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Researcher's Tool Catches Net Neutrality Cheaters 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the why-so-slow? dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas Wednesday, researcher Dan Kaminsky announced he will release a free software tool for detecting when an Internet service provider is artificially slowing down or speeding up traffic to and from a website, a tool he is calling N00ter, or 'neutral router.' N00ter functions like a VPN, routing traffic through a proxy and disguising its source and destination. But instead of encrypting the traffic in both directions as VPNs do, it instead spoofs the traffic from a Web site to a user to make it seem to be coming from any Web site that the user wants to test. That traffic can be compared with a normal connection to the N00ter server without a spoofed IP address, to spot any artificial changes in speed."
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Researcher's Tool Catches Net Neutrality Cheaters

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  • Very cool tool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04, 2011 @08:11AM (#36984116)

    Now if only, instead of asking the violent State to force ISPs to maintain a transparent internet, these people would form a voluntary 'Association of Net Neutral ISPs' so that people can vote with their money.

    • I agree. If implemented, I could see ISP's trying to distance themselves from throttling. The only problem is, you need a sizable group of consumers to actively participate in order to have enough "teeth" to give the ISP's a metaphorical bite to the rear.
      • by gx5000 (863863)
        I can see a lot of us jumping in, Bell and Rogers should take note.
      • Re:Very cool tool (Score:4, Insightful)

        by GooberToo (74388) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @09:41AM (#36984946)

        There is a difference between throttling (which absolutely is net neutral) and throttling to a specific website (which is not net neutral). I point this out because without fail, people here always conflate the two and mistakenly believe all throttling is both bad and non-neutral.

        • by d3ac0n (715594)

          I don't know if people are really conflating the two.

          I think it's completely non-conflationary to state that general throttling is just plain bad. However I would agree that it is conflationary to state that generalized non-specific throttling is non-neutral. It certainly is neutral, but it's still very very bad.

          • by GooberToo (74388)

            You just invalidated your argument. There is nothing inherently bad about throttling. This is called quality of service (or QoS). The fact you purposely conflate the two after immediately being told this is a common problem pretty much invalidates your argument as it confirms you have no knowledge of the things you pretend to argue.

            • Re:Very cool tool (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:09AM (#36985966)

              There is a great deal that is "inherently bad" about throttling. It adds complexity and phase delay to all network traffic, it often creates new single points of failure to force the traffic through the relevant "traffic shaping" device, and it's quite expensive to implement in hardware and to maintain.

              Its actual use is often to protect over-committed networks from actually providing the paid for connectivity to all customers. It's often badly implemented and interferes with latency sensitive traffic such as the very games and video for which customers pay high bandwidth prices, And it's often tied to routing manipulation, where the BGP tables of the routers are manipulated to channel traffic through the less expensive but poorly connected routes owned by your local carrier, degrading overall connectivity, and to channel traffic through the traffic shaping servers themselves. The results are chaotic for customers.

              • Re:Very cool tool (Score:4, Informative)

                by NeverVotedBush (1041088) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:18AM (#36986102)
                No. It doesn't mean a network is overcommitted. It may be overcommitted if everyone goes as fast as they possibly can with no throttling, but if you have tiered service then you need to make sure that people who don't pay for the bandwidth don't take away from the people who do.

                You can't hang your argument on saying because it is badly implemented by some, it is bad by default.
                • That was only one factor of my analysis. The additional phase lag and expense and necessity of channeling traffic to those bandwidth throttlers are other such factors. The overcommitted factor is why companies pay the money to use it: it's often cheaper to buy a bandwidth throttler than it is to build out bandwidth infrastructure.

              • by GooberToo (74388)

                There is a great deal that is "inherently bad" about throttling.

                You keep saying that but its simply not true. Saying it repeatedly only means you like to repeat yourself - it doesn't validate your argument. Throttling is commonly used to ensure QoS. For the vast majority of people it means ensuring they get what they paid for.

                So please, tell us how QoS is bad.

                Basically your entire argument boils down to, some minority do it poorly therefore it is all bad. If your insanely stupid logic, because some criminals do insanely bad things, you are one evil, twisted, demented mo

                • To use your own logic: you keep saying that bandiwidth throttling is QoS. Saying it only meanss you like to repeat yourself. It doesn't validate your argument.

