Cox Communications Speed Tests.
Update: 5-5-2015, if you notice your speeds matching what you actually pay for don't panic. Cox finally figured out how to limit your cable modem. But, if you're still in that area blasting away at speeds beyond your paid group, not to worry, soon, very soon the throttles will kick in. But it's still fast no matter what plan.
Do you understand what effects your speed testing? I hear allot of people talking about how slow their internet is or how long it takes to download a file. Lets take a look at things that can make a major difference in your test results.
NOTES: This page is often updated as new tests and new really cool things are found. Most of the tests happen after I repair the equipment or rework the cables. Below is a short quick list of the top questions I see:
- Are speed tests when running remote desktop accurate?
- Believe it or not I see the same but from within the same networks. And if you really want to cry about things, I and a speed test remotely using UVNC over the Cox network from my Intel workstation to a eMachine P4 D version with 512Mb PC133 memory and it clocked at 41Mb down. I tested a VISTA and the same eMachine remotely at the same time and had very high results. Faster than my local network. So the answer I have is Yes, speed tests can be made remotely. Just make sure you know all the equipment at both ends.
- One question I have is "If I run a shotgun (2 modems one computer) modem setup at one location without a network device connected using a load balancing NIC (Server style) will I be able to double my bandwidth? Now that's a test I'd like to have someone do. My guess is Yes but I have not put it to the test. Maybe one day when I have a few matching modems and tech support wants to allow me to test again. Would be a killer gaming host if it did work.
Cox Speed Tests and Your Computer, Network, RF environment. (I do not work for Cox. I use Cox just like many of you.)
First of all let me as a technician explain a few basics so you can do a great test the first time.
Testing your Cox Communications speed.
The Best Test Environment is:
- Fast Clean Computer
- Direct Connection to Cable Modem
- No other devices or devices connected during speed test
- No Additional Software Applications should be running
- Latency below 100ms
- Testing on internal cox.net test sites.
Fast, Clean Computer.
A fast clean computer is a computer that has hardware considered to be fast. This could be a iCore system with twice the amount of memory needed to run your operating system with a fast seek time SATA hard drive or better.
Some Netbooks use SD drives which are very slow and should never be used in speed tests.
Computers with just enough memory to run should not be used to test.
USB connected Ethernet should not be used in speed tests.
Direct Connection to Cable Modem.
This means that you have Cat5 cable (Ethernet cable) connected to a good working network card in your computer. This is not USB Ethernet or wireless.
No other drives or devices connected during test.
This means if you have USB backup drives or thumb drives you need to disconnect these prior to running your tests. USB devices can and do use memory and some devices have additional software that might launch application updates during your speed test.
No Additional Software Applications should be running.
Close out of all applications and check your running applications and close everything you do not need. Google Desktop image changer will download at times and you do not want any application downloading from the internet during your test.
No Latency above 100ms.
Latency is the time of response. If you have high latency you could still have fast download speeds but when testing on the internal cox.net network it also might be you have a slight connection issue. Sometimes latency is a server issue and you might have to wait a few minutes before testing. The cox.net test will show your latency.
Test only on Cox Speed test sites when using Cox Services.
To truly test your download and upload speeds you need to eliminate any third party systems, routers, computers, etc. By using the internet network you remove slow to respond routers or servers from other companies that might have bandwidth limitations or hundreds of people testing at the same time.
Updates to this article will be made as we test different stations.
For your reference we started with the Slowest system to a moderate system.
We will be testing fast and really fast (server fast) systems later this month.
Testing Site: http://speedtest.no.cox.net/ from Baton Rouge. (See Map near end)
Other testing networks:
- Arizona http://azspeedtest.cox.com/
- New Orleans LA http://speedtest.no.cox.net
- Nevada http://test.lvcm.com
Before you continue with this article be sure to look at what you are paying for and call if you are 20% or more slower than what you expected. Technical support may come up with other sites for you to test with. Be sure you clear out your browsers cache between some download sites that use images or large files. Typically we would use a large download file and let the download run for at least 60 seconds before calculating the download speed. But upload speed can not be measured the same.
We see Baton Rouge as a shared network and often see less than 25% of the advertised speed. But at times we see much more here. The issues are still being called into Cox support and will continue just like any paying customer. We do not endorse any single ISP but do know when we test that our test environment needs to be controlled.
Test System Pentium III HP Laptop Low Memory running XP Pro.
This system is very slow responding. The hard drive is very slow and the USB devices used over the wireless doesn't help.
Above shows the connection was very slow. But on the same network using a different computer we found the following results.
This test was better on a faster computer but still not showing the speeds for download that we are really looking for.
This next test we only disabled local attached drives but continued with USB Wireless to AP to Cable modem. (We will direct connect in our next series.)
Now we see much better download speeds almost to what they advertise but we are sill missing that last 7,000 kbps .
Finally, same equipment changed out networking components to get the desired results. (After several cable lines, connectors and one drop was replaced.)
A Denham Springs Cox Customer hit 41MB which I found in a not so new neighborhood which means they are working on things.
When data speeds reach this level there is more attention to the little details you have to do. These tests are only run for less than 30 to 60 seconds. You network may need to download for long periods of time. System backups etc take bandwidth like a bandit for hours. Be sure you test and test to get just the speeds you need. Remember, if you download too much the system will cut your speed to 1/4 from what I last saw. That will stay for 45 minutes to 2 hours then it will monitor your download speeds. You should limit any and all uploads and downloads to 1/4 of the total bandwidth so you can do other things online like WoW or other games and surfing without suffering from lag or slow loading of your favorite YouTube videos.
This next image is what you really want to see when you are running your test in the Baton Rouge area. Depending on your package and plan a little over the max isn't unusual because of the shared line cable users all have.
This final one was off the Arizona network from NOLA. Same system as the image above I found no difference in speed between the docsis 2 and 3 but, I did notice a response issue as well as a resets after midnight didn't work on the first past. The older modems become unresponsive at times. Not sure why, but that's Cox network which who knows if anyone here understands. I know the NOLA NOC has some top NOC technicians, when you get the chance speak with them, better customer service and seriously better technicians than anything out of Baton Rouge.
The speed tests here which when I have time will be more detailed to how the systems were setup.
We used an old eMachine after spending about 6 hours cleaning and tuning the TCP/IP mumbo jumbo up on a Windows XP we hit 41MB download speeds. But, that was one of our early system tests about about 15Mb.
The point is you need to know your systems can handle the speed by adjusting to the point you can adjust no more. If a Cox technician comes out and gives you some lame line that it's all your stuff and you're running some dang good equipment ask the technician to connect that laptop they have in their vans. If that Toughbook can get 30Mb down then you do have a computer or network issue. If they get 15Mb and your paying for 28 or more and their FLUKE shows 28MB (Push, be careful most cox techs do not know how that fluke runs tests. You can look it up and learn how to use their meter so you can watch them.)
Again, the key is to have more than one test method. But I think you know that.
If you're having network issues with speed and can connect let me know if you need one of our technicians to share your computer for some more tests.
(For Cox networks ping 18.104.22.168 for your first list of hops.)
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