Category Archives: Dedicated Servers

Popular Speedtest.net Bandwidth Tests Now from Within Your VPS or Server

Speedtest.net

Speedtest.net

Eventually most people wonder why their internet is again trickling packets at the speed of a 1950’s move plot. The unfortunate downside of internet connectivity slowdowns gets the best of us at times.

Sometimes it is our provider at fault, other times it is our provider’s upstream at fault.

As an end customer you need to determine these shortcomings yourself when seeking support help. The usual customer support routine often involves multiple reboots of your modem and lots of wasted time. The process leaves a lot to be desired.  If you are having a problem with a VPS or dedicated server the problems can be much more difficult to debug and resolve.

So let’s learn how to debug your slow internet connectivity problem a bit with a simple speed test site and tool for those running Linux.

#1 Know your Package Speeds

Every home internet package includes at least two speeds indicating the maximum throughput your service has been provisioned to achieve. Similarly, a VPS or dedicated server will have some sort of bandwidth speed promise. With home internet one speed will be the upload speed, or how fast you can send data from your computer up to the internet. The other speed will be your download speed, or how fast you can get data from the internet down to your computer.

Usually the download speed is much faster than the upload speed.

Look at your internet service details from your monthly invoice and see what package you have and what the advertised speeds are.

#2 Run Multiple Online Speed Tests

You want to get most of your advertised internet throughput speeds. It is not reasonable to achieve or exceed advertised speeds for any extended duration.

The most popular speed test site online remains Speedtest.net. Their site requires Adobe Flash to perform tests in your browser. They have Apps available for the most common mobile platforms: http://www.speedtest.net/mobile.

Perhaps you are a Linux user, or dislike Flash, or want to test your VPS or other non-graphic based server?

Sivel has wrote a Python based tool that quick and simple and uses Speedtest.net’s testing points. The tool is called, speedtest-cli [link: https://github.com/sivel/speedtest-cli].

(This tool will work in any environment where Python is or can be installed)

In Debian / Ubuntu and derivatives:

Become root:
su

apt-get install python

	wget -O speedtest-cli https://raw.github.com/sivel/speedtest-cli/master/speedtest_cli.py
	chmod +x speedtest-cli

To run speedtest-cli:

./speedtest-cli

How do your speeds look? Seem slow? Run the test several times and over several hours if possible to rule out LAN traffic or intermittent blips.

Still slow? Time to contact your ISP then.

#3 Contact Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

When contacting your ISP or hosting provider about slow speeds you should have your speedtest-cli output on hand. Show them the test location used (which is automatically picked from a nearby test location), and throughput achieved which should help them debug problems. They might ask you to perform other tests to other network test points. If so see how to do that below.

It’s that simple to get started debugging issues with slow throughput.  There are a multitude of issues that contribute to slow connectivity.  These include hardware misconfiguration, bad physical connections, bad software settings, etc.

Further

Speedtest-cli has some additional features that might prove helpful.

List all the active testing locations:
./speedtest-cli –list | more

Select a specific testing point to perform a test with:
./speedtest-cli –server 1344

DNS – Often Overlooked and Overworked Essential Piece of the Internet

DNS MADE FASTER!

Optimizing your DNS Server Settings for a Faster Internet

DNS makes the internet run. DNS takes a human friendly domain name or URL like, www.disney.com and does a lookup to find the non-human IP where www.disney.com currently is pointing to —> 199.181.132.249. Imagine your favorite website being named 199.181.132.249 instead. That would be very hard to remember and not very brand recognizable.

DNS lookups are done by nearly all software these days, and DNS lookups are heavily used in modern web based software, and especially in smartphone applications.

Most users just accept whatever DNS server information they are fed by DHCP usually from their internet provider. The downsides of this acceptance comes in the forms of:

1. Reliability – Most providers feed you two DNS servers, typically with the very same server operator (think themselves or Google). If their server or network fails two options might mean one still works, but often this isn’t so true and their remaining resource shared by a large pool of customers quickly becomes overloaded or fails.

2. Often slow lookup speeds – Your internet provider might not be slow, instead their DNS probably is a main contributor as your DNS requests pile up in the DNS traffic jam. This can result in multiple second delays as your surf from site to site. It can cause all sorts of ugly failures in smartphone apps. In general the delays and failures break tons of things in way the developers never intended to deal with gracefully.

