Odd ISP behavior in Thailand.

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by BuzzMando, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. BuzzMando macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007

    I was wondering if someone well versed in the ways of servers and ISP companies can explain this.

    I have the fastest speed I've ever had since moving from the US to Thailand almost 6 years ago. Just checking one of the online speed test services www.speedtest.net, and selecting Bangkok, I got a download speed of 3.45 Mb/s and upload of 0.85 Mb/s. These #s are pretty close to the results I usually get. Upload speeds in Thailand are a matter of contention. Many say the ISPs cheat the user out of the upload speed they should have.

    My problem is that a majority of sites (70-80%) don't load. Most sites 'time out' before they load. I can sometimes get them to reload, by stopping loading, and refresh, or closing the window, and reopening it. If I do that 10-20 times, sometimes it loads, sometimes, not.

    Submitting this post the "Preview Post" timed out. Hitting the back button didn't help. I had to re-sign in. Fortunately I was prepared for this and copied the post before previewing it.

    Once a site's home page loads it is usually possible to go elsewhere in the site, but loading that first page is a drag! forums.macrumors took nearly 2 minutes to load. After the first page, everything was OK.

    Downloading software updates from Apple goes pretty fast. Last week my download timed out after 3/4 of the downloads were complete. I just went through software update a 2nd time, and it worked well. The speed was good.

    Now, if this was just an occasional occurance, I wouldn't be asking advice. I've lived in Thailand a long time now, and there is a general lack of expertise here. If they can figure out a way to get more paying customers on a server, while providing slower service, that's good money for them.

    My land lord has already had to confront them a number of times, to get the speed up to what he was paying for (before, at the same cost, he was getting half the speed).

    So, the question I really need answered is:
    What settings could they be tweaking on the ISP's servers to make the majority of (usually instantaneously) downloadable sites a major chore to download? If my land lord goes back to them again he might as well go back well informed.

    I appreciate your help.

  2. seattle macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2007
    It could be a DNS server issue since it seems that once you get to a site speed seems fine. Have you tried other DNS server settings? Are you using a wired or wireless connection?
  3. BuzzMando thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007
    No I haven't. Don't know how to go about that. I looked in my System Preferences and My IP # is 1 # different than my router #. The DSP number is the IP # grayed out, but I can make it go away, and, apparently write something else in the field.
    Living in Thailand as long as I have, I always expect trickery. I've never had an ISP where I had relatively good speed, but many sites won't load - even Google is a waiting game, sometimes.
    I'm on a wired connection. Thanks!
  4. BuzzMando thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007
    Well, I did some research, and tried some things, like are suggested here:


    No improvement. Even google, and apple and other sites that are quick to load, don't do so. So, I reset some changes in Firefox and reset Safari. Am now paying the price when visiting pages I go to occasionally, because their cookies are gone.

    Other than that, the internet stinks here, and here stinks here too.


  5. chokma macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2009
    Agreed, it sure sounds like DNS to me. My ISP's DNS can be flaky on occasion too, so I'm using OpenDNS. If you want to try it, the instructions are here:

    Don't worry about the greyed-out servers listed-- those are coming from DHCP and I believe Leopard will prefer custom DNS servers over DHCP ones.

    If that doesn't help, i'd be curious to see your packet loss. If you want to experiment, try opening up a Terminal and typing:

    ping -c 100 www.google.com

    Let it run (it'll take a minute or two), when done it should tell you some stats, like:

    --- google.navigation.opendns.com ping statistics ---
    50 packets transmitted, 50 packets received, 0% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 40.286/41.772/48.653/1.904 ms

  6. BuzzMando thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007
    I ran the script in terminal, here are my results.

    --- google.navigation.opendns.com ping statistics ---
    100 packets transmitted, 100 packets received, 0% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 302.525/307.046/431.171/18.833 ms

    This was after doing the OpenDNS thang. Thanks! I should know better tomorrow whether this has changed anything.

    All I did today, so far is register with OpenDNS, change my settings, and work on a long, involved email. Hard to tell from the few pages I visited today if there's much of an improvement. Also, my landlord owns the modem, so, if this works for me, I can tell him about it.

    Thanks for the help. If this works, I can stop pulling my hair out.

  7. BuzzMando thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007
    Hey! That OpenDNS is some great stuff! The difference was remarkable! Rarely have I seen something that really fixed a problem (and a big problem for me) so completely.

    I feel that there may be more people suffering under the same problem here in Thailand, where there is an embedded lack of expertise, or desire to do a job well, proficiently, and thoroughly.

    There is a very good way for foreigners here to communicate with each other, and I would like to use it to tell them about this simple fix, however I'm worried. If this is something the Thai's might feel to be an effrontery to their control over something they regard as their own, it could spell trouble.

    They recently blocked youtube for nearly a year because someone said something salacious against the king. At the time they were one of only 5 countries on earth doing that. They went much further to block as many proxy servers as they could to enforce censorship of youtube. Thailand is not the land of paradise, peaceful coexistence and harmony it portrays itself to be. (#3 in gun murders, following only S.Africa, and Colombia, for instance).

    I'm wondering if this is something that they find suspicious or anarchistic that they will block it. So, is it that kind of thing? Can an ISP, or monopoly of ISPs decide to block users from using custom DNS servers?

    Please post your thoughts. In the meantime your advice has saved me from looking at a blank computer screen for endless minutes every day, waiting for Godot in the pages that would not load.

    Thanks - Buzz

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