Long term internet speed test?
December 3, 2018 6:12 PM   Subscribe

I am having poor internet issues in our basement and trying to determine if it’s our internet connection, router, computer, etc. The problem is it seems to be intermittent. I was thinking if I ran something like an internet speed test but once a minute or once every 5 minutes for 8 hours maybe I could narrow down the problem by swapping out hardware, etc. Anyone know of such a service?
posted by UMDirector to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Is your connection wireless? If so, there may be some periodic interference. WiFi runs on unlicensed spectrum which means that there is no guarantee of it being "clear".
posted by elmay at 6:45 PM on December 3, 2018

If your comfortable on the command line, speedtest.net has a command line version. You could have this run every 5 minutes or whatever in a cron job and have the output on the screen or send it to a file to review later.
posted by cgg at 7:21 PM on December 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

Here's an automated speed test: https://testmy.net/auto.
You define how often to run and over what period, which sounds like what you need
posted by anadem at 8:30 PM on December 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Is it speed (throughout) or speed (latency)? To test latency, you can use a terminal to perform a ping check, e.g. to google.com.

This will tell you, once per second, how many milliseconds it takes to reach the website (before even loading any content). You can let the ping run for hours to amass second-by-second data, then quickly scroll through it later. You'll probably see something in the range of 20ms - 100ms. If you see wild variations and really long times (e.g. over 1000ms, or even a "timeout" when it just gave up), that would indicate there's a problem with the time it takes to initiate requests to websites (and since each website makes many requests behind the scenes, it can add up to feel really slow). If that's the case, you could try to isolate the problem by testing again with your computer directly wired to your modem, then directly wired to your router, then wireless in various locations.
posted by reeddavid at 12:26 AM on December 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

MTR won't test speed, but it will test latency and whether the connection is up or not. Point it to a reliable host, like Google's DNS at Leave it running for hours and you get a report of packet loss and latency. It's basically traceroute, so it's showing you not only the result to the destination but also on the path along the way. Often you can see "oh, the link between my ISP and the outside world fails" or the like. The default interval is 1 second, which isn't a big deal but may be overkill. You can change it.

WinMTR is the best version I know for Windows. I don't know of a GUI version for MacOS, I've always run the basic mtr installed via Homebrew in a terminal window.
posted by Nelson at 9:10 AM on December 4, 2018

You might try Pingtest application. It has a free version. I ran this continuously while wondering why my DSL was having intermittent problems. Turns out the line was massively oversubscribed so my throughput nose dived every evening around 5 PM to 9 PM. Wasn't my network at all. Pointed the ping at some distant website, let 'er rip for a few days and, bingo, marching bar graphs that dip suspiciously every day around prime time.
posted by diode at 1:07 PM on December 4, 2018

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