Detecting cause of slow speeds (eg.torrents vs hardware/mts issue)

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  • Updated 3 years ago
I know slow speeds have been covered many times here, but I'd like to ask some questions and offer some ideas to help determine the cause.

When it comes to slow speeds, there are many possible causes. I think the average person can't tell the difference between a slow computer, slow local network, or slow internet connection. Slow is slow, so often the customer is quick to blame the provider. In some cases (ie. limitations in the technology) this may be true. However, determining the cause of slow speeds can be very frustrating for both parties, and I bet it often turns into a game of finger pointing.

Do you know if it's possible for a provider like MTS to offer a downloadable program that can measure a customers internet performance, local network health, pinpoint issues and explain to a customer in fairly simple terms whether their internet speed is within spec, and/or what programs or devices are causing problems or saturating their internet connection?

A program called PingPlotter was covered here: which sounds like a great tool, but probably only for tech savvy people.

I didn't see a reply in this thread: with regards to NAT sessions, what they should be, and what they're at when something is maxing out their connection. Maybe someone can elaborate?

It just seems to me that it is fairly easy for someone to overload the 2WIRE/Pace gateway's NAT sessions (which I hear are ideally 700/1024 or higher) in which case customer support reps, field service techs, etc end up having to explain to the customer that it's torrents or something on their devices saturating their connection. But in my experience, customers often won't believe it or even deny it!

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Posted 3 years ago

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Official Response
Hi Jesse,
You propose a very good idea.  It would be extremely handy to have a tool to do a full network test, end to end, for customers to check their service.  Creating or implementing such a tool could be much more difficult however.  I had never heard of this PingPlotter you spoke about so I took a little look at it.  Seems pretty fancy with a lot of features, definitely for the higher end user though to understand it fully.  I don't know if this is something we could use/implement with our customers.

When it comes to internet speeds it's always been a bit of a pain, from a technical stand point.  From my years as a tech support agent speed issues are some of the most difficult to troubleshoot and diagnose, simply for the amount of items that can cause an issue.  You certainly hit the nail right on the head when you say speed issues can be with the computer itself, the providers equipment, or the network.  Then determining which is another ball game.  Perhaps a tool to run a network diagnostic would be a great way to help this out, but it would have to be designed for our network and be able to handle the multiple platforms and technologies we use.

I will certainly pass this idea forward for consideration.  Thank you