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Test Your ISP's Traffic Shaping With ShaperProbe
Georgia Tech: Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable top Shapers
by Karl Bode 01:18PM Wednesday May 25 2011 Tipped by FactChecker See Profile
Nate Anderson at Ars Technica directs our attention to a tool out of Georgia Tech dubbed ShaperProbe, which detects and identifies the kind of traffic shaping being employed by your ISP. The results (pdf) of the tool's findings from the last few years are rather interesting, collected after the researchers ran 1 million trial runs from 5,700 ISPs. Researchers Partha Kanuparthy and Constantine Dovrolis noting that Comcast, Road Runner (Time Warner Cable), and Cox all use downstream shaping—but only Comcast and Cox also use upstream shaping. The study found that neither AT&T or Verizon shape upstream or downstream traffic. As we noted in detail, after Comcast was busted for blunt force upstream throttling, the company shifted to a throttling system that only targets the most congested users on the most congested nodes. Note that Comcast's "Powerboost" technology (which provides a small burst of speed when downloading large files) is also included in these results. Interested users can test their own connection here (oddly they note they're still working on a Windows 7 version).

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reply to BHNtechXpert

Re: Shaping Happens

I don't understand the complaint about PowerBoost technology in itself.

It's helpful in some cases -- faster initial buffering of audio/video, etc & downloading small files.

And there's really no negative -- you still get your provisioned rate after PowerBoost is over.

The only thing I'd like to see changed is a more clear advertising of their actual rates, and PowerBoost rates.