slow connection on everything

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slow connection on everything

Postby jamesb5 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:40 pm

I could use some help from the forum.

I have pretty fast internet. Here's the results of several tests (kbps):
speedtest.net 21838 down, 1811 up
http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ 21130 down 1901 up
http://reviews.cnet.com/internet-speed-test/ 2871 down
http://www.dslreports.com/speedtests/ 16425 down 1911 up
http://helpme.att.net/dsl/speedtest/ 18389 down 1920 up

OK, so all except the cnet test show that I can move the data, and even that one shows that I should be able to pull down a 1.4 Mb stream.

also:
80 seconds to download 57.8 MB from apple (~7250 kbps)
20 seconds to download 27.5 MB from microsoft (~13750 kbps)

So I can move actual data at reasonable speeds.

The player is on wifi, but so is my laptop which ran all the speedtests. Also, I have moved the player between rooms, and I still get the same thing. I have tried multiple routers with/without encryption. I have done a factory reset as well. I have the latest release firmware. The player also reports that the wifi signal is excellent (full strength). Here's another strange thing, if I reboot the box, I always get 4 dots on the first movie, but it buffers f.o.r.e.v.e.r and then falls to 2 dots. After that, everything is 2 dots, a few at 3. I have previously been able to play watch movies consistently at 4 dots in the past.

When I play anything on the Roku box, I get two or three dots. no matter what. I have debug mode on, so when I start a few different random movies, here's what I see:
playing 0.5 mbps stream on your 1.0 mbps network (2 dots)
cannot play 1.0 mbps stream on your 1.1 mbps network... (2 dots)
cannot play 1.0 mbps stream on your 1.1 mbps network... (2 dots)
cannot play 1.0 mbps stream on your 0.9 mbps network... (2 dots)
cannot play 1.0 mbps stream on your 1.0 mbps network... (2 dots)
playing 1.0 mbps stream on your 1.1 mbps network (3 dots)
playing 1.0 mbps stream on your 1.3 mbps network (3 dots)
cannot play 1.0 mbps stream on your 1.1 mbps network... (2 dots)
cannot play 1.0 mbps stream on your 1.1 mbps network... (2 dots)
playing 1.0 mbps stream on your 1.2 mbps network (3 dots)
cannot play 1.0 mbps stream on your 1.2 mbps network... (2 dots)
playing 1.0 mbps stream on your 1.3 mbps network (3 dots)


Here are the netflix cdn results:
Test 1 Results
135k - 1439ms - 751 kBps (fb: 303ms)
270k - 2271ms - 951 kBps (fb: 290ms)
540k - 4734ms - 913 kBps (fb: 439ms)
675k - 6480ms - 833 kBps (fb: 294ms)
810k - 6559ms - 988 kBps (fb: 249ms)
945k - 9196ms - 822 kBps (fb: 302ms)
1080k - 14141ms - 611 kBps (fb: 303ms)
2025k - 24824ms - 653 kBps (fb: 233ms)
Test 2 Results
135k - 853ms - 1266 kBps (fb: 289ms)
270k - 1330ms - 1624 kBps (fb: 297ms)
540k - 2610ms - 1655 kBps (fb: 290ms)
675k - 6700ms - 806 kBps (fb: 1253ms)
810k - 6429ms - 1008 kBps (fb: 257ms)
945k - 6729ms - 1123 kBps (fb: 284ms)
1080k - 18750ms - 461 kBps (fb: 238ms)
2025k - 21519ms - 753 kBps (fb: 507ms)
Test 3 Results
135k - 702ms - 1538 kBps (fb: 254ms)
270k - 3510ms - 615 kBps (fb: 299ms)
540k - 3036ms - 1423 kBps (fb: 298ms)
675k - 7507ms - 719 kBps (fb: 247ms)
810k - 11510ms - 563 kBps (fb: 237ms)
945k - 10676ms - 708 kBps (fb: 369ms)
1080k - 13199ms - 655 kBps (fb: 1270ms)
2025k - 21600ms - 750 kBps (fb: 292ms)
Test 4 Results
135k - 1766ms - 612 kBps (fb: 308ms)
270k - 1263ms - 1710 kBps (fb: 291ms)
540k - 6653ms - 649 kBps (fb: 295ms)
675k - 5169ms - 1045 kBps (fb: 634ms)
810k - 8408ms - 771 kBps (fb: 290ms)
945k - 15262ms - 495 kBps (fb: 304ms)
1080k - 11931ms - 724 kBps (fb: 583ms)
2025k - 18584ms - 872 kBps (fb: 299ms)
cdn/false


I would appreciate any tips, pointers or suggestions anybody has. Thanks.
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Re: slow connection on everything

Postby vmps » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:17 am

jamesb5 wrote:I would appreciate any tips, pointers or suggestions anybody has. Thanks.