                  From observation and discussion with ISP's about the bnadwidh shaping for commercial traffic: this is not to protect the consumers from that customer's own traffic interfering with bandwidth sensitive applications, but to manage the costs to the ISP's of strenuous bandwidth use in application slike P2P and gaming that can easily saturate the limited r

          • Neutral throttling is definitely NOT bad. It's a way to guarantee service levels to your subscribers by not allowing one person to saturate your bandwidth.

            If you limit everyone to some max speed (as long as that is disclosed as their service level) then nobody can basically take over the network or at least load it to the point that others suffer.

            In practice it takes a number of people all maxing out their connections to soak it all up, but that's the idea. Some throttling, as long as it is not used t
    • Re:Very cool tool (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreakNO@SPAMeircom.net> on Thursday August 04, 2011 @08:24AM (#36984202) Homepage Journal

      And where will these Neutral ISPs get all their bandwidth? Why, from the big telcos, and we're back to square one.

      You can believe whatever you want to about "violent states", but I believe that strict regulation with competition provides the best service. Letting private companies do what they like provides only chicancery, poorer services, and ultimately the collapse or failure of the entire system.

      The "violent state" needs to step in and tell the Big Telcos how high to jump. If they object, they can simply surrender their operating licences and go home, and the government can take their assets into custodianship in the national interest. This is a responsible way to run an essential public utility and not dissimilar to the way banks are run--in the US at least.

      • One problem with your assessment, ObsessiveMathsFreak, the majority of those big telcos are also ISP's, so they to would be set to the same standards. While I see the merit in what you are saying about government regulations, do you have any idea the outcry that would happen if the government (especially in the case of the US) tried to take over a private enterprise (various ISP's and/or Telcos) and turn it into another state funded bureaucracy. I suspect any such actions by the government would likely go
        • One problem with your assessment, ObsessiveMathsFreak, the majority of those big telcos are also ISP's, so they to would be set to the same standards.

          Making it even more difficult is that telcos see the usage of their mobile services change significantly from calls and SMS's to data usage, effectively changing them into ISP's. In The Netherlands we've gotten 'net neutrality' legislation because of the telcos. The problem is that they don't want to be seen as ISP's (in their smart phone business) but prefer to continue to charge for separate items (like a Skype conversation or a bundle with certain apps) and also would like content deliverers (say Youtube

        • by spazdor (902907)

          do you have any idea the outcry that would happen if the government (especially in the case of the US) tried to take over a private enterprise (various ISP's and/or Telcos) and turn it into another state funded bureaucracy.

          Actually, I think you just described exactly how the incumbent big telcos came into being. None of them were self-built, they were all the beneficiaries of massive state funding, not to mention right-of-way favours that only the state could grant. To turn around and treat them as if they're now a completely private enterprise which owes the public nothing is absurd.

      • Re:Very cool tool (Score:5, Informative)

        by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @09:23AM (#36984778) Homepage

        With telecom, the libertarian solution simply doesn't work.

        Basic micro-econ depends on the idea that if the price of a good goes too high, more sellers enter the market to take advantage of the higher profits, which lowers the price due to competition, so the price returns to equilibrium. Equally important, if the price goes too high, buyers get priced out of the market and stop buying the service.

        However, with telecom, new sellers can't enter the market without regulations to support them. A new seller in the telecom market will not be able to get in - any established competitor (call them BS&S) won't make peering agreements at reasonable costs (because the value of the peering agreement is much greater to the newcomer than BS&S), which means any customers of the new guy won't be able to reach the vast majority of people with phones, which means nobody will become a customer, so the newcomer quickly goes out of business. Therefore, the government adds in a regulation requiring peering agreements at the cost of setting up the pipe between the peers. But now the newcomer has to get a signal from their switches to the customer, which means they have to either run lines to all of its customers (while BS&S can use the lines already there), or lease access to the lines from BS&S, who will charge a high enough price that the newcomer can't offer a lower price than BS&S, so the newcomer can't get any customers and goes out of business. So the government adds another regulation requiring BS&S to lease line access at cost.

