Is your ISP throttling your network connection?

Is your ISP throttling your network connection?

Summary: If you aren't sure, you will soon be able to download a tool from Google that will tell you once and for all if they are. If ISP's aren't going to tell their users exactly what is happening with their network connections, Google wants to make sure that these people have the ability to tell for themselves.

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If you aren't sure, you will soon be able to download a tool from Google that will tell you once and for all if they are. If ISP's aren't going to tell their users exactly what is happening with their network connections, Google wants to make sure that these people have the ability to tell for themselves. This announcement is Google's most recent attempt at raising awareness about net neutrality.

This isn't the first time someone has made software to monitor your network to figure out if your ISP is doing anything fishy, NNSquad Network Measurement Agent is a tool that does exactly that already. In fact, this might actually be the tool Google is referring to. Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet Evangelist, is part of the NNSquad already.

It's unclear what kind of effect something like this will have on the network neutrality debate, but it certainly can't hurt.

Topics: CXO, Browser, Google, Networking, Telcos

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43 comments
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  • let's start with "false advertising."

    if companies advertise a certain speed, and charge for it, but don't deliver it, then customers will have a reason to get upset.

    my worry is that ISP's will develop their own "Internet Mall Farms" that have priority over other internet real estate. while the ISP's will surely make money selling slots the diversity of applications would suffer.

    i.e. it was amazing to hear bill gates suggest that microsoft will once again invest money into internet explorer and that investment is being pushed by opera, firefox, etc...

    so google's efforts are important because people really need to know if there's an even playing field that will support innovation and diversity.

    and, while net neutrality might reduce the bottom line of ISP's a bit, the overall economy will be better.
    mnpundit
    • let force the goverment to act

      Throlling the internet should be made illegal PERIOD. no if, but or then. When was the last time you eard a phone company limiting your phone call. i pay for a line i can use as much as i want (read: as much as the plan i have paid for) the same for my internet connection.

      The ISP are throttling P2P traffic because of criminal organisation such as the MPAA and RIAA have paid them (or force them, or blackmail them) to do so.
      Mectron
      • Yeah, that [i]always[/i] works

        What's the one thing that anyone can do to make things worse? Get the government involved, and almost surely things will get worse. "Big brother" isn't a term of endearment, he isn't really our "brother".
        Mike Hunt
      • Might want to consider

        Cable companies. They have been doing this since the beginning of cable high speed. They place customers in a group, who share! If they place lots of customers in the same group and they have a few ding-bats downloading tons of files, is it fair to the other few customers who can't even get on the Internet to see their bank account? To make things rqual, they have to control those power downloaders.

        Now I don't know if this is all fact... and most is here-say (from techs of cable companies) but it does make sense... however, not fair! If I pay for a 1.2 line, I expect a 1.2 line! The cable companies need to come forth with the truth of how they group customers and what they do with power downloaders and such...
        DarbyOhara
        • RE: Might want to consider

          True, ISPs should throttle those that abuse the network(IE: when you start downloading 100Go per months... there's a problem)

          But they should not throttle those that does not abuse of the network.

          There's a clean difference between punishing those that abuse and punishing everyone.

          oh and DPI should be rendered illegal exept when used under a warrent.
          Ceridan
      • You're already being impacted

        From the text of your post, it looks like your ISP has implemented a "making sense" filter, dropping words and letters at random. Rage against the machine, my friend!
        ejhonda
      • The 10 Most Frightening Words

        What are the 10 most frightening words in the english language?
        "I'M FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND I'M HERE TO HELP YOU!"
        Scubajrr
        • Antique FUD, my friend.

          That was FUD before they called it FUD.
          johnay
          • Examples

            The VA Hospital, welfare, etc. No FUD at all, the more that people want the government to control things, the more convoluted those things become.

            Hang out at your local VA Hospital sometime to get a close look at a [i]well run[/i] government program. Government control is for the weak, and weak-minded, don't kid yourself.
            Mike Hunt
          • That's what happens...

            ...when the people put in charge of those programs are those who believe that particular FUD, and do "a heck of a job." How well did veterans & the poor do before VA and welfare came around?
            johnay
          • I don't think that you understand what you are saying

            There is not any [b]F[/b]ear, [b]U[/b]ncertainty, or [b]D[/b]oubt about what I've said, the government is wasteful, inefficient and ineffective when it comes to managing programs.

