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 126.96.36.199. 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 a number of different applications like bittorrent, NNTP or even Youtube:
Above you see some of the applications that you can test. My ISP isn’t shaping NNTP traffic as you can see below:
How about your ISP? Is it limiting your traffic?