        And you also have a situation where BS&S refuses to serve rural customers, or charge ridiculous prices to do so, because it's much more expensive to run a line out to them. The rural citizens complain that it's unfair that they have to pay $300 a month for phone service while city folk get it for $30. So the government adds another regulation saying that all competitors must sell the same service to all customers at the same price. But that means that the newcomer who's trying to enter the market by undercutting BS&S on price can't manage in a rural area because the cost of getting to the more remote customers is too high to make anything on it. So now the government has to differentiate between competitors who are required to serve rural customers at the same price as city folk from competitors that don't because they're newcomers.

        And the story continues, but the point is that governments don't just write regulations for the heck of it, and most of the telecom regulations exist for a reason.

        • Stop being so levelheaded. Libertarians understand full well that privatizing limited resources will work just fine. I was going to level the entire state of MA and make it multiple different private highways, so that YOU the consumer have a choice. Don't go against the grain here. Anybody could enter the telcom market, all they have to do is be innovative. How about wires held in place by a fleet of helicopters? You never thought of that!

          LOL.. in other words, this level headed post of yours should make s
        • Actually, the libertarian solution would work just fine. It just wouldn't necessarily give the result that you wish you could impose by force.
          If that's a "failure" then it's simply your failure to deal with reality as it is, instead of as you wish it could be, if you could impose your wishes by force.

          Yes, telcos have a massive investment in infrastructure, so new providers are at a disadvantage. Using the force of government to try to change that costs everybody more.

          Yes, rural customers pay more, because i

          • If that's a "failure" then it's simply your failure to deal with reality as it is, instead of as you wish it could be, if you could impose your wishes by force.

            You seem to have redefined reality to exclude use of force. I think you meant that use of force to prevent monopolization is unethical, rather than unreal. A consequentialist argument for this position would be inconsistent with a historical examination of actual monopolies in practice. A deontological argument would propose that the monopoly has a right not to have violence done to it, or society has a duty not to perform violence. Proposing such a right or duty would require supporting proof.

            A right m

            • You seem to have redefined reality to make it possible to use force to achieve your desired goals without having to suffer the economic and political consequences.

              You can declare all the "legal rights" you want, and the Supreme Court might even agree with you, but that does not eliminate the economic cost of those "rights". There is no such thing as a free lunch. Pretending that it is "fair" or "better" to tax some to pay for free lunches for others does not make it so.

              • There's a difference between identifying externalities, and making a cost/benefit analysis, versus declaring that since externalities may exist, whole domains of human behavior are inherently illegitimate.

          • If we were starting this from scratch. But we're not. We have an existing system that includes various monopolies and duopolies all over the country. These ensure that basic free market principles won't work to their fullest, leaving ISPs free to abuse their customers.

            The government has also already given hundreds of billions in considerations to the existing companies to build their infrastructure, an advantage new competition won't get, especially if we suddenly go free market.

            • So the use of government force (taxing some to give "considerations" to others) justifies the further use of government force (to preserve the monopoly of those others), and we all end up paying for it.

              • The use of government force (taxing some to give "considerations" to others) does not justify the further use of government force on others (again taxing some to give "considerations" to others) in order to counter the monopoly. Artificially pumping up competition on taxpayer dollars is wrong.

                ALL monopolies eventually fail unless they are perpetually mandated by law as such. Even the Standard Oil monopoly was already starting to crack under market pressures, its market share having shrunk drastically from i

                • Unfortunately, due to regulatory capture, it is much more likely that further regulation will end up benefiting the monopolists rather than their competitors.

          • by spazdor (902907)

            Actually, the libertarian solution would work just fine. It just wouldn't necessarily give the result that you wish you could impose by force.
            If that's a "failure" then it's simply your failure to deal with reality as it is, instead of as you wish it could be, if you could impose your wishes by force.

            This works equally well as an argument for legalizing murder. If the free market doesn't naturally give rise to a world where murders don't happen, well, tough shit! That's not a "failure", it's simply your failure to deal with a reality where it's most efficient for some people to get shanked!

            • No it does not work at all. Murder is not an economic transaction. Not even if you pay somebody else to do it.

              • by spazdor (902907)

                The point being, you are putting the cart before the horse by suggesting that "it wouldn't necessarily give the result you wish" is, normatively speaking, "just fine". It's almost as if you think that whatever the result of a libertarian policy would be, that's the best possible result by virtue of it having arisen from a libertarian policy!

                That's not good enough. You actually have to show why that would be good for people. The pro-neutrality people have done quite a lot of work to show why their solution w

                • Your "net neutrality people" have shown only that their idealistic solution is "good" according to their own idealistic assumptions. History is full of examples where government regulation, no matter how well-intentioned, has not given the desired results.