3. Random cache optimization – In order to reduce bandwidth for lookups and reduce DNS server resources while appearing to have faster lookups many companies employ caching of DNS records that ignores the TTL (length of time such record should cached).

4. DNS poisoning / capturing invalid or failed lookups – a non standard trick employed to capture bad requests and push the viewer to a page, search results or other portal where the DNS company makes money.

5. Privacy – He who controls the DNS lookup server knows everything that every customer is doing and using. That data is valuable to marketing firms, advertising companies, aggregators, etc. Many companies, ISPs, etc. are selling your data without your knowledge, and even companies like your ISP that you pay for service.

Goal

To optimize your DNS server selection for the best performance, and ideally with some awareness on the above five points we present namebench. Namebench is an open source and cross-platform DNS testing tool. It works under Linux, Windows and other common operating systems.

Project Page:
http://code.google.com/p/namebench/

 

How to Install Namebench on Debian Linux

Open your favorite terminal program (terminator, Root Terminal, etc.). Become root:

su
[provide root password]

Create a new directory:

mkdir ~/temporary
cd ~/temporary

Install Python:

apt-get install python

Download namebench:

wget http://namebench.googlecode.com/files/namebench-1.3.1-source.tgz

Unzip / Untar namebench:

tar -xzvf namebench-1.3.1-source.tgz

Run namebench:

cd namebench-1.3.1
./namebench.py

This will run a completely text based terminal output of the results. The output is very verbose.

————————————————————————————-
namebench 1.3.1 – best source (automatic) on 2014-09-30
threads=40/2 queries=250 runs=1 timeout=3.5 health_timeout=3.75 servers=11
——————————————————————————

– Reading Top 2,000 Websites (Alexa): data/alexa-top-2000-domains.txt (0.7MB)
– Reading Cache Latency Test (100% hit): data/cache-hit.txt (0.1MB)
– Reading Cache Latency Test (100% miss): data/cache-miss.txt (0.1MB)
– Reading Cache Latency Test (50% hit, 50% miss): data/cache-mix.txt (0.1MB)
– Generating tests from Top 2,000 Websites (Alexa) (33575 records, selecting 250 automatic)
– Selecting 250 out of 33542 sanitized records (weighted mode).
– Checking query interception status…
– Checking connection quality: 1/3…3/3
– Congestion level is 0.46X (check duration: 18.50ms)
– Checking latest sanity reference
– Building initial DNS cache for 4516 nameservers (40 threads)
– Checking nameserver availability (40 threads):

0/4516……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..916…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………1821……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….2736……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3649………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….4516/4516

– 1021 of 4516 servers are available (duration: 0:03:17.742999)

– Removing secondary nameservers slower than 36.67ms (max=400)

– Running initial health checks on 213 servers (35 threads): 0/213……………………47………………………..104………………………..161………………….204…….213/213

– 203 of 213 tested name servers are healthy

– Making Google Public DNS-2 [ptr-216-8-179-23.ptr] the primary anycast – faster than Google Public DNS [ptr-216-8-179-23.ptr] by 3.75ms

– Making OpenDNS-2 [1.ash] the primary anycast – faster than OpenDNS [7.ash] by 15.43ms

– Making DynGuide [default] the primary anycast – faster than DynGuide-2 [default] by 4.80ms

– Making UltraDNS [IAD] the primary anycast – faster than UltraDNS-2 [4.34] by 12.52ms

– Picking 16 secondary servers to use (8 nearest, 8 fastest)

– Waiting for wildcard cache queries from 22 servers (22 threads): 0/22………..22/22

– Waiting 4s for TTL’s to decrement.

– Running cache-sharing checks on 22 servers (40 threads): 0/462x…………………………………………………………………………………….192………………………………………………………………………354……………………………………..xxxx!xxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!!!..448!!!!!!!!!!…..!!!!..462/462

– Disabling Cable & Wireless DE [ash-cdns-1] – slower replica of Cable & Wireless DE-2 [ash-cdns-2] by 8.2ms.

