Author Topic: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?  (Read 9410 times)

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Offline .Griff.

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What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« on: Oct 23, 2011, 17:08:23 »
The TBBQM to use it's short name is a "Broadband Quality Monitor" developed and operated by thinkbroadband.com.

It is essentially a simple latency and packet loss monitor which by pinging your router records the data and extrapolates it into a graph.

A typical graph over a 24 hour period will look something like this -



The green indicates the minimum recorded latency and on a stable connection this should be flat and smooth. The blue and yellow plots represent average and maximum latency respectively and it's normal for "spikes" to appear when the internet is in use. For example downloading large files, watching videos on Youtube or general web-browsing can all result in spikes on the graph. You may also see spikes at times when the internet is not in use but as long as the spikes are fairly small this is perfectly normal.

If your router does not reply to a ping request, for example your connection has dropped, there is a fault, and/or the backhaul is extremely saturated then you may see packet loss (also known as dropped packets) indicated at the top of the graph in red. The lower the red spike descends the more packets have been lost.

Why is a TBBQM useful for me?

In my opinion the TBBQM can be an extremely useful tool in diagnosing potential faults and problems with your internet connection. For example if your connection dropped for 10 minutes, indicated by 100% packet loss for that period, then you may be wondering what the issue was but if other IDNet customers have a TBBQM in place and their respective graphs show the same packetloss at the same time then you can be confident it was a network issue and nothing specific to your connection. Conversely if your TBBQM shows an issue but other users don't then that suggest a localised issue.

The TBBQM can also be useful in showing changes in the level of interleaving, re-syncs, and congestion.

Example Graphs

Multiple resyncs



Multiple line drops lasting from 5 - 15 minutes caused by fault on line



Drop in level of interleaving/Switch to fastpath



(In this example you can see the connection drop immediately before the change in minimum latency. This is caused by the DLM forcing a resync to apply the changes)

Increase in the level of interleaving



(Again in this example you can see a resync immediately before the level of interleaving is increased)

Downloading large file



(At approximately 7.30pm you can see a large spike with a distinct increase in average latency lasting roughly 15 minutes. This is associated with downloading a large file and/or heavy bandwidth use)

P2P/Torrents



(The left hand side of this graph clearly indicates heavy P2P use, most often caused by using Torrents. The dramatic increased in average latency is caused by the connection uploading data over an extended period)

Congestion



A lot of people mistake interleaving changes as congestion but this graph perfectly demonstrates a congested network. Namely the time, it starts and increases when people are arriving home from work and school and jump onto the internet, and the gradual increase in minimum latency as times progresses. Compare that to the instant latency change associated with interleaving changes)

How do I setup a TBBQM?

Click on this link and follow the simple set of instructions -

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/monitors/create.html

If you don't already have an account on thinkbroadband you will need to create one then my link will take you directly to the TBBQM.

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/register.html
« Last Edit: Oct 23, 2011, 20:30:13 by Steve »

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Offline .Griff.

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 23, 2011, 17:10:26 »
I've written this as a rough guide to help people understand what a thinkbroadband quality monitor is and why it has it's uses. Hopefully it's of sufficient use to form part of the "Common issues, how to deal with them, how to get advice quickly" FAQ?!?

If anyone has any TBBQM graphs showing any of the usual issues I've not covered feel free to send them to me and I'll update the post.


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Offline Rik

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 23, 2011, 17:11:05 »
Stickied... :thumb:
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This post reflects my own views, opinions and experience, not those of IDNet.

Offline Ray

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 23, 2011, 17:13:05 »
Excellent post, Griff, very useful information. :thumb: :karma:
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Offline .Griff.

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 23, 2011, 17:25:22 »
Cheers Rik and Ray  :)

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Offline Steve

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 23, 2011, 17:27:04 »
 :thumb:
Steve
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This post reflects my own views, opinions and experience, not those of IDNet.

Offline Lona

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 23, 2011, 17:49:02 »
I can't remember my user name or password :dunno:

Would this slow down your connection by running it in the background, Griff.?


If one took the Scots out of the world, it would fall apart
Dr. Louis B Wright, Washington DC, National Geographic (1964), from Donald MacDonald, Edinburgh :thumb:

Offline .Griff.

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 23, 2011, 17:51:49 »
Would this slow down your connection by running it in the background, Griff.?

