Speedtest not reliable

Hoang T. #38498
Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

It’s not a question, it’s a confirmation.

my plan is 120/20.

speedtest on iPad gives 135/17

speedtest on windows 10 gives 110/1?, sometimes just 68/1?

don’t know why there’s such a big difference!

can’t complain to Fizz, because I don’t know what is true!

Best Answer

  • Seu_Madruga
    Seu_Madruga Posts: 73 ✭✭
    Answer ✓

    As @Idefizz said, there are many factors to the results:

    • Website you are using. Some do caching to make it faster, so it might impact the final results. Also, remember things in Internet, at some point, hit physical devices. The distance to those devices also impact the results. So, depending on the speed test server location, you WILL find different results;
    • Cabled or wireless: using cable is way more reliable. Many things affect the wireless results: distance to the router, network congestion (the more wireless devices and routers in the area, the higher the chance of collision, packet loss, etc).
    • Internet usage: if you have multiple devices connected, they are constantly doing something. For ex, updating an app in background (mobile devices like iPhone or iPad do this kind of thing), using streaming or connected to a remote desktop. So, to do a proper test, you should turn off/disable internet on all devices and use a single one to test.
    • ISP congestion: there's no such thing as infinite internet for everyone. There are some moments, specially during the day, where more people are using Internet, where ISP (Fizz, Videotron, Bell, etc) can be busy, congestioned. To avoid issues in peak hours they do a traffic shapping (limiting the amount of Internet used by customers to some specific services (for ex. P2P). You can find more information: https://support.videotron.com/business/internet/cable-internet/traffic-management

    It's important to do several tests to have an average information. Speed tests are reliable as they can show a picture of your internet at that exact moment. If there's a major issue, this will be shown.

Answers

  • Zenthar
    Zenthar Posts: 517 ✭✭

    Many things can impact results. Did you perform your tests while you were the only person connected? Did you try with a wired (ethernet) connection? Using your own router or Fizz's? Using 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz on wifi?

    I got connected last weekend and did a before/after test from Vidéotron and got 135/23 Mbps each time.

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    With ipad the results are more stable, not with windows 10.

    try your tests several times and you’ll see that will change, and that’s normal. What is not normal is when the difference is too big, on the same pc, tablets, or when compare different devices.

    i use my own router, 5ghz on wifi, on every device.

  • Zenthar
    Zenthar Posts: 517 ✭✭

    Any way you could test with a wired connection directly to the Fizz modem? Wifi is very sensitive to all kinds of factors (walls, interference, ...). Alternatively, have you tried running the tests only a few feet from the modem with direct line-of-sight to the modem?

    If you can get somewhat consistant results from there, then the problem is with WiFi at which point you either have a bad modem (unlikely, but not impossible) or something around you is causing interference. You could try changing the wifi channels or get a better router and put the Fizz modem in bridge mode (many do because the Fizz built-in wifi isn't that great).

  • StefanM
    StefanM Posts: 1,453 ✭✭

    Same happens when you run a speed test on google vs fast.com. Many factors influence this. The server side of the speed test, the devices in your home etc.

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    all your answers confirm my point: speedtest is not reliable!

  • Idefizz
    Idefizz Posts: 2,999 ✭✭

    And that response confirms a hasty conclusion. 😋


    A speed test IS reliable but you seem to ignore all the other responses explaining to you that there are many factors to consider. Amongst many, many things, try doing averages. It a certain speed test lags more than the others, it will most probably always lag. If it was a punctual abnormality, doing averages fixes that.

    On top of that, if you report that you consistently observe about the same values on a given device (I presume with the same environment like distance to Wi-Fi and what not), then it IS reliable. There are no ghosts playing with your cable 👻

    So what gives? Well, you must now pin-point why you have different values and how to gain similar speed.

    Good luck.

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    my posiiton is the same: Not reliable, whatever the causes are.

    Very simple test: same device, same location, run speedtest several times, different results with some BIG differences

  • Idefizz
    Idefizz Posts: 2,999 ✭✭

    "Some" is absolutely normal and expected.

    "Always" or "very frequent" is not.

    Reliability OF THE TESTS will very rarely be the issue. This is different from reliability OF THE SERVICE PROVIDER. In the later case, contact Fizz. It seems as your best option.

    @Seu_Madruga gave you very valuable and descriptive advice of some impactful factors. I would focus on Windows 10's Task Manager to help you visualize better.

    Also, one of the way to figure out what is eating some bandwidth, from the Task Manager you can click on Open Resource Monitor and sort by consumption.