– Picking 5 secondary servers to use (2 nearest, 3 fastest)

– Cable & Wireless DE-3 [141.1.1.1] appears to be the nearest regional (7.65ms)

– Running final health checks on 11 servers (11 threads): 0/11……11/11

– All nameservers have warning: www.paypal.com is hijacked: www.paypal.com.akadns.net (likely a false positive)

– All nameservers have warning: www.facebook.com appears incorrect: star.c10r.facebook.com (likely a false positive)

Final list of nameservers considered:
——————————————————————————
199.2.252.10 Sprintlink-2 14 ms | twitter.com appears incorrect: 199.16.156.230, 199.16.156.38, 199.16.156.6, 199.16.156.102, google.com appears incorrect: 173.194.123.35, 173.194.123.38, 173.194.123.36, 173.194.123.33, 173.194.123.40, 173.194.123.41, 173.194.123.37, 173.194.123.34, 173.194.123.32, 173.194.123.46, 173.194.123.39, www.google.com is hijacked: 173.194.46.114, 173.194.46.112, 173.194.46.115, 173.194.46.113, 173.194.46.116

199.45.32.38 BellAtlantic-2 US 14 ms | google.com appears incorrect: 173.194.121.7, 173.194.121.0, 173.194.121.3, 173.194.121.5, 173.194.121.8, 173.194.121.6, 173.194.121.4, 173.194.121.2, 173.194.121.9, 173.194.121.14, 173.194.121.1, twitter.com appears incorrect: 199.16.156.198, 199.16.156.6, 199.16.156.70, 199.16.156.230, www.google.com is hijacked: 74.125.225.19, 74.125.225.18, 74.125.225.17, 74.125.225.20, 74.125.225.16

151.197.0.38 Verizon Philadelph 18 ms | www.google.com is hijacked: 74.125.228.211, 74.125.228.210, 74.125.228.209, 74.125.228.208, 74.125.228.212, twitter.com appears incorrect: 199.16.156.230, 199.16.156.38, 199.16.156.102, 199.16.156.70

141.1.1.1 Cable & Wireless D 19 ms | twitter.com appears incorrect: 199.16.156.102, 199.16.156.198, 199.16.156.230, 199.16.156.38, www.google.com is hijacked: 173.194.46.115, 173.194.46.112, 173.194.46.114, 173.194.46.116, 173.194.46.113

8.8.4.4 Google Public DNS- 24 ms | twitter.com appears incorrect: 199.16.156.230, 199.16.156.198, 199.16.156.6, 199.16.156.70, www.google.com is hijacked: 74.125.225.147, 74.125.225.146, 74.125.225.148, 74.125.225.144, 74.125.225.145

4.2.2.3 Level 3/GTEI-3 26 ms | www.google.com is hijacked: 173.194.121.48, 173.194.121.49, 173.194.121.50, 173.194.121.51, 173.194.121.52, twitter.com appears incorrect: 199.16.156.102, 199.16.156.38, 199.16.156.6, 199.16.156.70

216.146.35.35 DynGuide 26 ms | www.google.com is hijacked: 74.125.225.82, 74.125.225.83, 74.125.225.81, 74.125.225.84, 74.125.225.80, NXDOMAIN Hijacking, twitter.com appears incorrect: 199.16.156.38, 199.16.156.230, 199.16.156.70, 199.16.156.6

208.67.222.222 OpenDNS-2 28 ms | twitter.com appears incorrect: 199.16.156.70, 199.16.156.38, 199.16.156.102, 199.16.156.6, www.google.com is hijacked: 74.125.225.146, 74.125.225.147, 74.125.225.144, 74.125.225.145, 74.125.225.148

156.154.70.1 UltraDNS 28 ms | www.google.com is hijacked: 74.125.228.116, 74.125.228.115, 74.125.228.114, 74.125.228.112, 74.125.228.113, NXDOMAIN Hijacking, twitter.com appears incorrect: 199.59.149.198, 199.59.150.7, 199.59.148.82, 199.59.148.10

4.2.2.1 Level 3/GTEI 29 ms | twitter.com appears incorrect: 199.16.156.70, 199.16.156.230, 199.16.156.38, 199.16.156.6, www.google.com is hijacked: 74.125.228.48, 74.125.228.52, 74.125.228.50, 74.125.228.49, 74.125.228.51

199.16.156.198, 199.16.156.6, google.com appears incorrect: 173.194.121.35, 173.194.121.36, 173.194.121.37, 173.194.121.38, 173.194.121.39, 173.194.121.40, 173.194.121.41, 173.194.121.46, 173.194.121.32, 173.194.121.33, 173.194.121.34, www.google.com is hijacked: 74.125.201.106, 74.125.201.147, 74.125.201.99, 74.125.201.103, 74.125.201.104, 74.125.201.105

– Sending 250 queries to 11 servers: 0/2750…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..552………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..1103…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….1658…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2219…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2750/2750

