I’ve been experiencing a slow connection with BayanDSL for a few weeks now with the connection becoming near impossible to use after 6 or 7pm until around 11pm. BayanDSL sent out a technician to check my equipment, but of course there’s no problem with my equipment and the problem occurs at similar times each day.
I checked BayanDSLs Facebook page and there were a number of other people complaining about the same problem, so I’m obviously not alone.
I emailed BayanDSL with a copy of the screenshots I’ve put on this page. Their response was basically that I should only expect 2Mbps to sites hosted within the Philippines (basically none). However, this still doesn’t ring true because I DO get 2Mbps internationally, but only at off-peak hours.
“Thank you for the provided test samples. Having checked the test samples these are all conducted via international servers. Please be advised base on your package we do not have direct peering going to the international servers you want to be connected.”
So what do I get for my P1,999 a month from BayanDSL?
- 2Mbps to servers within the Philippines at any time of day
- 2Mbps to international servers (US/UK/Europe) after midnight
- 1Mbps (Max.) 9am – 6pm
- 0.5Mbps (Max.) 6pm-11pm
UPDATE: How I fixed my connection
I finally found out how to fix my connection! It turns out that BayanDSL started using a special ASEAN range of IP addresses which are configured terribly behind a number of NAT layers. I told BayanDSL that my modem IP and public IP didn’t match and that port forwarding (accessing my computers from outside my network) wasn’t working. To fix the port forwarding issue they had to take me out of that ASEAN range and back onto their standard network. This fixed port forwarding AND my painfully slow internet.
Why you shouldn’t use Speedtest.net
One of the first thing BayanDSL will ask you to do is perform a speed test on speedtest.net with the Quezon City server selected. There’s two reasons why this is an unreliable way of measuring your connection.
1) Selecting the Quezon City server will direct your speed test to speed.skyinet.net which is hosted within BayanDSLs own network here in the Philippines. So of course you’re going to get a blazing fast speed to that server. You should be testing against servers in the UK/US/Europe since that’s where most websites are actually hosted.
2) ISPs are known for traffic shaping or enforcing “quality of service” rules. For example they may slow torrents but increase the bandwidh available to Skype and regular web surfing.
Speedtest.net works by providing ISPs around the world with special image files (e.g. http://vega.skyinet.net/speedtest/random750x750.jpg) to host within their network. Your browser downloads those images and the time taken is measured to work out how fast your internet is. The problem is that ISPs put rules in that prioritize any request for these images. So while you might get 200Kb/sec while running the Speedtest.net app, you’d only get a fraction of that if you tried to download a different file from the exact same server!
Speedtest.net Vs. Real world download
To demonstrate my point about ISPs shaping our traffic to make our speedtests look better than they are, I downloaded the speedtest.net image file from Comcast Atlanta server and then downloaded a random file from Linodes Atlanta server (content delivery network). As you can see, I got a blazing fast 230Kb/sec when downloading the speedtest.net image file but a poor and more realistic 16Kb/sec when downloading a random file from another server in the same city. To show that Lineodes network is fast, I also downloaded the file from a server in the UK, which was pulling the file at over 1 meg a sec.
Downloading the speedtest.net image file from a server in Atlanta
Downloading non-speedtest.net file from a Linode server in Atlanta
Downloading the same Lineode Atlanta file from a server in the UK
Real world download speed test
A better way to speed test your connection is to try download files from various servers worldwide. Since most sites are hosted within the US/UK/Europe, it makes sense to speed test against files in those territories. You should try a regular download and then also a download with a manager which can open multiple sockets at once (for example DownloadThemAll or InternetDownloadManager).
Ideally you should test against files which are hosted on Content Delivery networks, since these hosts have a lot of bandwidth and wont get slowed down by a lot of users testing against them. Lineode have servers in Tokyo, London, Newark, Atlanta, Dallas, Fremont and Cachefly have a very fast delivery network with 10/100Mb test files. There’s also ThinkBroadband in the UK with various file sizes on different ports.
BayanDSL will recommend you ping google.com, this is fine but again it’s not the best test case. Google operate one of the largest sprawling worldwide networks so generally you’ll have an amazing ping to them even if your connection is performing badly. You can ping test against them as a reference but again I recommend you ping against UK/US/Europe servers for a more ‘real world’ test. For example you could ping bbc.co.uk, reddit.com, facebook.com, flickr.com.
Ping BayanDSL (Philippines)
Ping Google (Anycast IP address, sending PH users to Hong Kong data center)
Ping Hong Kong
Your average monthly speed with Youtube
If you browse Youtube while logged in, it will aggregate your average speed over a month. You can see this by going to http://www.youtube.com/my_speed
I watch quite a lot of videos on Youtube so for me it’s a good way to get an idea of the kind of speed my 2Mbps connection is actually giving me. As you can see from the screenshot, my 2Mbps connection from BayanDSL actually averages to 1.17 Mbps, nearly half the speed of what I’m paying for. Which means a lot more waiting around for videos to buffer.
The rough conclusion is that even when you can show Bayan that your connection is crawling like a tortoise, they won’t actually do anything about it. They’ve oversold their capacity and their network can’t handle the traffic at peak times (evenings and weekends).
They’ll tell you that their only agreement with you is to offer your agreed speed to sites hosted within the Philippines.
They’ll tell you to speed test against a server here in the PH, which is absolutely pointless because none of the sites you intend to visit will be hosted locally and we already know that Bayan have more than enough local bandwidth, the problem is that they don’t have enough international bandwidth to handle the amount of customers they have.
Basically it’s a scam. It’s like paying p1,000 for gas at Shell and then they only put in p700 because they don’t have enough capacity for all their customers.