    Happy hunting!

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    Because there're too MANY factors affecting the results, that's WHY it's not reliable, whether ISP provider, router, modem, OS, etc ... or even bug in the codes of speedtest too, who knows ?

  • Idefizz
    Idefizz Posts: 2,999 ✭✭

    I think I can hear network administrators sighing reading this 😋 😉

    Difficulty to measure is not the same as not reliable. If a car doesn't start, don't stop troubleshooting by thinking there are too many components. What is difficult for you might be easy for somebody else.

    Be systematic and eliminate variables to pin-point the source of the issue.🔬

  • Seu_Madruga
    Seu_Madruga Posts: 73 ✭✭

    For "reliability" you are expecting something like a math formula, always giving the same output. If so, then yes, it's no reliable.

    But the problem is at the base of your assumption. You want it to be something that is impossible due to different constraints...

    If you want to learn more about it, please reach google. There are plenty of articles discussing the importante of speed tests, like this one: https://www.howtogeek.com/426757/how-do-internet-speed-tests-work-and-how-accurate-are-they

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    if you drive a car, and your speedometer jumps up and down , and you know that you drive the same way, you don't push gas pedal or breaks, draw your own conclusion: reliability or difficulty to measure?

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    no i don't expect it to give the same number, but at least in the same RANGE, no BIG variation, but it's not my case.

    Once, on windows 10, it gave 68 down, on ipad 135 down!!! How do you explain that ????

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    Once, on windows 10, it gave 68 down, on ipad 135 down!!! How do you explain that ????

    if i bring those number to Fizz, what could they do ? Could i even complain ?

    They would ask me to to reboot the modem , and at worst to factory reset my modem!!!! Not interested.

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    I agree with this explanation


    "ISP congestion: there's no such thing as infinite internet for everyone. There are some moments, specially during the day, where more people are using Internet, where ISP (Fizz, Videotron, Bell, etc) can be busy, congestioned. To avoid issues in peak hours they do a traffic shapping (limiting the amount of Internet used by customers to some specific services (for ex. P2P). You can find more information: https://support.videotron.com/business/internet/cable-internet/traffic-management"

  • Idefizz
    Idefizz Posts: 2,999 ✭✭

    Your conclusion is flawed, with all due respect, because it is based on anecdotes and probably too few of them. See availability heuristic concepts. Your samples can be right but too small to draw logical conclusions.

    The FACT that A speedometer is (or seems to be) broken, does not mean ALL speedometers are broken.

    It would be extremely astonishing that internet speed tools have been flawed since their conceptions.

    So your car's speedometer CAN be broken, yes it is possible, but the odds are just incredibly small.

  • Idefizz
    Idefizz Posts: 2,999 ✭✭

    How do you explain that ????

    Spikes happen. And once? Definitively, oh yes, it can happen. Start by looking at Windows bandwidth usage.

    if i bring those number to Fizz, what could they do ? Could i even complain ?

    It's their job to satisfy you. They do have tech support. And of course you can complain.

    They would ask me to to reboot the modem , and at worst to factory reset my modem!!!! Not interested.

    Agreed, not fun. But since your iPad has the expected speed, I'd look elsewhere since it does consistenly delivers the service to it.

  • roch-andre
    roch-andre Posts: 272 ✭✭

    it always been 90 percent reliable.. it depend on anything.. si yes someone with 120 mbs some times will see 60 some times 140.. if you start your microwave it can go down.. etc.. i usuaykky use the speedtest just to determine if their is something wrong.. if I see 1 or 5 mbs when I am suppose to have 120 I will try to restard my modem and find the problem.. its more of a tool than anything else

  • Idefizz
    Idefizz Posts: 2,999 ✭✭

    Keep in mind that if one of your devices is consistently giving acceptable speeds but not the other one (measured consistently one right after the other), then it is most probably not the service provider.

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    thank you all for your participation.

    I won't change my mind. No absolute truth here

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    when i was with videotron, the results was very stable, whatever the device was.

    Fizz belongs to videotron, they should take some quality out to give good price, maybe not the same quality servers?

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    it could be Fizz modem too. I had very fast stable speed with TC4400 from videotron. Too bad they don't allow us to use our own modem!

  • Idefizz
    Idefizz Posts: 2,999 ✭✭

    This is a more tangible possibility. But how would you explain throttling on only 1 of your 2 devices connecting to the modem? Maybe some config tweaking is in order? Also, are you using the modem as a bridge?

    Personally, I do not know of current big ISPs not providing a modem. I could be wrong as I never cared to buy myself one when they lent it nowadays. Let me know.

