ISPs around the world are notorious for shaping traffic and limiting traffic in a way that is oblivious to their users. Most of the time, Internet users believe that the fault is with their connections or their network setups but they are unaware of ways to test their Internet connection for this problem.
Do you experience slow speed after a few days if you download a lot of content? Is your browsing speed considerably fast but you experience slow download speeds over torrents or over HTTP? If that is true, your ISP is probably shaping your traffic. While traffic shaping is a practical approach to maintain quality of service across all users, it also limits the purpose of having an Internet connection for many of you out there. Glasnost test is a simple way to check if your ISP shapes your traffic.
Running the test
Head over to the Glasnost test home page. Scroll down a screen to see this section.
Whichever test you want to run, select it. If you are not sure, select HTTP transfer as shown and click the Start Testing button.
On the next page, you will get a Java applet confirmation dialog. Click Run.
On clicking Run, you will see the test progress as shown in the next screenshot.
Finally, you will see a report generated as shown. The report is not cryptic at all and explains things in a lucid language.
If you want to see a detailed report, there is link at the bottom of the section.
You discover that your ISP is indeed shaping your traffic, what now?
Once you reach this stage, you have two options. You can either switch to an ISP that does not shape traffic and limit your connection. Alternatively, you can get in touch with your ISP and ask for a reasonable explanation as to why your traffic is being limited. There have also been cases when people went ahead and filed class-action lawsuits against their ISPs. However, the important takeaway from this post could be that now you have a way to know if you really are getting what you are paying for when it comes to your internet connection.