Can you post the output of a traceroute to the netflix cdn server? (On windows, run "tracert cdn.netflix.com" from a command prompt.)
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Re: slow connection on everything

Postby jamesb5 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:51 am

vmps wrote:
jamesb5 wrote:I would appreciate any tips, pointers or suggestions anybody has. Thanks.

Can you post the output of a traceroute to the netflix cdn server? (On windows, run "tracert cdn.netflix.com" from a command prompt.)


Traceroute has started ...

traceroute: Warning: cdn.netflix.com has multiple addresses; using 208.111.168.6
traceroute to netflix.vo.llnwd.net (208.111.168.6), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1) 1.942 ms 1.907 ms 2.056 ms
2 cpe-75-84-128-1.socal.res.rr.com (75.84.128.1) 10.348 ms 12.084 ms 10.542 ms
3 gig1-19.ontrca1-swt1.socal.rr.com (76.167.9.65) 19.746 ms 13.191 ms 15.046 ms
4 * tge4-0-0.lsanca4-rtr1.socal.rr.com (76.167.2.76) 20.760 ms 21.568 ms
5 ae-5-0.cr0.lax00.tbone.rr.com (66.109.6.102) 19.899 ms 18.867 ms 27.537 ms
6 ae-0-0.pr0.lax10.tbone.rr.com (66.109.6.133) 25.556 ms 20.994 ms 17.485 ms
7 tge7-2.fr3.lax.llnw.net (69.28.144.245) 39.041 ms 16.432 ms tge11-2.fr3.lax.llnw.net (69.28.144.149) 19.465 ms
8 ve6.fr4.lax.llnw.net (69.28.171.206) 22.276 ms tge1-2.fr3.phx1.llnw.net (69.28.171.81) 26.603 ms ve6.fr4.lax.llnw.net (69.28.171.206) 24.451 ms
9 tge1-4.fr3.phx2.llnw.net (69.28.171.98) 34.863 ms tge1-3.fr3.sjc.llnw.net (69.28.171.118) 32.289 ms tge1-4.fr3.phx2.llnw.net (69.28.171.98) 41.002 ms
10 ve5.fr4.sjc.llnw.net (69.28.171.210) 52.204 ms tge1-3.fr3.dal.llnw.net (69.28.171.130) 65.359 ms ve5.fr4.sjc.llnw.net (69.28.171.210) 30.607 ms
11 tge5-3.fr3.ord.llnw.net (69.28.171.198) 112.653 ms tge1-1.fr3.ord.llnw.net (69.28.171.65) 92.087 ms tge5-3.fr3.ord.llnw.net (69.28.171.198) 93.553 ms
12 cdn-208-111-168-6.ord.llnw.net (208.111.168.6) 88.575 ms 88.486 ms 83.668 ms
13 * * *
14 * * *
15 * * *
16 * * *
17 * * *
18 * * *
19 *

I stopped it since it just kept going.
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Re: slow connection on everything

Postby vmps » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:33 pm

Well, it looks like you're in southern california, but you're using a content distribution server in chicago. (I'm also not sure what the phx2 entries are; I'd guess phoenix, but I choose not to believe that your traffic is going from los angeles to arizona to san jose and then to chicago. That would account for a lot of poor performance, though.) What are you using for a DNS server? Given your location, you may have better luck with opendns (http://www.opendns.com/start/).
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Re: slow connection on everything

Postby jamesb5 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:51 pm

vmps wrote:Well, it looks like you're in southern california, but you're using a content distribution server in chicago. (I'm also not sure what the phx2 entries are; I'd guess phoenix, but I choose not to believe that your traffic is going from los angeles to arizona to san jose and then to chicago. That would account for a lot of poor performance, though.) What are you using for a DNS server? Given your location, you may have better luck with opendns (http://www.opendns.com/start/).