    Also is your Windows using WIFI or ethernet? Because maybe you'd benefit of considering band steering and automatic channel optimization; see https://fizz.ca/en/faq/what-are-wi-fi-technologies-used-fizz

    when i was with videotron, the results was very stable, whatever the device was.

    Until Fizz expands its market segments and, as you say, Fizz is an MVNO of Videotron, using their existing network for the broadband services. And possibly more if you consider extended coverage and future plans like ROC's market. But I digress. Suffice to say that it would be against Videotron's own interests to lower the quality of its services to a point that becomes consistently remarkable.

    So considering you changed from Videotron to Fizz, ask yourself what else has changed during that time. That could be a clue.

  • Seu_Madruga
    Seu_Madruga Posts: 73 ✭✭

    Ok :)

    Again, it can be multiple reasons, starting from the network adapter you use on PC. If it's USB, you can expect slower speed then PCI-e boards, for example. Can't you plug a cable and test it directly? Do it and run speed test several times. If it still varies a lot, then you can contact Fizz to discuss alternatives. But as the speed is fine on iPad, I don't think the issue is on the network outside your home.

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    nothing changed except modem when i left videotron for Fizz.

    I use Fizz modem as bridge, have my own router like before.

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    other possibility is windows updates , with more security measure, it could slow down my internet? that could explain different results between windows and IOS.

    my plan is 120/20. So if Fizz or videotron decides to reduce 20% quality, i wouldn't notice at all without speedtest!

  • Idefizz
    Idefizz Posts: 2,999 ✭✭

    That is a possibility. Windows updates and known to be irritating. They often happen when at the wrong time and/or suck precious bandwidth. But it would still be punctual, not over many days.

    NOW, a new Windows feature brought up and installed by an update could be the reason why it is slow.

  • Dgjf
    Dgjf Posts: 3,052 ✭✭

    Its not really the test who is not relliable but the WIFI connection !

    And each time you run the test you should use the same test server if you need more consistend result.

  • Zenthar
    Zenthar Posts: 517 ✭✭

    Just to be clear, you did set the Fizz modem in bridge mode right? You didn't just plug your old routeur in (yes it would still work if you didn't set the modem to bridge)? Asking because this could cause A LOT of interference if the Fizz wireless signal was still on. The fact that the iPad has better performance doesn't surprise me at all, as much as I hate Apple, they do have great hardware and that include their wifi antenna.

    Back to reliability, I've never seen speedtest results vary by more than 2-3% at my home (without me being the source of the problem, ex: running the rest while watching Netflix, not my greatest moment lol), but most of my network is wired. Wireless is very unreliable, for me it's just a necessary evil in some situations. Load on electric wires can cause interference, even water going through a pipe in the wall between your device and your router can cause interference and all interference can cause speed fluctuations. I wish there were good tools to test the "home network" speed so those could be diagnosed better.

  • Hoang T. #38498
    Hoang T. #38498 Posts: 63 ✭✭

    Please answer me ONLY if you have a windows 10, and iPad (5th generation or plus):

    run speedtest on pc with wifi, 5Ghz, on chrome

    run speedtest on iPad, wifi 5Ghz, on chrome

    my plan is 120/20

    for download speed: windows = from 60 to 100, ipad = around 135

    could you post your results here, thanks.

  • Zenthar
    Zenthar Posts: 517 ✭✭

    Just to be clear, you did set the Fizz modem in bridge mode right? You didn't just plug your old routeur in (yes it would still work if you didn't set the modem to bridge)? Asking because this could cause A LOT of interference if the Fizz wireless signal was still on. The fact that the iPad has better performance doesn't surprise me at all, as much as I hate Apple, they do have great hardware and that include their wifi antenna.

    Back to reliability, I've never seen speedtest results vary by more than 2-3% at my home (without me being the source of the problem, ex: running the rest while watching Netflix, not my greatest moment lol), but most of my network is wired. Wireless is very unreliable, for me it's just a necessary evil in some situations. Load on electric wires can cause interference, even water going through a pipe in the wall between your device and your router can cause interference and all interference can cause speed fluctuations. I wish there were good tools to test the "home network" speed so those could be diagnosed better.

  • Idefizz
    Idefizz Posts: 2,999 ✭✭

    That is a possibility. Windows updates and known to be irritating. They often happen when at the wrong time and/or suck precious bandwidth. But it would still be punctual, not over many days.

    NOW, a new Windows feature brought up and installed by an update could be the reason why it is slow.

This discussion has been closed.