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Best way to test latency?

Freshman

Re: Best way to test latency?

Found a video that said to use 'ping' as the command on a chromebook. It just keeps pinging until you stop it, here's the results. Looks like I'm getting mostly in the 650-700 ms range with sometimes wider variation. Is that normal?

Screenshot 2020-01-04 at 10.06.24 AM.png

Distinguished Professor I

Re: Best way to test latency?

Yes, 600-700 is normal for satellite internet. 

 

Keep in mind that websites add to the delay because they have so much stuff on them that needs to load, such as images or videos.  So on top of the normal server to server delay, you will have added delay from website content. 

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Freshman

Re: Best way to test latency?

Thanks! I just ran it comparing wifi to ethernet cord.Virtually no pings above 700 with ethernet cord. Cutting out the wifi seems to shorten the delay by somewhere around 30-70 ms.

Freshman

Re: Best way to test latency?

Is there any relationship between speed and latency? I ask because I'm wondering if checking latency is a shortcut way to check if you are having bandwidth/speed problems. Doing this test is so much quicker and easier than running a speed test on testmy.net, for instance.

Distinguished Professor I

Re: Best way to test latency?

I'd say yes, in the sense that latency is a time delay. So if you have more speed, the signal will span the distance between the points faster.  With satellite, though, the distance is quite big, so there's always a minimum latency, which I think is no less than 532ms and has to do with physics, speed of light, etc.  With terrestrial ISPs (say, cable), distances are much shorter, so latency is less. 

 

As for the network speed, it will affect how you perceive the latency on websites, because that speed will impact how fast they load. So if your speed, as measured by testmy.net, is 40Mbps, the sites will load faster, but if it's 1Mbps, they will take longer.  

 

I'm sure Mark can totally correct any mistakes in my answer and provide a better response. 

 

zenman wrote:

Is there any relationship between speed and latency? 


 

Assistant Professor

Re: Best way to test latency?

It's basically it. Aggregate speed to a website is different from a file transfer. It depends upon the number of components required to be individually downloaded (html, css, javascript, images), each of which has it's own additional latency if not asynchronously accessed. A single file transfer has only the initial latency to deal with so the impact on overall perceived speed isn't as noticable.

 

Places like testmy operate with a single file transfer when evaluating speed. I have no idea what they do to evaluate latency, but it seems that lag times appear to be over-exaggerated, indicating that they may be compounding in some instances.

 

Regarding ping: It only gives you an idea of overall latency to one destination point only, inclusive of the path it takes. It's kind of limiting as a diagnostic, because you have no idea where the problem is.

 

Traceroute tells you:

  1. Latency through the gateway - what's only attributable to HughesNet - which is usually a 4-hop thing.

  2. Who your gateway provider is - usually a source of high, erratic latency depending upon who it is.

  3. The route the provider prescribed, how many hops it's taking, and which hops along that route have the biggest latency problems.

 

So it gives you a better indication of where problems may be.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
Distinguished Professor I

Re: Best way to test latency?

Cheers, Sensei!

 

 


@MarkJFine wrote:

It's basically it. Aggregate speed to a website is different from a file transfer. It depends upon the number of components required to be individually downloaded (html, css, javascript, images), each of which has it's own additional latency if not asynchronously accessed. A single file transfer has only the initial latency to deal with so the impact on overall perceived speed isn't as noticable.

 

Places like testmy operate with a single file transfer when evaluating speed. I have no idea what they do to evaluate latency, but it seems that lag times appear to be over-exaggerated, indicating that they may be compounding in some instances.

 

Regarding ping: It only gives you an idea of overall latency to one destination point only, inclusive of the path it takes. It's kind of limiting as a diagnostic, because you have no idea where the problem is.

 

Traceroute tells you:

  1. Latency through the gateway - what's only attributable to HughesNet - which is usually a 4-hop thing.

  2. Who your gateway provider is - usually a source of high, erratic latency depending upon who it is.

  3. The route the provider prescribed, how many hops it's taking, and which hops along that route have the biggest latency problems.

 

So it gives you a better indication of where problems may be.


 

Freshman

Re: Best way to test latency?

My initial tracepath attempts were for netflix and google, which didn't work. I decided to try again with amazon.com, and it seemed to work -- screenshot is below. I have no idea how to read the information.

How do I read the latency in Hughes's piece of the chain, and what's a normal value for the their piece? What would be an unacceptably high value for their piece? There are times (not right now) when even simple browsing for me on Hughes seems very slow. Or maybe more accurately, it seems erratic. One minute it's doing well, a minute later it's crawling, then suddenly it's better again -- but when I check mbps, it's reasonable.

The other variable besides mbps that I'm aware of is latency, so I just want to be able to diagnose when I'm getting slow performance by also checking latency. Or more specifically Hughes's latency, since that's the piece of the chain I'm paying for.

Screenshot 2020-01-04 at 1.32.19 PM.png

Distinguished Professor I

Re: Best way to test latency?

The latency for the satellite internet is between 600-700ms on average, regardless of how much you pay for it. 

Focusing on the latency for HN makes no sense, as the majority of your delays are caused outside of HN, by internet backbone providers (CenturyLink), and by the websites themselves. HN has no control over that. 

Freshman

Re: Best way to test latency?

Sounds like you're saying that if my latency is high, the odds of it being a problem with Hughes is very tiny? Are there any other variables? I know there are variables on my end, I mean otherwise. I know that periods of high traffic can affect performance, but I assume that's reflected in the mbps number when I do a download test.