            Quite frankly, there were far less "poor" before the government started giving handouts to people who didn't need it and could be working instead of laying around having babies that also become welfare dependent. Once on welfare, it is difficult to get off of, especially if the welfare department pays more than a job would.

            As for the VA, I guess that extremely poor service is better than none? Maybe, but no doubt it could be better run by private companies.

            I'm guessing that you're still young. You'll wake up eventually.

            Reagan was right; "Government is not the solution to our problems, government IS the problem".
            Mike Hunt
          • RE: MH & the Myth of the Welfare Queen

            Another example of antique FUD.

            You need to make your arguments a bit more fact-based and less sound bite based.
            johnay
          • I'm an Antique, So what?

            I'm an Antique, So what? It doesn't change the truth of the statement. Try to find a government managed program that isn't bogged down with bureaucracy, waste and mismanagement. Think about it, are you sure you want the government to handle your ISP access.
            Scubajrr
          • If you don't like government...

            ...go find someplace to live that doesn't have one. See how you like that.
            johnay
          • Perhaps....

            ...you should live in a place that has total government control and see how you like it. Might I suggest China, North Korea, Iran?

            But here in the US if we don't like government we simply change the elected officials....although the real control of our government rests more and more in the hands of the "money changers", and it was "government" that handed them that control (Federal Reserve....which isn't "federal" at all BTW).
            Mike Hunt
        • most isp's all ready tell you your not to run a server so

          most isp's all ready tell you your not to run a server. if your running a file sharing program "IE" bit-torrent or others limewire and so on. your breaking your isp's terms of service. and if you look isp's have fair use policy's in place and when you sign up you agree to it. just like any other service ask a few questions. would you get a C.C with out knowing what % of interest your going to pay.

          what the cable company's need to do is just send these bandwidth hogs an email telling them if they do not stop running there server. they will be cut off. they are breaking the terms of service anyways. so instead of throttling bit torrent just cut them off.
          i say stop crying and if you don't like the terms of service get another isp.
          SO.CAL Guy
          • Download caps and penalties

            Really? Then why are they only worries about monthly download markers, caps and $ penalties when you go over them? I have internet TV in my house streaming through my cable connection. It's the only way I can watch certain cultural programming without paying the premium my ISP provides it at. Halfway through the month I am now receiving notice that I've gone over my 60 GB monthly limit. Add that with all the web browsing that we do and retrieving our mail from our ISP's servers, which is not excluded from the cap, of course we're going to go over.
            Computers are only going to be using more and more bandwidth. Five years ago there wasn't any legitimate web TV or YouTube. You can by TV episodes legitimately now and movies will follow from all the major vendors eventually. The future for the Internet is more services and products yet ISP's are doing everything they can to curtail our usage. They're putting traffic lights or toll roads down now and we shouldn't let it happen now that we have an opportunity to stop them. If we don't they'll become standardized and we'll never be able to lift them. It's just another form of control and\or taxation. They market this whole strategy as going after the illegal downloaders or whatever, but we know it's an excuse to nickle and dime us? If they do get rid of the illegal downloaders do we really believe they'll remove traffic shaping or the cap system? Please.
            Rude Union
          • Download caps and penalties

            Forgot to add, I signed-up years ago under the "unlimited internet" sales pitch. Why are they allowed to makes changes to our service without our consent? I can understand implementing it on new accounts, but they indiscriminately change everyone's as they see fit. Next year it'll be another little change the the year afterward another. My area has two major ISP's who, interestingly enough, are rolling-out the same service reductions policies at the same time. You would expect when one company angers customers then their competitors benefit. Not in this case, they're obviously working together. So what's the solution this time? Do we have to wait years till there's an internal scandal before this is revealed?
            Rude Union
          • Did you honestly...

            Did you seriously just say "get another ISP"? Can anyone possibly be that stupid? Never thought so until today.

            THERE ARE NO OTHER ISPs, YOU IDIOT! Time Warner or nothing that doesn't crawl. And pretty much all ISPs, even the insanely slow ones, won't let you run a server.

            It's people like you who also argue against allowing competition.

            Not flaming (at least intentionally), just very, very angry. More at the situation than you.
            ZDNET_guest666
          • I love my ISP...

            They actually told us we CAN run servers now, we weren't allowed to before, it was against our TOS! :)

            It may not be the fastest connection but I can run my FTP server w/o worry of having my connection clipped for violation of TOS.

            ....Now if only FIOS was available in my area ;-)
            devlin_X