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I'm trying to gather some ammunition about my ISP and it's aggressive traffic shaping of particular websites. So I'm looking for an application that will allow me to see what speeds I get to particular websites. I want to open a browser connection to a particular video streaming website for example and see the speed of the connection that gets made, be it http or plain tcp. I'm after something along the lines of TCPView but unfortunately this doesn't include transfer speeds. I'm half tempted to write one myself but hopefully something will already be out there that does the job.

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3 Answers 3

I would recommend using speedtest.net, which is provided by Ookla Net Metrics. It can not only report download and upload information, but ping as well. You can choose which server you'd like to connect to when performing speed tests.

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+1 for speedtest, it's popular and widely use. –  nXqd Jun 1 '11 at 3:18

Glasnost is definitely the tool to do this.

The goal of the Glasnost project is to make ISPs' traffic shaping policies transparent to their customers. To this end, we designed Glasnost tests that enable you to check whether traffic from your applications is being rate-limited (i.e., throttled) or blocked.

Glasnost tests work by measuring and comparing the performance of different application flows between your host and our measurement servers. The tests can detect traffic shaping in both upstream and downstream directions separately. The tests can also detect whether application flows are shaped based on their port numbers or their packets' payload. For more details on how Glasnost tests work, please read our NSDI 2010 paper.

We configured our tests to be conservative when declaring the presence of shaping, i.e., passing our tests does not necessarily mean that there is no throttling occurring on your link.

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Under linux you can use iftop; this just displays a list of the current fastest connections and refreshes every couple of seconds. ntop is supposed to be a similar, perhaps more comprehensive, utility that's got a web interface; I haven't used it myself, and I'm not sure about its portability — definitely linux, maybe mac, possibly windows.

An alternative is to use something like httpfox, which will track and log the speed of various connections from within the browser itself. I'm not sure if it's able to track other TCP protocols. Chrome has a tool like this built in, in the Developer Tools window.

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