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Verizon Shapes the Shit out of their Traffic

July 22nd, 2010 6:32pm Leave a comment

I supposedly have  25/25MBPS connection on Verizon FiOS. And it’s true – I do get 25/25 all the time. They do not lie and it doesn’t vary like cable (depending on how many people on your node are clogging the tubes). However, this doesn’t mean that certain connections are not limited. I have conducted tests which prove Verizon does indeed prioritize certain traffic.

If you don’t understand technology, stop reading now because you won’t give a shit and a half about the following:

The situation:

  • I am downloading a file from over an SSH connection from a server at 1.6MBPS (the upload on that connection maxes out around 1.8 or so)
  • I decided to upload a file to a separate server using SFTP over SSH
  • I uploaded a file to that same server using FTP

The evidence:

Red signifies download, green is upload and yellow is overlap.

What the hell does this all mean?

  • The red you see across the whole graph is me downloading files from a server that someone has on Optimum Online. I am SSH’d to the box and have the network drive mapped.
  • The second spike of yellow and green is another computer with a 15MBPS connection that connected to my FiOS network and is downloading a file from me using SFTP. This is limited to about 3MBPS but spikes to 5 here and there
  • The third spike of yellow is me uploading something to portfolioso.com using SFTP. Notice how it is limited to 1.6MBPS? Looks like we found out that SFTP downloads
  • The green is me uploading a file to portfolioso.com using FTP. Notice I am getting my full 25MBPS up.

The fact that two separate SSH transfers were so cleanly chopped at 1.6MBPS signifies that Verizon capped the bandwidth there, since I have about 24MBPS left in the tubes. I am assuming that Verizon could not determine what type of traffic it was (since it’s SSH encrypted and on a nonstandard port) so they were like – eh lets not prioritize this.

What I don’t understand is why my upload was about 3MBPS when someone SFTP’d files from me whereas an SFTP transfer to portfolioso.com and an SFTP download I initiated both maxed at 1.6MBPS.

So yeah. There is some limiting going on around here. But you can’t complain because it’s consumer internet service and they “manage traffic” to maintain the integrity of their network, blah blah blah. I’ve heard every excuse in the book for this.

Overall, this means nothing to 99.6% of people reading this (or those who stopped after the first sentence did not interest them). Most internet users will experience the full speeds with basic web browsing and uploading (since Verizon does not limit http traffic)

FiOS is still better than Optimum Online on the grounds that their upload bandwidth is much higher. If you’re doing P2P stuff (for legal non copyrighted files, mind you) FiOS does not limit that since it can connect to multiple peers until you max out your bandwidth. I’ve had torrents that used my full 25MBPS pipe before, and they were amazing.

So thanks for the fast internet connection. Also, thanks for not doing the whole net neutrality thing.

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