                  Individuals differ in their opinions of what is good for themselves.
                  I say let them seek that which is good for themselves, by their own understanding.
                  I am always in favor of liberty, especially when it is not "convenient" for those who would rule over me.

                  • by spazdor (902907)

                    Then put your money where your mouth is and argue against the criminalization of murder. If murder is truly bad, then deregulating it should cause it to happen less, and if deregulating murder doesn't make it happen less, it can't have been bad because, evidently, people have decided for themselves that it isn't!

                    • Since murder is not an economic transaction, you are simply being incoherent.

                    • by spazdor (902907)

                      Why is the property of being or not being an economic transaction relevant to the question of what is normatively good for people?

                    • Why are you trying to conflate criminal acts like murder with free economic transactions between consenting individuals?

                    • by spazdor (902907)

                      Characterizing murder as a criminal act is one of those "idealistic assumptions" you referred to up there [slashdot.org]. I happen to think it's a pretty good assumption, but I also happen to think there's good cause to "idealistically assume" that a telecom industry which doesn't admit new providers is bad for consumers.

                      If you disagree, cool. Explain why. But you have to do better than "it's good because that's what'll happen if we back off and let it happen." Because lots of things will happen if we back off and let the

                    • I think that your assumption that the telecom industry would be able to refuse admission to new providers in the absence of government regulation is historically invalid. It takes government power to sustain a monopoly.

                      As for your claim about crime, I suggest that you look into the crime rates in areas where *guns* have been deregulated (aka concealed carry).

                    • by spazdor (902907)

                      That is a radically different claim from the one you made before. First your position was that deregulation is good whether it creates the desired result or not, and now you've switched to the position that deregulation just won't lead to a deficit of diversity, because of - i'm assuming - some sort of analogy to other industries where deregulation hasn't killed diversity.

                      The problem is, the comment you were responding to in the first place was a pretty cogent explanation of exactly why telecommunications i [slashdot.org]

                • I was going to respond to Freddybear, but you've done it for me well and succicntly. Thanks!

        • These are some of the important reasons why, as an essential service, the telecommunications grid needs to be nationalized. Imagine if roads or water pipes were similarly managed by private companies...
        • Guess what, it costs him more money to drive to the store, too.

          You accept certain built-in costs when you move somewhere. Those in the city have higher property costs, but stores are closer and there's easier availability of fast Interent and other services.

          Those out in the boonies pay much less for their property, and that's because it's so far away from those services and locations. By asking for Internet at the same price, they're trying to have their cake and eat it too. They paid less for their propert

      • The "violent state" needs to step in and tell the Big Telcos how high to jump... This is a responsible way to run an essential public utility and not dissimilar to the way banks are run--in the US at least.

        I see, so in the US the government tells banks how high to jump? It doesn't seem that way to me.

    • these people would form a voluntary 'Association of Net Neutral ISPs'

      Voluntary self-regulation only works until the participants decide it's in their self interest to no longer participate. State intervention isn't a great idea either, but someone needs to look after the people/consumers and I'm afraid business & government will each server their own interests (or that of their lobbyists) when implementing some sort of regulation.

      • Like the unlimited bandwidth on wireless carriers. At first, AT&T cuts an unlimited plan, and everybody says, well thank god for the free market, we'll just switch. Then Verizon does it.. and people start going to the next carrier. But once the little guys noticed the big guys do it (and they did it for a reason), everybody in the market can say.. well gee, we won't lose any customers over this, since nobody offers it any more. And then unlimited bandwidth disappears as if it never existed, and consumer
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      I'd love to see how the ISPs could lay their wire and cable without a "violent state".

    • It's difficult to tell whether libertarians are woefully naive, have never met an actual human being, or are just trolling. When it's an anonymous coward, my bet goes on the third option.
      • No, Libertarians (I'm one) know full well that the law of unintended consequences happens, and that when government gets involved, it just opens up to legal restrictions to competition. We call them barriers.

        Legislating Net Neutrality WILL cause problems, and the Telcos will figure ways around it, and you'll have to keep legislating additional terms and restrictions, at which time the Telco's will build in all their own exemptions into the law, so it won't matter anyways.And you'll end up where Telcos buy t

    • This could work if we could actually vote with our money. Sadly, we cannot. No, not even in countries where there's more than one ISP available.

