This guide is only applicable to Streamyx users.1. Introduction to the Problem
Not all Streamyx connections are created equal.
You can be experiencing extremely slow speed and poor performance while the guy next door is blazing away at max speed.Why is this the case?
Streamyx spreads its connections over different routers. This is done automatically on TM's side. However certain routers may be overloaded or faulty or subject to an attack or under maintenance.
Our task here is to find a way to get to those functioning, wonderful (at least relatively) spankingly fast routers!2. What is an IP Range?
IP addresses (often shortened to IP) are the internet's version of addresses. Instead of a real world address:
Mr Lim's Personal Computer
No 24, Jalan 20/9, Paramount Garden,
46300, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
[PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A JOKE]
which is meaningless, we get assigned addresses in a numerical format.
You can find out what your IP is (which changes everytime you reconnect to the internet) by visiting http://www.whatismyip.com/.
An IP range (as how we define it), is a range of addresses. We find that with Streamyx, the most important digits to look for in an IP address are the FIRST TWO DIGITS.
It is suspected that each router governs an IP range and everyone on the same IP range goes through the same router.
In human language:
"The first two digits of your Streamyx Internet Address determines which router you go through."
As long as these first two digits are the same (which means you are within the same IP range), all performance within that IP range will be the same.So for example if you are unsatisfied with your speed/performance on 124.82.x.x, you will have to find an IP that does not begin with 124.82, but something else like 60.54, 124.13, 118.100, etc etc. and then retest and evaluate if it's a good one (see Part 4).3. How to get a new IP Range
There is unfortunately no easy way about this. This is assigned on TM side and for our purposes is more or less random.
The only way to get a new IP is to disconnect and reconnect
your connection and then recheck what IP you are on (you can do so by surfing to http://www.whatismyip.com/
if you forgot). We do find that different times of the day gives different sets of IP ranges.
However some tips:1) Do not disconnect and reconnect too fast in rapid succession
Do it in perhaps of intervals of 5-10 seconds, taking breaks in between. If done too fast, TM blocks you from connecting for a few minutes, and increases this time with every subsequent attempt. Take it slow and steady.2) Be patient
It is not uncommon to try 10-20 times until you find the desired IP range you want. Be patient and stay at it.4. Evaluating an IP Range - Yay or Nay
Now that we know what is an IP range, why it is important to find the right one and how to get new ones, let's find out how to evaluate if an IP range is good or bad!
We will use a free program called Pingplotter
for this which may be downloaded here
This program traces the path of your internet connection all the way to its intended destination and reveals any problems in the route.
After installing Pingplotter, start up the program. Under Address to Trace:
, put bbc.co.uk
or to test your connectivity to our US server (126.96.36.199
). Set the trace delay to 1 second
, and Samples to Include to 1000
. Click on TRACE
and let it run for a minute or two.
We are testing bbc.co.uk as BBC is a renowned UK-based news site which we have identified as being closely equivalent to where we host our UK servers. It is also a neutral party so there's no accusation that the fault lies with us. Please note that pings to google and yahoo may NOT be accurate as they have special arrangements to prioritize their traffic.
There is a lot of information coming out of pingplotter, but we shall only focus on two statistics:
1) The AVG Ping which means average ping (the time it takes for a packet to reach to its destination) Lower is better
2) The PL% which means packet loss percentage (the packets that do not reach their destination and get lost) Lower is better
Below is a sample ping report generated from Pingplotter. You do this by clicking on Edit
and then Copy as text (statistics only)
Target Name: bbc.co.uk
Date/Time: 18/9/2008 7:52:15 PM to 18/9/2008 7:54:35 PM
Hop Sent Err PL% Min Max Avg Host Name / [IP]
1 139 0 0.0 0 0 0 mygateway1.ar7 [192.168.1.1]
2 137 77 56.2 7 233 19 [188.8.131.52]
3 139 0 0.0 6 83 8 [184.108.40.206]
4 139 0 0.0 6 19 6 [220.127.116.11]
5 139 0 0.0 23 109 25 [18.104.22.168]
6 139 0 0.0 29 216 38 [22.214.171.124]
7 139 0 0.0 28 251 39 [126.96.36.199]
8 139 0 0.0 29 205 30 [188.8.131.52]
9 139 0 0.0 28 175 30 [184.108.40.206]
10 139 0 0.0 222 339 223 [220.127.116.11]
11 139 0 0.0 304 513 317 bbc-gw0-linx.prt0.thdoe.bbc.co.uk [18.104.22.168]
12 137 40 29.2 314 320 317 [22.214.171.124]
13 139 57 41.0 316 345 318 bbc.co.uk [126.96.36.199]
I have highlighted in red the parts that i want to focus on. This was taken from a particularly bad day and on a particularly bad IP range.
The AVG ping is 318 ms which isn't too bad. In general you want a ping that is below 400
However what is bad here is the loss percentage which is at 40-50 %. This means for every two pieces of data you send, only one gets through! This affects the speed and stability of your VPN and other bandwidth sensitive apps such as video streaming and downloads. In extreme scenarios, even surfing becomes laggy.Generally you don't want any loss at all though a loss of less than 10% should be still good enough for decent performance.
Keep on trying new IP ranges till you can find one that has the lowest loss and a decent ping. LOW LOSS + LOW PING = WIN
A low loss is more important than a low ping! So even if an IP range has a fantastically low ping, but high loss percentage, then that IP will not be as good as one with a higher ping and a low loss percentage.
Hopefully now you have found a good IP range! Don't get disconnected if you want to retain it!