– Error querying Cable & Wireless DE-3 [141.1.1.1]: www.megaupload.com.: Timeout

– Error querying BellAtlantic-2 US [199.45.32.38]: www.megaporn.com.: Timeout

– Error querying Sprintlink-2 [199.2.252.10]: blog.yam.com.: Timeout

– Error querying Cable & Wireless DE-3 [141.1.1.1]: www.megaclick.com.: Timeout

Fastest individual response (in milliseconds):
———————————————-
Cable & Wireless ######################### 6.85501
Level 3/GTEI-3 ############################ 7.59315
OpenDNS-2 ############################ 7.65586
Level 3/GTEI ############################# 7.74908
DynGuide ############################# 7.77817
Sprintlink-2 ################################ 8.66008
BellAtlantic-2 U ################################ 8.68392
UltraDNS ################################# 8.97908
Verizon Philadel ############################################## 12.62689
Google Public DN ##################################################### 14.64987

Mean response (in milliseconds):
——————————–
Sprintlink-2 ##################### 139.66
Google Public DN ##################### 140.95
OpenDNS-2 ######################### 169.16
BellAtlantic-2 U ######################### 170.47
Cable & Wireless ########################## 175.92
UltraDNS ########################## 179.58
Verizon Philadel ############################## 207.50
DynGuide ################################ 217.10
Level 3/GTEI ################################################ 330.76
Level 3/GTEI-3 ##################################################### 367.95

Response Distribution Chart URL (200ms):
—————————————-

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=lxy&chs=720×415&chxt=x,y&chg=10,20&chxr=0,0,200|1,0,100&chd=t:0,4,5,5,6,8,12,20,35,43,50,63,78,92,105|0,0,21,32,36,40,45,49,52,56,60,64,67,71,74|0,1,1,2,5,7,9,10,13,17,22,28,40,47,55,67,81,100|0,0,13,18,23,26,30,36,40,44,48,51,55,58,62,66,69,73|0,4,5,5,6,7,8,11,13,18,28,42,50,63,70,83,109|0,0,11,22,29,33,38,42,46,50,53,57,61,65,68,72,76|0,7,8,9,10,11,13,14,18,30,43,61,118|0,0,22,50,58,62,67,71,74,78,82,85,89|0,4,4,7,8,10,12,15,39,47,54,71,89,129|0,0,4,30,52,55,60,64,68,71,75,78,82,86|0,4,5,7,8,9,12,16,35,54,65,95,122|0,0,5,27,45,52,60,64,68,71,75,78,82|0,4,5,6,7,7,9,13,19,35,65,85,120|0,0,32,45,54,58,61,65,69,72,76,80,84|0,3,4,5,6,6,9,13,36,39,44,55,71,96,114|0,0,21,40,46,51,55,59,63,66,70,74,78,82,86|0,4,5,5,6,9,12,17,34,44,46,56,75,91,122|0,0,21,31,37,41,46,49,53,56,60,64,67,71,74|0,4,5,6,7,9,14,22,36,42,55,72,101|0,0,25,49,54,58,62,65,69,73,77,81,84|0,6,7,8,10,11,13,14,15,17,19,22,25,45,51,74,92,126|0,0,12,26,31,34,39,42,46,52,56,59,63,67,71,75,78,82&chco=ff9900,1a00ff,ff00e6,80ff00,00e6ff,fae30a,BE81F7,9f5734,000000,ff0000,3090c0&chxt=x,y,x,y&chxl=2:||Duration+in+ms||3:||%25|&chdl=Level+3%2FGTEI|DynGuide|Google+Public+DNS-2|OpenDNS-2|UltraDNS|BellAtlantic-2+US|Cable+%26+Wireless+DE-3|Level+3%2FGTEI-3|Sprintlink-2|Verizon+Philadelphia+US-2