I got a pm to try a different DNS server as well. I think I'll try that.

btw, I'm using the standard time warner DNS.
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Re: slow connection on everything

Postby eri3k » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:05 pm

vmps wrote:Given your location, you may have better luck with opendns (http://www.opendns.com/start/).

Since James is in Southern California, his closest OpenDNS server would be in Palo Alto which would send him to Limelight's San Jose location. If it is DNS that's causing him difficulty, he is probably better off using Speakeasy's Los Angeles DNS server (64.81.45.2). I confirmed that it resolves the CDN to content servers in LA.
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Re: slow connection on everything

Postby vmps » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:16 am

eri3k wrote:
vmps wrote:Given your location, you may have better luck with opendns (http://www.opendns.com/start/).

Since James is in Southern California, his closest OpenDNS server would be in Palo Alto which would send him to Limelight's San Jose location. If it is DNS that's causing him difficulty, he is probably better off using Speakeasy's Los Angeles DNS server (64.81.45.2). I confirmed that it resolves the CDN to content servers in LA.

Even better. I figured that opendns would be sub optimal, but at least better than chicago. :D Best would be for roku to eliminate this dns server dependency. :roll:
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Postby jamesb5 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:45 am

time warner dns is the culprit. 100% positive.

On the advice of the forum, I switched my router over to opendns, rebooted my router, cable modem and roku box and I get 4 dots on everything. The debug info says my network is 10 mpbs, 9.4 mbps and all values around there.

just to be on the safe side, I turned off opendns on my router, rebooted everything again and played some movies. First movie, 4 dots, buffers forever (just like before). Every move afterwards is 2 and 3 dots and my network is reported as 1.4 mbps, 1.1 mbps, etc.

turned back on opendns, repeat steps, start 3 movies. Results:
4 dots, 9.5 mpbs network
4 dots, 9.0 mpbs network
4 dots, 9.2 mpbs network

so, anybody else on time warner having these issues should try to change their DNS. If that is your problem too, call 'em up and complain. Their dns servers appear to suck, big time.

A big thanks to everyone on the forum with their help with this problem.
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Postby tamooreindy » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:57 pm

Per advice of this post, I changed my dns to opendns. Appears to have resolved my 2 dot issue as well. Now running 4 dots no problem.
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Postby sammiefish » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:27 am

I had terrible symptoms like this for quite some time... then as quickly as they appeared the disappeared... not sure why.. but my troubleshooting led me to believe that it was a TW issue....
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Be careful...

Postby vmps » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:20 pm

Don't get the idea from this thread that opendns is always a good idea...sometimes it will be worse. In this particular case it's probably not optimal, just better & easy.

The full process to see if you're using the closest cdn server is to traceroute to cdn.netflix.com, then resolve the cdn server directly from the cdn name server, then look at the traceroute output to see if you're passing the optimal server on the way to the server you're using. There are other threads that get into this in more detail. Bottom line: the critical thing is whether you're using a good cdn server, not whether you've got "good" dns. opendns can be better if you're in a city where an opendns server is located, and can be worse if you aren't. This isn't a question of whether a dns server is "good" or "bad", it's that the content distribution networks are trying to use dns to point people to nearby content distribution servers; this works for small networks, regional ISPs, large ISPs with distributed DNS servers, but is often terrible for national ISPs with centralized DNS. This isn't the fault of the DNS provider, or the fault of the CDNs which are manipulating DNS to do something it wasn't intended to do. Hopefully the content displayer is working on a strategy for being less dependent on the DNS provider...
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Re: Be careful...

Postby baf01 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:41 pm

vmps wrote:Don't get the idea from this thread that opendns is always a good idea...sometimes it will be worse. In this particular case it's probably not optimal, just better & easy.

