Author Topic: Cogeco throttling VPN??  (Read 348 times)

Offline ssfc72

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Cogeco throttling VPN??
« on: May 13, 2018, 05:22:57 am »
My PIA VPN service has been performing very poorly, lately, with an apparent very slow download speeds.

I did a bit of a test.

First, I downloaded the smallish Puppy Linux iso from the Puppy website.  I got a download speed of 4 to 5 MB/s.

Then I used the built in VPN of the Opera browser.  The VPN was set to use the optimal server.  The same Puppy iso was downloaded and the download started at around 1.5 MB/s but quickly deteriorated to around 400 kB/s and then  to 0 B/s.

I then used the PIA VPN with the Toronto server and  again downloaded the same iso.
The download speed started at around 2 MB/s but then it quickly deteriorated to around 400kB/s.

I then tried the same iso download with no VPN and I got a download speed of 4 to 5 MB/s. All this testing was done at the same time and it was at 5am.

It appears to me that Cogeco is throttling VPN traffic!
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Offline fox

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2018, 08:41:03 am »
I'm interested in what you found because I also use Cogeco and now that I found out that Linux Journal is being funded by PIA, I was thinking of getting a VPN and using PIA. Is it possible that it had something to do with high traffic that day or at certain times of day? Have you thought of calling Cogeco and asking them about this?
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 12:54:26 pm »
Yikes. It seems unlikely they'd be throttling to the point of 400 KB/s (I assume you mean kilobytes), but I guess anything is possible.

Perhaps it's just throttling at the Puppy site because when you're using a VPN, you appear to have the same IP (well, you actually do) of potentially, hundreds or thousands of other people. So the server might be thinking that you're one user trying to suck up all their bandwidth.

Since Cogeco makes money off tv shows, they probably hate torrenting and more people that torrent are using VPNs to hide their traffic so it does stand to reason they could be throttling VPN traffic, although technically, they'd just see it as encrypted traffic and not know what was in it.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 01:39:28 am by Jason Wallwork »
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2018, 06:06:18 pm »
The last download speed test I did was at around 5 am Sunday morning.

I just did another series of download speed tests on Sunday at 5:30 pm.
The results were about the same as before.

The tests download speed tests were again downloading the same Puppy Linux ISO.
I was using the Opera browser.

1st test was with no VPN in use.  The iso file downloaded between 4 and 5 MB/s

2nd test was with the built in Opera VPN being used with the Optimal server automatically selected.
The iso file started at around 2 MB/s but soon slowed to around 400 kB/s and then it eventually stopped as an incomplete download

3rd test was with the PIA VPN and its Toronto server.  The iso download atarted around 2 MB/s but eventually dropped to around 800 kB/s.
I switched to the PIA Montreal server and the download speed was about the same.

4th test was using the Firefox browser and PIA VPN with the Montreal Server.  The download speed of the iso was about the same as with the Opera browser.

So, a very drastic drop in download speeds when using a VPN!!

Bill
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2018, 07:53:43 pm »
Okay, I tested it with Puppy Linux download, fedora and ubuntu and noticed the speeds dropping drastically as you have when using PIA's Toronto VPN server. Tried Montreal and Vancouver as well and the same thing happens. However, when I switched to the Texas server or the NY server, I didn't get the speed drop so if they're throttling, they must be doing it by IP address of the VPN servers but for some reason only for those using the Canadian ones. Maybe it's because they own the lines connecting to those servers.

Try one of the US servers, particularly Texas or NY and let me know what you find, Bill. Still getting Fedora Workstation coming in at 4.9 MB/sec) after several minutes on the NYC VPN.

