How can I test the speed of my Bigleaf service?

The speed, also called bandwidth or throughput, of your Bigleaf service can be tested in a couple ways. One way is to simply use an online speed test site. Another is to initiate an iPerf test to a remote iPerf server.
Most web-based speed tests use multiple TCP sessions. If a site has multiple WAN circuits with similar throughput (within 50% of each other) test sessions will generally be load-balanced across the similar circuits. This can sometimes result in unexpected speed test results:
  • The tests may report the speed of one of the slower circuits at the site if all the test sessions are load-balanced onto that slower circuit.

  • The test may report the speed of the fastest circuit at the site (generally expected behavior) if all sessions are load-balanced onto that fastest circuit.

  • The test may report a speed faster than the fastest circuit at the site if sessions are load-balanced across multiple circuits.
To confirm the speed of a single WAN circuit you can unplug all circuits other than the circuit under test.
Keep in mind that speed test websites are not always the most reliable way to test throughput. A better option is to initiate an iPerf test over the system, connecting to a remote iPerf server. To do so, you'll need to plug a computer into the LAN port of the Bigleaf router and run an iPerf test in each direction to get upload and download results.
Whether using iPerf or a speed test website, it is important to keep a few things in mind when interpreting the results:
  • The Bigleaf system uses about 7% of a circuit's throughput for tunnel overhead. In addition, other inefficiencies due to path delay or session header overhead can affect measurements. If a speed test shows 90% or more of possible throughput, that's generally indicative of a healthy connection.

  • Any background traffic must be accounted for when running a speed test. A 10 Mbps circuit will only show a speed test result of around 4 to 4.5 Mbps if there's already 5 Mbps of traffic on it. The best way to run speed tests is with the testing device (e.g. laptop) plugged directly into the LAN interface of the Bigleaf router, eliminating any background traffic.

  • The Bigleaf system adjusts the rate of each circuit when it detects symptoms of saturation, which can result in lower speed test results. To ensure you're seeing accurate results, you should run each speed test a few times.

Please feel free to reach out to Bigleaf's Technical Support team for any questions or assistance with your speed testing efforts.

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