Test if your ISP is shaping your traffic

An ISP should treat your traffic transparently and not care about its contents. There are ISPs out there, however, that will rate-limit (shape) certain traffic like NNTP (usenet) or P2P (torrents). So how do you find out if your ISP is doing this?

There’s an application called ShaperProbe that will test this for you. It’s available for Windows, MAC, and Linux and it can detect if your ISP is shaping traffic or not. To give it a test run, I decided to install it on my Linux machine and check if Ziggo (my ISP) is shaping anything..here’s how to install it on Linux:

rene@linux:~$ wget http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~partha/diffprobe/shaperprobe.tgz

First, we’ll download the source files. Now let’s extract it:

rene@linux:~$ tar -xzvf shaperprobe.tgz

Now open the folder and compile it:

rene@linux:~$ cd shaperprobe/
rene@linux:~/shaperprobe$ make

Now let’s run it and see what happens:

rene@linux~/shaperprobe$ ./prober
DiffProbe release. January 2012.
Shaper Detection Module.

Connected to server

Estimating capacity:
Upstream: 8631 Kbps.
Downstream: 94796 Kbps.

The measurement will last for about 2.5 minutes. Please wait.

Checking for traffic shapers:

Upstream: No shaper detected.
Median received rate: 8474 Kbps.

Downstream: No shaper detected.
Median received rate: 85866 Kbps.

For more information, visit: http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~partha/diffprobe

As you can see, my ISP is not shaping anything. Another cool method to test if your ISP is shaping is Glasnost. From their website, you can test some different applications like BitTorrent, NNTP, or even Youtube:

glasnost tests

Above, you see some of the applications that you can test. My ISP isn’t shaping NNTP traffic, as you can see below:

glasnost nttp results

How about your ISP? Is it limiting your traffic?