      You currently have a perfect example right over in Europe. Austria, to be more exact. Austria boasts a huge number of mobile providers for such a small country (IIRC they have 4 mobile carriers), and a rather broad selection of ISPs (pretty much at least 3 ISPs anywhere, plus some more in towns). It should be the place where voting with your money should be easily p

    • by Rewind (138843)
      In most areas people can hardly "vote with their money" on internet providers already due to monopolies. I hardly see how this tool changes that. Also where do you live with your "violent State"?
      • Everyone lives under a violent State. It's just a matter of how violent the state is. This is the case simply because every State has the implicit threat of violence (physical or financial) to keep everyone following the laws.
        • Private companies threaten financial violence to keep everyone following the rules. For example Valve will wipe out your Steam library if you ever deny any charge they make to your credit card. Paypal will lock your account if...well, if they damn well please. Cellular providers (pretty much all of them in the US) threaten massive fees if you tether your phone to another device. How is this different? Sure you can opt out, but you can opt out of government too. Move to Somalia.

          • Your suggestion for living without government violence is to move to Somalia? Do you know w hat the government of Somalia is like??
            • Weak to practically nonexistant, with control over only a portion of the capital?

              You aren't talking about the warlords are you? 'Cuz those are good free-market warlords.

    • You know who wouldn't join that association? Any of the big ISPs.

    • by morgauxo (974071)
      You give far too much credit to the consumers to think that will work. More likely, the majority will pay no attention to such tools and when a service they want to use runs slow they will blame the service and be happy to buy the monopoly service which is backed by their local broadband provider instead. Net neutrality translated to norm-speak is tl;dr.
  • The big blue ISP here in Canada throttles encrypted VPN traffic.. under the guise that p2p users use encrypted traffic to get around their DPI traffic shaping. So I wonder if this will work for us. I'll admit i didnt read TFA, as I was warned it was ad-laden, and I get cranky in the morning.
    • How do they tell "encrypted VPN traffic" from SSL web traffic? Anything unreadable that isn't on port 443?

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        anything that isn't plain youtube http's or on a white list.

        for most normal users, they'll get away with it and the users will blame the other end's connection, not theirs, since youtube and bbc.co.uk and such load up fast.

        you make the assumption that they wouldn't throttle ssl web traffic, whilst it's more probable that they indeed do, banking etc isn't affected badly - you can do that on a dial up anyways and it doesn't involve moving around large files.

        i'm pretty sceptical about the technique in the arti

      • by neokushan (932374)

        What makes you so sure they bother to differentiate between the two?

        • I'm not sure they do, I just wonder if they hamper one of the most common and legitimate types of network traffic as a side-effect of slowing down those pesky file sharers so they can oversell harder.

          • Most people don't use HTTPS much. They'll get a few plain-text pages over HTTPS, nothing more. If you only throttled encrypted connections after the first 100KB, most users would not notice any difference.
      • by mikael (484)

        I'd imagine they could filter for non-ASCII content - our local ISP does some funny business with viewing webpages in that ASCII text webpage and linked scripts willl download first while images will take ages.

        Wonder what happens if you try and use uuencode/uudecode to send data - would it be faster or slower than the equivalent binary data transmission?

        • There's no way they could do that with encrypted traffic, it would all look like garbage. But I guess they could discriminate by where it's going.

          If uuencode is like b64 then the encoded files would be bigger.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Sure it will work, but you already know that your traffic is being shaped against your will. You don't need a tool.

    • by moozh84 (919301)
      While it's true that Canadian ISPs already blatantly throttle whatever they want, they try to describe their throttling practices in such a way that doesn't inflame the masses to force more strict regulation. Not enough people care about VPN to make a stink. However, if we can catch them throttling other traffic, like Rogers was caught throttling World of Warcraft traffic (and claimed innocence through ignorance), it could make a lot of people angry. All they need is to get caught throttling something po
  • by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday August 04, 2011 @08:44AM (#36984350)

    I thought he had designed something to check for changes in window sizes or dropped ack packets. It sounds like he is doing a side by side comparison of traffic rates with the first router after the ISP being the n00ter. It would be nice to have a link to a project page.

