I'm sitting at home right now, and my speedtest says I'm getting 42mbps, which is pretty fast for HughesNet. But we can't get any show to load on Netflix, nor even most of the thumbnail pictures of shows. The internet on my computer is slow as molasses as well. It seems we get spurts of good service, but then back to garbage. I've been a customer for a week and am strongly considering cancelling. A rep was already out and replaced our radio and modem. I switched off my video data saver and it helped a bit, but we still only get spurts of decent internet. And before you say it, weather isn't the issue. It slows down in bad weather, but I expect that, however it does this garbage when its clear and sunny. I really don't want to sit through hours of arguing with the Indian guys in Support trying to get someone to come out. Can someone bypass them and just get me help? No disrespect to the Indian guys, just tired of sitting on hold for hours, having them act like I'm stupid, and then getting hung up on and having to call back. Verizon's data service pulls, at best, 5mbps, and I can switch my phone to Verizon data and get better service. I may just consider getting a hotspot, but HughesNet should be pulling much faster internet. HELP!!!
Because of congestion. It's not just affecting streaming, though it's particularly noticeable with streaming.
In addition to what maratsade said about congestion and prioritization, the infrastructure, as well as the servers your system is communicating with, are being overloaded as well. Many of those things don't react well to congestion, as well as the higher latency inherent to satellite internet.
Also, if your beam and/or gateway are already heavily loaded, what's going on now is only going to make it that much worse. As well, the extent of the effects of what's going on can vary from location to location, as individual beam and or gateway load varies by location.
That streaming is not working very well and that web pages are taking a longer time to open is the new norm, or at least until things start calming down and people start going back to work, which could be quite some time from now. As well, just in the week leading up to 3/20 the system load had doubled. It's likely doubled again since then, so a fourfold or more increase in traffic over the norm, and on a system which already has a relatively small amount of bandwidth. Normally that bandwidth is enough, but not now. And, unlike ground based services, they can't easily add more. The only way to do so is with a new satellite, and that's not going to happen until next year.
Lastly, for an individual comparison, my overall speeds can reach as high as yours, yet trying to watch a Youtube video is challenging, even in 144p. Prior to the pandemic, I had no problem watching them in 1080p, though I usually kept it at 480p to save data.
Their "prioritization" should probably reduce the traffic for speed tests, but it obviously doesn't. So, while they aren't faking the test, the results not indicative of the speeds you will see, because nearly everything else is slower by factor of 10 or more.
It is highly possible that the route between your computer, and the speedtest server you are selecting has minimal congestion, where as the route between you and lets say, Netflix (or any basic website) could have a point of extreme congestion. This has been a common theme lately with so many online.
That's technically true, though Netflix is sort of the gold standard for redundancy and scale, so it's hard to imagine that being the case for very long with the automation and adaptability that their ecosystem has (See the Netflix Open Source Software project for reference https://netflix.github.io/). My experience shows that this speed difference is consistent no matter which site/server I'm communicating with so, so if it really was upstream of HughesNet, it would likely be affecting enough users and ISPs as to have generated some significant headlines.
Either way, some simple sluething with traceroute would probably prove it one way or the other. I'm not on HughesNet for the next week or so, but I can always check when I'm back on.
Their "prioritization" should probably reduce the traffic for speed tests, but it obviously doesn't.
No, it shouldn't. Activities give a signature, and that signature is how something is identified for prioritization. Speed testing wouldn't be one of the activities that's hindered. It's primarily streaming, game downloads and certain other types of file downloads.
Actually, that's not true at all. There's nothing particularly special about speed tests, they are either streaming some data or doing a file download, like pretty much everything else on the internet. They aren't their own class that would ever receive special treatment at a "signature" level. A speedtest is, however, easily identifiable by URL, and so it's easy to whitelist.