Not in the slightest Lona. I and plenty of other IDNet users have been using it for over a year and I've not seen a single person have any negative comments to make about it.

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Offline Rik

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 23, 2011, 17:52:24 »
Except Ian Livingstone. ;)
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Offline Lona

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #9 on: Oct 23, 2011, 18:47:33 »
Except Ian Livingstone. ;)

Who's he?


If one took the Scots out of the world, it would fall apart
Dr. Louis B Wright, Washington DC, National Geographic (1964), from Donald MacDonald, Edinburgh :thumb:

Offline Simon

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #10 on: Oct 23, 2011, 18:49:06 »
Chief Executive of BT.
Simon.
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This post reflects my own views, opinions and experience, not those of IDNet.

Offline Baz

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #11 on: Oct 23, 2011, 20:15:04 »
wheres the link for the d/l or do you have to register

Offline .Griff.

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #12 on: Oct 23, 2011, 20:19:55 »
It's at the end of my post Baz.

How do I setup a TBBQM?

Click on this link and follow the simple set of instructions -

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/monitors/create.html



If you don't already have an account on thinkbroadband you will need to create one then my link will take you directly to the TBBQM.

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Offline Baz

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #13 on: Oct 23, 2011, 20:21:13 »
yeah been there Griff but I was expecting something to download all that takes me to is a Login page

Offline .Griff.

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #14 on: Oct 23, 2011, 20:21:50 »
yeah been there Griff but I was expecting something to download all that takes me to is a Login page

There's nothing to download Baz.

Simply create an account on thinkbroadband and then try my link again.

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Offline Baz

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #15 on: Oct 23, 2011, 20:29:22 »
thanks Griff   must have had one before as I just did a p/word reset and im in.

Offline .Griff.

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #16 on: Oct 23, 2011, 20:41:26 »
Nice one Baz.

Steve has kindly edited the wording at the end of my post to make it clearer.

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Offline Baz

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #17 on: Oct 26, 2011, 17:30:20 »
Hmmm  must be doing something wrong as I only get a complete red graph when I look at this now

Offline .Griff.

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #18 on: Oct 26, 2011, 17:32:08 »
Hmmm  must be doing something wrong as I only get a complete red graph when I look at this now

You've either entered the wrong IP address or your router is not accepting incoming ICMP requests.

Which router are you using Baz?

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Offline Baz

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #19 on: Oct 26, 2011, 17:33:06 »
netgear dg834pn

i get address dynamic Griff    could it be that

Offline .Griff.

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #20 on: Oct 26, 2011, 17:40:23 »
netgear dg834pn

i get address dynamic Griff    could it be that

It depends how often the IP changes Baz. When I was with Be I had a dynamic IP but because it had a long lease it didn't change in over a year.

It's more likely to be your router not accepting the ping requests. Give me a few minutes and I'll see if I can find the necessary setting to change.

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Offline Baz

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #21 on: Oct 26, 2011, 17:46:13 »
ok thanks.

I just had a quick look on TBB site about the red graph and there is a bit about WAN settings for netgear routers for respond to ping,
but the router help guide says not to change it as it could cause problems  :dunno:

Offline .Griff.

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M
« Reply #22 on: Oct 26, 2011, 17:48:00 »
Ok Baz, section 6-3 of your manual -

"Respond to Ping on Internet WAN Port
If you want the ADSL modem wireless router to respond to a 'ping' from the Internet, select the
‘Respond to Ping on Internet WAN Port’ check box"

On other words, go to "Advanced" on the left hand side of the Netgear control panel, then "Wan Setup" and tick "Respond to Ping on Internet WAN Port"

 :thumb:

Edit - The manual just says it should only be used as a diagnostic tool which is exactly what the TBBQM is. The wording Netgear use is a little over the top to be honest.

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Offline Baz

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #23 on: Oct 26, 2011, 17:52:08 »
yeah it mentions that its a security risk

ive ticked the box so see if that works.how long before it starts plotting any thing

Offline .Griff.

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Re: What is a TBBQM and why is it useful?
« Reply #24 on: Oct 26, 2011, 18:27:14 »
yeah it mentions that its a security risk

ive ticked the box so see if that works.how long before it starts plotting any thing

You should start seeing something within 30 minutes.

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