The full process to see if you're using the closest cdn server is to traceroute to cdn.netflix.com, then resolve the cdn server directly from the cdn name server, then look at the traceroute output to see if you're passing the optimal server on the way to the server you're using. There are other threads that get into this in more detail. Bottom line: the critical thing is whether you're using a good cdn server, not whether you've got "good" dns. opendns can be better if you're in a city where an opendns server is located, and can be worse if you aren't. This isn't a question of whether a dns server is "good" or "bad", it's that the content distribution networks are trying to use dns to point people to nearby content distribution servers; this works for small networks, regional ISPs, large ISPs with distributed DNS servers, but is often terrible for national ISPs with centralized DNS. This isn't the fault of the DNS provider, or the fault of the CDNs which are manipulating DNS to do something it wasn't intended to do. Hopefully the content displayer is working on a strategy for being less dependent on the DNS provider...


This seems like a good (if not ocnfusing) explanation of the situation. Can you rephrase this as a set of instructions as to what we could/should do to optomize our own connection to the CDN server?
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Re: Be careful...

Postby vmps » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:27 pm

baf01 wrote:This seems like a good (if not ocnfusing) explanation of the situation. Can you rephrase this as a set of instructions as to what we could/should do to optomize our own connection to the CDN server?

From a previous post on another thread:

If you want to experiment, run
nslookup cdn.netflix.com
which will return (usually) two IP addresses. (E.g., one of mine is "208.111.161.254".) Then, run
nslookup 208.111.161.254
Which will return something of the form "cdn-[IP].[letters].llnw.net"
In my case it's "cdn-208-111-161-254.iad.llnw.net", and "[letters]" is "iad" (showing that the server's near Dulles, in the Washington, D.C. suburbs). If you don't recognize the airport code, you can throw it into http://www.postmodern.com/~mcb/misc/code.html to look it up. You can see if your ISP's DNS returns something close by, or even worse.

That's the short answer. The longer answer gets a bit more complicated. Run nslookup. You'll get a prompt that looks like ">". Type "cdn.netflix.com". That will likely return a few lines of output, the last few of which should have two IPs. Those are the ones your currently configured DNS server is returning. Next type "q=ns" then "llnwd.net". That should return a couple of lines that say "nameserver = [something]". Pick one of the "somethings" and type "server something." followed by "q=a" followed by "netflix.vo.llnwd.net". That should return a couple of IPs, just like the first query for "cdn.netflix.com". (Type "exit" to get out.) If the IPs returned by the first and last queries are the same, there's nothing to change. If they're different, you can try looking up the second set of IPs as explained in the previous paragraph to see if they're really closer. You can type "server 208.67.222.222" followed by "cdn.netflix.com" to see if the opendns servers are better. (Do they return the same IPs as the query for "netflix.vo.llnwd.net"? If so, opendns should be a good choice. If not, you'll have to figure out if opendns is returning something better or worse than your ISP.) This general method is how you can figure out whether any particular DNS server will do a good job. Note that you can't do this for someone else, and nobody else can do it from you--results are dependent on your location, and people can get different results even if trying to use the same server.

Next trick: as you're tracerouting to a cdn server, watch the names of the "llnw" servers. If (like the traceroute posted earlier in this thread:
Code: Select all
6 ae-0-0.pr0.lax10.tbone.rr.com
7 tge7-2.fr3.lax.llnw.net
8 ve6.fr4.lax.llnw.net
9 tge1-4.fr3.phx2.llnw.net
10 ve5.fr4.sjc.llnw.net
11 tge5-3.fr3.ord.llnw.net
12 cdn-208-111-168-6.ord.llnw.net

) your packets are going through several cities, that's probably not the best possible server. The best one will probably be in the same city as the first "llnw" in the traceroute. So, for the traceroute above, the best choice will probably be a cdn server in "lax". In general, the nslookup query for "netflix.vo.llnwd.net" (the one straight from the limelight dns server) will return that optimal location. What I don't know is a way to know what dns server is available that will give you that best result, if neither your ISP nor opendns return it. The best you can do (as far as I know) is test different available servers as outlined above until you find a good one.

