The line monitoring system allows you to track the performance of your broadband connection in terms of latency and packet loss. Latency is the time it takes for a piece of information (a 'packet') to get from our servers to your broadband connection, and back. Packet loss is where some bits of information are lost whilst in transit, so it has to be re-sent. These can cause problems with various 'realtime' applications such as online gaming, video conferencing, internet telephony, etc.
We have partnered with Firebrick who manufacture the FB6000, a device designed for high scale testing of latency and packet loss, which is connected to the same high speed uncongested network as our speed test.
The Firebrick device sends out an ICMP echo request (a 'ping') packet and measures how long it takes for your router (or computer if you have a DSL modem) to respond. We then plot the graph based on 100 seconds' worth of pings for each point to show the minimum, maximum and the average (mean) latency. If any packets are dropped (i.e. we don't receive a response), this will be drawn in red from the top of the graph down.
Some basic information is available below, with some example BQM graphs available in our broadband quality monitor FAQ's.
The graph is split up in to 100 second periods, as monitoring occurs once per second, so each point on the graph making up the line represents 100 seconds. The different colours are explained below:
This may be due to firewall settings or because your IP address has changed. If you have a firewall, ensure that it allows ICMP ping. You will also see 100% packet loss if the address we are monitoring is disconnected from the Internet. You can find out how to configure your router or firewall using our router setup guides.
We can only monitor your line if you have a static IP address as we are not able to track changes to your IP address at the moment. We will look at adding this functionality in a future version.
These are local IP addresses that are used locally on your network. We would only be able to monitor as far as your broadband router. To find out what the IP address of this is, please use our What is my IP page.
We can only monitor devices that are connected to the Internet and powered on. If you use a broadband router which is separate from your computer, and remains turned on when you turn your computer off, we should be able to monitor this. However if you turn off your router, or you turn off your computer which uses a broadband modem rather than router, we would not be able to monitor it, and it should show up as 100% packet loss.
We only send very small ping packets every second. These are 28 bytes in size, so the total usage from our system would be 2.42MB (megabytes) per day, or on average around 73.63MB (megabytes) per month. Most broadband packages with usage allowances would measure them in Gigabytes (1000MB), so this would represent an insignificant amount in your usage allowance. If in doubt, please contact your service provider.
If you have any further questions, please see our broadband quality monitor FAQ.
Please note that this service is in beta - we would welcome any comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org