Response Distribution Chart URL (Full):
—————————————

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=lxy&chs=720×415&chxt=x,y&chg=10,20&chxr=0,0,3500|1,0,100&chd=t:0,0,0,0,0,0,1,1,2,2,3,4,4,5,6,7,9,17,29,44,59,100|0,0,21,32,36,40,45,49,52,56,60,64,67,71,74,78,82,86,89,93,96,100|0,0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,5,6,7,9,11,16,26,59,100|0,0,13,18,23,26,30,36,40,44,48,51,55,58,62,66,69,73,77,80,84,88,91,95,100|0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,2,2,3,4,4,5,6,8,10,14,18,26,35,100|0,0,11,22,29,33,38,42,46,50,53,57,61,65,68,72,76,79,83,86,90,94,97,100|0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,1,2,2,4,7,14,19,100|0,0,22,50,58,62,67,71,74,78,82,85,89,92,96,100|0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,2,3,3,4,5,7,11,14,24,100|0,0,4,30,52,55,60,64,68,71,75,78,82,86,89,93,96,100|0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,2,3,4,5,7,9,10,18,29,100|0,0,5,27,45,52,60,64,68,71,75,78,82,86,90,93,97,100|0,0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,2,4,5,7,8,10,19,60,100|0,0,32,45,54,58,61,65,69,72,76,80,84,87,91,94,98,100|0,0,0,0,0,0,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,5,7,9,14,31,100|0,0,21,40,46,51,55,59,63,66,70,74,78,82,86,89,93,96,100|0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,2,3,3,3,4,5,7,9,11,15,26,48,96,100|0,0,21,31,37,41,46,49,53,56,60,64,67,71,74,78,82,86,89,93,96,100|0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,2,2,3,4,6,7,9,14,100|0,0,25,49,54,58,62,65,69,73,77,81,84,88,92,96,100|0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,3,3,4,5,7,9,11,18,33,100|0,0,12,26,31,34,39,42,46,52,56,59,63,67,71,75,78,82,86,89,93,97,100&chco=ff9900,1a00ff,ff00e6,80ff00,00e6ff,fae30a,BE81F7,9f5734,000000,ff0000,3090c0&chxt=x,y,x,y&chxl=2:||Duration+in+ms||3:||%25|&chdl=Level+3%2FGTEI||DynGuide|Google+Public+DNS-2|OpenDNS-2|UltraDNS|BellAtlantic-2+US|Cable+%26+Wireless+DE-3|Level+3%2FGTEI-3|Sprintlink-2|Verizon+Philadelphia+US-2

 

THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO NOTE:

Recommended configuration (fastest + nearest):
———————————————-
nameserver 199.2.252.10 # Sprintlink-2
nameserver 141.1.1.1 # Cable & Wireless DE-3
nameserver 4.2.2.2

******************************************************************************In this test, Sprintlink-2 is 119.6%: Faster
******************************************************************************

Some things to note:

There may be mentions of both hijacked domains and incorrect domains. This is a problem with DNS since this program was created. They are false positives on the hijacks.

Updating your DNS Servers for a Faster Internet

Let’s update our domain records and get moving faster! In Linux terminal as root:

nano /etc/resolv.conf

Delete the existing entries in /etc/resolv.conf and copy and paste the new server details from above:

nameserver 199.2.252.10 # Sprintlink-2
nameserver 141.1.1.1 # Cable & Wireless DE-3
nameserver 4.2.2.2

Save the /etc/resolv.conf file and exit. Now your DNS queries will be remarkably faster.

Other Experiments

Namebench supports testing IPv6 only DNS servers, if you are on an IPv6 enabled network!

./namebench -6

Gibson Research Corporation has a similar tool called Domain Name Speed Benchmark. It is available for Windows and works under Linux via Wine.

https://www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm

Domain Name Service Benchmark

DNS Benchmark

Future Discussions about DNS

  • Blocking online advertising with DNS
  • Encrypted DNS lookups to preserve your privacy
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IP Addresses | Quick Reference Guide (CIDR, SUBNET MASKS & USABLE IP’s)

Often we get questions, how many ip’s do i get to use with a /27, what’s a /27 etc. Now you can simply look at our cheat sheet below and it will tell you exactly how many usable IP’s you have, the subnet masks and the CIDR.

ipgraph

I hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to post in the comments below :).

Bo P.

Finally, our United Kingdom dedicated server line is here!

They are finally here!

We have released our Dedicated Server line in the United Kingdom. We have the exact specs as our Orlando location. The dedicated servers in the UK are a little bit more expensive due to the higher costs in the United Kingdom.

Fortunately for you, we have discounts available to kick start the new line that will give you additional savings. E-Mail sales@tmzvps.com for a coupon code. Everything else is the same, great reliability, 99.9% Network Uptime Guarantee, 30 Minute Hard Ware replacement guaranteed, and the legendary tmzVPS Support Team backing you up.

Check them out at: United Kingdom Dedicated Servers  (http://www.tmzvps.com/dedicated-servers)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask here or by e-mailing us.

Enjoy!