dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
    All FAQs Site FAQ DSL FAQ Cable Tech About DSL Distance DSL Hurdles »»
spc

spacer




how-to block ads



This Section

Some basic information for the SmokePing tool:

Update/News

The status at August 2014 is that there are three smoke ping servers running. The one in California had a couple of different issues recently and these have been corrected.

What does SmokePing do?

SmokePing generates graphs that can reveal the quality (packet loss and latency variability) & reachability of your IP address from several geographically distributed locations.

What hosts will ping me?

The smoke ping servers, and their IPs, are listed at the bottom of the results page.

Why is low jitter and zero packet loss important?

Communications over the internet are built with layers of increasing complexity, and one of the lowest layers is how quickly and reliably IP data packets are transmitted and received. If this layer performs poorly then everything else is affected: Speed drops, web pages mysteriously hang, programs disconnect, audio video and voice quality suffers and so on.

Ok I'm sold, what do I do?

If you want to do a quick check of the quality of an IP address, then simply elect to have smokeping monitor it closely for 24 hours, (or more, if you are a registered user of the site).

The main result page for an IP you are monitoring shows an overview graph for each monitoring station. At the moment, there are three stations. The red line on the graph represents the average ping time over the time period. The graphs scroll to the left, with new data appearing on the right.

If you click any individual monitoring station (click the graph or the navigation links to the left), you are able to see the ping plot in more detail. In particular, the color of the line segments (color key at the bottom of the graph) indicates overall packet loss. "Smoke" indicates variability of latency (ping time) at that instant. The more variability, the more "smoke" that appears around the colored line segment.

Because our implementation of SmokePing uses large ping packet sizes, and each data point on the graph is not just a single measurement, but many pings, the graph is more sensitive than normal ping plotting programs and will uncover latency variability or loss that may only show up when the line is under fairly heavy use.

The three monitoring stations are independent from each other so they will also confirm a problem as yours if they all show the same suspicious data (excessive smoke, a rise in average ping time or actual packet loss) at the same time. If just ONE out of three monitoring stations shows a problem, then you can discount it.

What should I hope to see?

Here is an example of a nice stable connection NEAR to a monitoring station. Although there is "smoke," there is no packet loss, and the smoke is only +/- a few milliseconds. (Click thumbnail for full size.)

Click for full size

Here is an example of the same connection from the other side of the country. Notice that since the ping time is much higher, the variability (smoke) is almost invisible. (Click thumbnail for full size.)
Click for full size

(Screenshots of different kinds of bad connections will be posted here soon.)

When viewing the results, please keep in mind that your IP may be very near to one of the stations and much further away from the other two. The graphs auto-scale, so "smoke" shown on an X scale composed of just a few ms top to bottom is far less interesting than smoke shown on a scale of 100ms! Packet loss, (line segments that are not green) on any scale, is always interesting!

You can also visit the SmokePing home page where there is another description of how to interpret SmokePing data: reading smokeping graphs.



Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • I can provide a screenshot of what is should NOT look like

    2012-12-09 19:14:10 (ciremg01 See Profile)

  • Thank you for these tools. Previously I relied on my sales guys telling me our T1 was down and reporting it to Earthlink/Verizon since they don't seem to do anything unless I complain. Now I can send them a daily email with the Smoke Ping report link on how poor their service is. Thank you, thank you, thank you...

    2012-09-28 09:51:36 (James455 See Profile)

  • I was curious to see exactly where the three servers listed under "What hosts will ping me?" are located. Apparently 74.208.229.54 (US, Kansas) is really in Wayne, PA, not Kansas. http://cqcounter.com/whois/ 74.208.229.54 - Geo Information IP Address 74.208.229.54 Host u15150124.onlinehome-server.com Location US US, United States City Wayne, PA 19087 Organization 1&1 Internet ISP 1&1 Internet AS Number AS8560 1&1 Internet AG Latitude 4005'48" North Longitude 7540'83" West Distance 7722.84 km (4798.75 miles) 64.81.79.41 - Geo Information IP Address 64.81.79.41 Host dslreports-west2.speakeasy.net Location US US, United States City Fremont, CA 94539 Organization Speakeasy ISP Speakeasy AS Number AS23504 Speakeasy, Inc. Latitude 3751'55" North Longitude 12189'62" West Distance 10427.96 km (6479.64 miles) 216.254.95.41 - Geo Information IP Address 216.254.95.41 Host dslr-ny2.dslreports.com Location US US, United States City New York, NY 10004 Organization Speakeasy ISP Speakeasy AS Number AS18566 Covad Communications Co. Latitude 4068'88" North Longitude 7402'03" West Distance 7587.01 km (4714.35 miles) Thanks for including the tool. As a 'semi-geek' I'd appreciate some input on 'acceptable' Median Ping RTT and Packet Loss. baumgrenze

    2012-03-08 12:45:57 (baumgrenze See Profile)

  • If smoke ping is working over several days and my dynamic IP address changes, which is often the case with disconnects, does that mean smoke ping will be pinging the wrong IP address? It would make more sense to allow smoke ping of a DNS address.

    2011-08-13 10:26:06



Expand got feedback?