somehow read things wrong. The table says 1MB/s can be expected on extra, which would be absolutely fine for the size of file I'm looking to pull... Five or Ten minutes in order to avoid swamping everyone's sunday evening browsing seems reasonable enough, but good grief! At the sort of speed Im getting things would be faster on dial-up!
In order to check whether plusnet was overloaded in general, I VPNed in to my employer's network and tried the same download over VPN. That ran at 200kb/s, which tallies well with the 2MB/s quoted for VPN traffic on extra on the shaping info table.
I suppose that amongst the ranting, I'd like to know if there's something unusual this evening that means that (web) traffic to usenet providers (or just easynews) is slowing to a crawl, or whether the traffic shaping info bears no resemblence to the policies defined on plusnet's routers. If the latter, I'm sure you can understand my disappointment after making the effort to double check I'd be happy enough with the advertised shaping.
7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,438
Thanks: 1,015
Fixes: 60
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: How accurate are the published shaping stats?

If you look at the traffic shaping http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/speed_guide/download_speeds.shtml#extraSpeeds you will see that the 1Mb/s doesn't start until 10.00pm
spheric
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 14-11-2010

Re: How accurate are the published shaping stats?

Well... Me misreading the table certainly goes some way to explaining things... I shall unconvincingly blame my netbook screen and look decidedly sheepish. Although even now its after ten I'm getting less than 0.5MB/s - that's not great, although far less of a problem than the speeds I saw earlier.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,543
Thanks: 788
Fixes: 9
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: How accurate are the published shaping stats?

You seem to be mixing your units in places.
The table gives speeds in kbps (bits). As download software tends to report in kBps (bytes) you need to divide those by 8 to get the speeds you should expect to see reported.
0.5MB/s is 4096kbps which is absolutely fantastic - if that's what you meant!
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)
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spheric
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 14-11-2010

Re: How accurate are the published shaping stats?

jelv: - it looks like I've done the capitalisation backwards throughout both posts. For the sake of clarity:
I was pulling 3 kilobytes a sec when the table indicated I should be seeing 128 kilobits -- Oldjim correctly pointed out I'd read the wrong table row initially...
I was pulling under 0.5 megabits a sec when the table indicated I should be seeing a full megabit.
So it still looks like I'm seeing speeds well under the published rate limits... and last night's VPN detour seeing speeds close to those published indicates that the line and general congestion weren't to blame
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,976
Thanks: 375
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: How accurate are the published shaping stats?

Quote
<b>(web)</b> traffic to usenet providers

Were you using HTTP or NNTP? I'm thinking if you were accessing it over the web, then it may have been the "Download Sites" classification, which from 10pm to 11pm is 512kbit/s.
spheric
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 14-11-2010

Re: How accurate are the published shaping stats?

I think you might have cracked it... - I was indeed using HTTP. I'll have a bash over NNTP in a comparable timeslot and compare.
spheric
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 14-11-2010

Re: How accurate are the published shaping stats?

ejs was right... - it appears that NNTP traffic from easynews is treated more favourably than HTTP. NNTP speeds were in-line with expectations when I tested yesterday evening.
I wonder whether the fact that easynews have a fairly big old mirror hosting most of the major linux distros got their web interface mis-classified
Thanks everyone for your help... Its much appreciated.