    • by Intron (870560)

      I think he compares latency and dropped packets based on whether the source IP in the packet is A or B with everything else unchanged. If they're different, then it is not neutral.

      • by sgt scrub (869860)

        I guess it is possible; but, I couldn't see an ISP using anything but transparent proxies. They would have to be pretty jenky not to. That and the assumption they are not NAT'ing further up would mean there wouldn't be any type of destination change. L7 packet shaping devices like packeteer are more commonly used. ie. Detect TOS then use leaky bucket or some other algo to determine whether it should drop an ack packet or fake a change in window size request. Shane Alcock's ProtoIdent (libtrace) is pre

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Say Google is 50ms slower than Bing. Is this because of the ISP, or the routers and myriad server and path differentials between the ISP and Google, vs. the ISP and Bing? Can't tell, it's all conflated. We have to normalize the connection between the two sites, to measure if the ISP is using policy to alter QoS. Here's how we do this with n00ter.

      Start with a VPN, that creates an encrypted link from a Client to a broker/concentrator. An IP at the Broker talks plaintext with Google and Bing, who replies

    • by mikael (484)

      It's a simple thing to do. Many websites offer lists of "proxy servers" - though some seem to be a bit iffy as they seem to be client-end cable-TV broadband addresses. It's easy enough to write a script to extract the IP addresses and ports though, then you can use 'wget' in conjunction with "http_proxy" to set up the proxy server download request.

      There's a cool little web counter link called "Flag Counter" that allows you to see the countries that have visitor your webpage - they show the number of visitor

  • And if its the target who is shaping?
    I was playing certain MMORPG and at some times it would start to lag like hell. I would then ask on chat if it happens to someone else and turns out that it does for some, for others not. If I would try other game, then it would be fine. Proof for this is existance of services like http://www.lowerping.com/about-lowerping.php [lowerping.com] with offer you VPN that should actually LOWER your latency. Never really did try that tho.

    • by Sique (173459)

      That's exactly what N00ter tries to find out: Who's throttling my traffic? If the N00ter doesn't find any ISP-dependant variance in speed then the site itself might be to blame.

    • by moozh84 (919301)

      And if its the target who is shaping? I was playing certain MMORPG and at some times it would start to lag like hell. I would then ask on chat if it happens to someone else and turns out that it does for some, for others not. If I would try other game, then it would be fine. Proof for this is existance of services like http://www.lowerping.com/about-lowerping.php [lowerping.com] with offer you VPN that should actually LOWER your latency. Never really did try that tho.

      Don't confuse server lag and capacity limitations with throttling. Lowerping services have nothing to do with throttling. A lowerping service will create an encrypted tunnel between you and a physical location near your destination server, so it gets there faster. Encrypted traffic has a higher priority on the Internet. So the result is that even though you are bouncing off a proxy, you will still get a lower ping. Any server can limit your connection speed or prioritize whatever traffic it wants to in

  • Am I the only male here irrationally uncomfortable with the term "N00ter"?
  • by Intron (870560) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @09:27AM (#36984810)

    has designed that oversight to tough to escape.

    I think the ISP must be scrambling the words from this web page.

  • Be careful not to misinterpret the readings if you have Comcast. Chances are that you may have the PowerBoost feature they provide.

    http://www.dslreports.com/faq/14520 [dslreports.com]

    • I tried to turn off PowerBoost to help with setting QoS, they wouldn't let me. That is one of the dumbest "features" I've heard of.

      • *shrug* It helps with the pre-buffering of streaming video. For example, Netflix and Youtube. YMMV.

        • No, it screws up streaming video that is VBR, like Netflix. Netflix sets the VBR based on the speed it sees at the beginning. Then, once PowerBoost is over, Netflix has to lower the VBR. I would much rather it detect the proper speed of my connection instead of a false higher reading.

          The main point, though, is that while you want it on & I want it off, Comcast forces your preference on me.

  • This is what we need! well maybe not this tool specifically but something to get an overview of where ISPs put all that bandwidth they buy.

    A couple years ago (in Canada) we faced a bunch of ISPs trying to jack up profits by cutting user speed. They claimed it would provide better service but obviously never described precisely what would improve... pings? Low bandwidth services? Throughput? Cached Transfers? It was never quite clear what "improvement" we'd see if we agreed to start paying per gig. The tru

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