Btw, I'm with Start, not Cogeco, but I think other than them providing their own DNS servers, it's the same pipes AFAIK.
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2018, 08:30:40 pm »
Yes, I knew you were with the Start.ca ISP.  I expect to be switching from Cogeco to Start, in June.
I was hoping that the PIA VPN would have no issues with download speed, when I switch to Start.ca but from what you report, Jason, I guess not. :-(

In my PIA icon menu, there is a menu item to report a slow PIA server.  I have filed a complaint for both the Toronto and Montreal PIA server.  Hopefully you will do so also, and maybe PIA will do something to fix the download speed issue.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2018, 11:17:04 pm »
You didn't say if you tried a US VPN server to see if it worked at full speed for you? As I was saying the US VPN servers, at least the couple I tried worked a full speed. Why not just use one of them, if you don't need Canadian content, I mean. NYC isn't too far away.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 11:29:24 pm by Jason Wallwork »
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 11:26:43 pm »
I just checked again on the three Canadian VPN servers that PIA uses using speedtest.net. Toronto was the worst at about 4.5 Mbps download speed (megabits not megabtyes), Montreal was about 8.5 Mbps so still pretty bad but at least Vancouver was coming in at 26 Mbps, which is still isn't great considering my connection is 40 Mbps but at least you can download ISOs in a reasonable amount of time with that. Realized just after I asked that you probably need a Canadian server for accessing some Canadian content online like CBC videos, etc?

I flagged the Canadian ones as all slow to PIA. The NYC one was around my max though.


Update: Tried Vancouver again a few minutes later and managed to get almost max. And now Toronto is getting 19 Mbps and Monreal is about 5 Mbps. Must be some real network weirdness going on.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 11:33:10 pm by Jason Wallwork »
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2018, 08:00:57 am »
My Opera browser shows the speed of the downloads in MB/s units. So when I get a download speed of 5 MB/s that probably is my ISP max speed of 40Mb/s.

I tried streaming some content through the PIA canadian servers and it was unwatchable due to the buffering and stopping.
The NYC server was better but the buffering was still annoying. The Texas server was much better with only a bit of buffering.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2018, 09:22:57 am »
Interesting. My wife and I watch Netflix all the time using the Texas server since it gives us access to the US catalogue. We rarely have an issue with streaming.
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Offline fox

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2018, 10:00:46 am »
Interesting. My wife and I watch Netflix all the time using the Texas server since it gives us access to the US catalogue. We rarely have an issue with streaming.

But you're not using Cogeco, correct? The issue could be with Cogeco, not the VPN.
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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2018, 11:27:10 am »
Interesting. My wife and I watch Netflix all the time using the Texas server since it gives us access to the US catalogue. We rarely have an issue with streaming.

But you're not using Cogeco, correct? The issue could be with Cogeco, not the VPN.

Could be, but Start is basically reselling Cogeco service. They have their own email and DNS servers as well but other than that I would think any throttling would affect anybody on cable. I could be wrong, though.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2018, 12:31:12 pm »
I can't speak for Cogeco obviously but I just called Start and they told me they don't do any throttling of any traffic whatsoever. I asked if throttling on Cogeco's end would affect their service and they said no in that they they control that aspect of their network. Not sure if it means much.

My connection with them got cut off in that he couldn't hear me although it didn't sound like he had any more information to give me.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2018, 08:34:24 am »
Seem to be getting good speeds with PIA and Start today. Here's Toronto:



That's the max I can get pretty much (I pay for 40/10 Mbps). And even though I don't have the crazy internet speeds some of you nerds have, I feel good that I'm faster than 79% of Canada :D
And here's Montreal:


If you're around, Bill, give http://speedtest.net a try and let us know if you're getting the same. Maybe PIA just had some slow VPN servers or maybe the network load from our connection to these VPN servers was bad for a few hours before.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 08:39:50 am by Jason Wallwork »
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Cogeco throttling VPN??
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2018, 10:14:27 am »
Using the Toronto PIA server, the speedtest.net web site gave me 40 Mb/s also, just now.

I then went to the Puppy Linux website, using the PIA Toronto server and downloaded the same iso, as before.
The best speed I got was around 1.5 MB/s
I then turned off the PIA VPN and I got a download speed of around 5 MB/s.  Still much much faster downloading, without using PIA VPN.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 04:38:14 am by ssfc72 »
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