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Test Your ISP for Traffic Shaping With ShaperProbe

There are good ISPs and then there are bad ISPs. A good ISP will allow you to virtually max out your Internet connection speed for any online activity including P2P/BitTorrent transfers. It’s no secret that bad ISPs - such as Bell Canada & its wholesale partners, are known to limit transfer rates to as little as 30 KB/s from 4PM - 2AM, essentially crippling many Internet apps for up to 10 hours each day. You pay top dollars to your provider for Internet access, yet can’t even use it to 10% capacity during the time when you need it the most - when you’re actually sitting in front of the PC. These practices are commonly considered to be net neutrality violations by ISPs.

The solution? Switch providers. But how do you know for certain that your ISP is meddling with your torrent transfers? Aside from the obvious clue that download speeds come to a crashing halt during peak-times, or seeding is all but impossible - there’s a clever new way to test your ISP for throttling & rate-limiting with the DiffProbe ShaperProbe utility.

DiffProbe Shaper Module: Detecting ISP Traffic Rate-Limiting

The goal of DiffProbe is to detect if an ISP is classifying certain kinds of traffic as “low priority”, providing different levels of service for them. DiffProbe actively (and non-intrusively) probes the network path and tries to diagnose the nature and extent of traffic discrimination. The ShaperProbe module attempts to identify if ISPs are rate-limiting certain types of traffic for both upstream and downstream directions.

ShaperProbe is currently in alpha testing and available for Windows, Mac OS X & Linux machines. For Windows users - download, save, and simply run ShaperProbe.exe then click OK to begin the test.

If you suspect that your ISP is rate-limiting during particular times of the day, repeat the test more than once at different daily intervals. For the Bell example, a test may suggest “no shaper detected” during off-peak times, yet otherwise confirm the shaping through peak hours.

Pathload2 — We also suggest you try their recently-announced PathLoad2 utility, which is an “Available Bandwidth Estimation Tool”. Pathload2 measures the available bandwidth of your Internet connection. The available bandwidth is the maximum bit rate you can send to a network link before it gets congested.

Coming soon will be the first release of DiffProbe, which will detect if an ISP is doing different forms of discrimination (such as delaying and/or dropping traffic) on certain applications (such as Vonage, Skype, and BitTorrent), in addition to detecting rate limiting.

  1. blah Says:

    sw8t, gonna try this when I get home. I doubt my ISP is throttling me but it’s good to test.

    nice article :)

  2. Tom Says:

    Most useful article in a while, good shit bro :)

  3. TT Says:

    good one lets check

  4. TT Says:

    Cannot connect to server

  5. BASiQ Says:

    ShaperProbe = [Cannot connect to server]
    Though Pathload2 seems to be working, though it appears to also be hanging.

  6. Paddaricko Says:

    Yeah, same deal here … can’t connect to server.

  7. swat Says:

    it works.. says comcast is doing shaping.

  8. JTK Says:

    Is it free from spyware and malware?

  9. Chris Says:

    After i used both of these which did work, some of my accounts where hacked.

    I suspect something in these as i had not installed anything new in awhile and the moment i did this my shit was hacked.

  10. JK Says:

    Proof or it didnt happen Chris.

  11. REPORT Says:

    82.81.128.177 <—The guy with this ip is stealing people’s account

  12. Vilael Says:

    I agree, proof or it didn’t happen.

    My virus checkers show it clean, and virsustotal shows it’s clean on all 40 virus checkers it uses.
    results: http://www.virustotal.com/analisis/fb332f009a9c694c548fb730f1720787

  13. Jae Says:

    that ip is listed in the blacklists at robtex

    i dont trust this and wont dl

    and what is the bs about proof??
    dude, we all want to have fast, unregulated traffic, why would anyone bad mouth this tool if it isn’t true? if anything more people would be singing it’s praises if it was for real!

    and free antiviruses are also bs
    you get what you pay for
    they’ll work, until a 0 day exploit is implemted, speaking from experience - i was a long time advocate of avast!
    new shit is coming out constantly, you need an av that is updated more than once a week.

  14. JA Says:

    the link to the original download is not blacklisted, and this software is listed as free of malware, for example:
    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Network-Tools/Network-Information/ShaperProbe.shtml
    oh fudge, my isp is shaping my traffic!

  15. Robb Topolski Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I want to clear up some things about ShaperProbe

    1. ShaperProbe is open source. If you think it’s doing something that it shouldn’t, then check the source, or change it. However, it doesn’t hack or steal anything.

    2. If ShaperProbe detects shaping, that’s NOT ALWAYS a bad thing. Your cable ISP might use PowerBoost, which gives you a boost on short downloads above your subscription rate. So be sure to check the results of ShaperProbe for before and after the shaping.

    Robb Topolski
    a project manager at MeasurementLab

  16. S Says:

    How stupid do people want to be? IT’S OPEN SOURCE YOU MORONS!

  17. S Says:

    P.S - for those that didn’t realise, that means it’s pretty much guaranteed not to have nasties in it. And if you ain’t sure, check the code yourself. Jeez, Open Source is awesome for a reason! Get out of your proprietary mindsets. Whilst you’re all at it, visit http://www.ubuntu.com and try Linux. Shish!

  18. Chathuranga Says:

    Thanks for this information. Its very much useful to us.

  19. Chathuranga Says:

    This is my ratio. Thanks!


    DiffProbe beta release. October 2009. Build 1002.
    Shaper Detection Module.

    Connected to server 217.163.1.74.

    Estimating capacity:
    Upstream: 76 Kbps.
    Downstream: 365 Kbps.

    The measurement will take upto 2.5 minutes. Please wait.

    Checking for traffic shapers:

    Upstream: No shaper detected.
    Median received rate: 74 Kbps.

    Downstream: Burst size: 0-21 KB;
    Shaping rate: 336 Kbps.”

  20. Chathuranga Says:

    After few minutes ago i run again this test then this result show. Why is that?

    DiffProbe beta release. October 2009. Build 1002.
    Shaper Detection Module.

    Connected to server 83.212.4.36.

    Estimating capacity:
    Upstream: 99 Kbps.
    Downstream: 408 Kbps.

    The measurement will take upto 2.5 minutes. Please wait.

    Checking for traffic shapers:

    Upstream: No shaper detected.
    Median received rate: 112 Kbps.

    Downstream: No shaper detected.
    Median received rate: 410 Kbps.

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