Now you know why I've said on other threads that this is a bit much to expect people to do. :D

Here's a copy & paste of all those nslookup instructions run from my location (using unix; the output will look a little different from windows, but will be essentially the same):
Code: Select all
> cdn.netflix.com
Server:         10.0.0.3
Address:        10.0.0.3#53

Non-authoritative answer:
cdn.netflix.com canonical name = netflix.vo.llnwd.net.
Name:   netflix.vo.llnwd.net
Address: 208.111.161.254
Name:   netflix.vo.llnwd.net
Address: 208.111.160.6
> set q=ns
> llnwd.net
Server:         10.0.0.3
Address:        10.0.0.3#53

Non-authoritative answer:
llnwd.net       nameserver = dns11.llnwd.net.
llnwd.net       nameserver = dns12.llnwd.net.

Authoritative answers can be found from:
dns11.llnwd.net internet address = 69.28.143.11
dns12.llnwd.net internet address = 69.28.143.12
> server dns11.llnwd.net.
Default server: dns11.llnwd.net.
Address: 69.28.143.11#53
> set q=a
> netflix.vo.llnwd.net
Server:         dns11.llnwd.net
Address:        69.28.143.11#53

Name:   netflix.vo.llnwd.net
Address: 208.111.161.254
Name:   netflix.vo.llnwd.net
Address: 208.111.160.6
> server 208.67.222.222
Default server: 208.67.222.222
Address: 208.67.222.222#53
> cdn.netflix.com
Server:         208.67.222.222
Address:        208.67.222.222#53

Non-authoritative answer:
cdn.netflix.com canonical name = netflix.vo.llnwd.net.
Name:   netflix.vo.llnwd.net
Address: 208.111.160.6
Name:   netflix.vo.llnwd.net
Address: 208.111.161.254
> exit
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Postby eri3k » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:31 am

For those of you who use Windows, here is how you can check where your DNS is sending your requests for Netflix Watch Instantly and see if there is a DNS server that might work better for you.

1) From the command prompt, type in "nslookup cdn.netflix.com" (without the quotes) and hit Enter.

2) Near the bottom of the results you should see several IP addresses listed below "Non-authoritive answer:". These are the Netflix content server IP addresses resolved by your primary DNS server. Pick one and substitute it for <IP Address> in "nslookup <IP Address>" (without quotes) then hit Enter.

3) In the results, the Name line gives the the airport code for the city where the server is located. Here is a picture of what your command window should look like after steps 1-3 (your results may vary):
Image

Here are the airport codes for cities where Netflix has content servers:
ATL = Atlanta
DAL = Dallas
IAD = Washington DC
LAX = Los Angeles
LGA = New York City
MIA = Miami
ORD = Chicago
SEA = Seattle
SJC = San Jose

If the results with your default DNS show that you are not getting routed to the closest server, here are some public DNS servers that do resolve to their closest Netflix content servers.

Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Jose, Seattle, Washington DC (OpenDNS): 208.67.222.222

Atlanta (Speakeasy): 216.27.175.2

4) To find out what addresses another DNS server resolves for a particular resource, you can repeat steps 1-3 but add the IP address of the DNS server you want to use at the end. Here is a picture of what the results look like when you specify a different DNS server:
Image

From the terminal window on a Mac you can get the same information by using the dig command.

First enter the following:
dig cdn.netflix.com +short

The results should contain the URL netflix.vo.llnw.net and two IP addresses. Pick one of the IP addresses and use it to replace [IP address] in the following:
dig -x [IP address] +short

The result of this dig is the URL of the content server, which provides the server's location as a three-letter airport code.

If you want to find out what IP addresses are resolved by another (alternative) DNS server you can follow the dig command by the @ symbol and the IP address of the DNS server you want to use for the dig:
dig @[DNS server] cdn.netflix.com +short

The command prompt on a Mac will look different, but here is an example of what my screen looked like after I performed a dig query while specifying an alternative DNS server then a second dig query for a reverse DNS lookup of an IP address:
Image
Last edited by eri3k on Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:35 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby wideasleep1 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:58 am

^^^^BRAVO^^^^

I was going to do the text version, but you did both! :P I knew if I procrastinated long enough.... :p

/btw, if these were my fora, I'd strip this post and put it up as a sticky. ;) It's this type of tool I keep begging Roku to implement to help their users.
Then as it was, then again it will be
An' though the course may change sometimes,
rivers always reach the sea

M1000x2,M2000,Twonky 4.3.3 RC1 beta on LinkStation HGLAN400gig,Buffalo whr-g54s on DD-WRTfirmware-luv'in it!
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