Inconsistent speed?/solving problems requires complete knowledge of all aspects of the situation

Discussion created by swanshaw on Jul 29, 2014
Latest reply on Jul 30, 2014 by shaw-matt

I tried to stream video today, and it was slow and jerky--audio and video.  So I did a speedtest at speedtest.net, and got the dload speed at 1.86 Megabits (I am on a Shaw 25 account)  So, I decided to get to the bottom of these inconsistent speeds.  I took my router out of the network, and plugged direct to modem. I put my dns setting for my lan card back to "auto". (I use unblockus dns) I shut the computer down, started the modem, then the router, and started the computer, redid the speedtest, and got 22.3 Mbits.  I then put the router in the system, restarted everything, did the test, and got 25 Mbits!  So much for the new router causing the problem!  I then changed the dns to unblockus numbers, and tested again, and got 13 Mbits.  Thinking it was unblockus problem, I changed dns setting to auto, restarted, redid the test, and still got 13Mbits, a drop of 10Mbits!! Now I check again, 10 minutes or more later, and it's back up to 23.91!!  O.K.--I am going to change the dns back to unblockus setting.............logoff............logon..........retest.......15.2 Mbits.........change dns to auto........logoff.............logon.............retest.............14.9Mbits..................................60 min later 13.55Mbits.(dns still auto)


Well, it seems consistent now, but nowhere near the 25 Mbits that I am paying for.....

Maybe it is the server locations, as Shaw and Speedtest are almost identical at 26.8 Mbits!

Cranbrook is almost the same at 26.5 Mbits. I never realized that the Speedtest.net server was changing and was sometimes using Nelson as the server.  Perhaps this explains the different reading. Speedtest.net lets one select new servers for different tests, and when using Shaw and Speedtest.net, and the same server location (Kelowna), the readings are almost identical,  I hope this information, and investigation, is enlightening to others as well.  Of course, this does not explain the "crawling" speed I had earlier.  I have noticed this from time to time with my 'streaming' machine, which will often get up to speed when the source webpage is refreshed, although that did not work today.......

I just used Nelson as the server location, and the dl speed was only 9 Mbits....AHA!---and video and audio are now smooth, and the test results are not affected by the dns settings.  I am almost 100% sure that the server locations used by speedtest.net are the reason for the erratic bandwidth readings, and have shown myself that one has to have a complete understanding of all aspects of a problem to come up with a legitimate conclusion.

I have learned a valuable lesson is searching out this problem, so the time was not wasted!!

Now to solve the problem of the herky-jerky start-up of the stream when it was first accessed....I'll get right on it----tomorrow!!