Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Which Cloud Storage Provider is the Fastest?

Most applications and services people use day to day on the Internet were designed with users only having access to normal broadband speeds in mind. When a user suddenly has Gigabit Internet, it can make the rest of the Internet feel slow in comparison. I thought it might be helpful to compare providers for different Internet applications and services and show which ones are the fastest (and therefor the "best" to use with Google Fiber.) I'll be comparing them only by speed and nothing else.

First up is Cloud Storage Providers.

I came up with the four most popular providers I could think of and tested both their Windows application and website for upload and download speed with the same 572MB test file. All tests are wired in, downloading/uploading the test file from an SSD, each direction was only tested once.
Note: iCloud Drive doesn't have a Windows app, so I tested their website only.
Second Note: Graphs are measuring speed in Megabytes per second (MB/s)

Test Machine:
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
Google Chrome was used for Website tests
Google Fiber's speed was verified using their KC speedtest server before running these tests (at least 940Mb/s up and down)

 Dropbox is the clear winner among the Windows Apps with the highest average speeds.

The result for fastest website was less clear. Apple iCloud had the fastest upload, while Google Drive had the fastest download. Overall Apple iCloud had the fastest combined average upload/download speed.

If you have ideas for other stuff to test or think I screwed this test up, feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Google Fiber Austin - First Fiberhoods Are Open for Sign-Ups

The first five fiberhoods in Austin, TX are open for sign-ups starting today!

Bluebonnet           Deadline 1/29/2015 All met their goal except one!
Lady Bird Lake     Deadline 3/12/2015 All met their goals!
Emerald Forest     Deadline 4/23/2015 All met their goals!
Ben White            Deadline 6/4/2015 All met their goals except three.
Onion Creek         Deadline 7/16/2015 All met their goals except eight.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Google Fiber Business Service

Google Fiber's Business service is switching from the pilot to early access phase.

Gigabit service will cost $100 a month during the early access phase at least. Guaranteed price for one year. Plus $20/mo for one static IP, $30/mo for five static IPs. Looks like they get the standard Network Box that everyone else gets or they can use their own equipment.

As of 11/14 there are now many more fiberhoods covered by Google Fiber Business. This was expanded to include certain fiberhoods in Austin, TX on 12/1/14.

They took the map down that showed what areas small business service covers in KC. You have to enter an address to check now.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Google Fiber - KC Northeast and KC Northwest Delays

People in the KC Northeast area have received an email stating the installation goal date is now Summer 2015 and in the KC Northwest area they received an email stating the installation goal date is now Spring 2015.

These are goal dates for the whole area. Specific fiber hoods inside the area, particularly ones that had the highest signup percentage over their goal will likely be installed sooner than the goal dates.

The only information I've been able to get so far on the cause of the delays is that they are having major delays in creating the infrastructure and they are expecting a harsh winter to slow down crews.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Google Fiber Kansas City Phase III Pre-registration

Central Johnson County, KS has opened for sign-ups today. This includes Merriam, KS, part of Shawnee and part of Lenexa, KS. Deadline to signup for Central Johnson County is October 30th.

Johnson County Northeast which includes Westwood, Westwood Hills, Mission Woods and Roeland Park is getting close to the end of their pre-registration period. September 12th is the deadline for Johnson County Northeast.

All of the fiberhoods in Central Johnson County met their goal!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Google Fiber - "What speed do you really get?"

I've heard the question "What speed do you really get?" a lot since I've had Google Fiber installed. I thought I would show a few examples and explain why some of them might be misleading.

*All of these examples were taken wired in, to take wireless out of the equation.

First, a speedtest to Google Fiber's KC speedtest server. (kansas.speedtest.googlefiber.net) ~1 ms away

This is close to the best speeds you'll ever see. 941 Mbps down and 941 Mbps up is pretty much the max, the rest (~60 Mbps in each direction) is protocol overhead. If you want to understand why there is so much protocol overhead this is an excellent article that explains it. Protocol Overhead by Phil Dykstra

Next is a speedtest to Google Fiber's Mountain View speedtest server. (speed.googlefiber.net) ~40 ms away

Something seems odd here, why is the download so much slower than the upload?
The Google Fiber speedtest uses a different method to test download then it uses to test upload. The method they use to test download works fine with very low latency but does pretty bad at just 40ms of latency. The upload speed still looks great though.

Here's the speedtest to Google Fiber's Provo speedtest server. (provo.speedtest.googlefiber.net) ~23 ms away

At 23ms away the download speed went up a little but it's lower than the true speed still. Upload looks great.

In case you don't trust Google Fiber's own speedtest, here's what speedtest.net looks like. (Disclaimer: Google setup their own speedtest server for speedtest.net. It can only be used by Google Fiber customers.)

Google had to setup their own server because most test servers on speedtest.net can't handle testing a Gigabit connection.
The ~800 Mbps download is odd because the exact same servers that are used for speedtest.googlefiber.net are used as speedtest servers for speedtest.net. Both speedtests were written by Ookla and use the same ports and test data.
It appears the flash speedtest that Google uses handles minor hiccups during the test much better than speedtest.net's flash speedtest does though.

My conclusion is that Google Fiber really does provide 1 Gbps down and up. Speedtests just aren't great at showing connections of that speed yet, especially over any distance.

**If you have an older computer, even if it has a gigabit network card, you won't be able to reach the max speed that Google Fiber offers with flash speedtests.

UPDATE 8-17-2014:

It looks like tweaks have been made to the speedtest servers. Here are new results as of 8-17-2014:

KC Speedtest

Mountain View Speedtest

Note: speed.googlefiber.net no longer points to the Mountain View speedtest server, use this link instead spd101.nuq1.googlefiber.net

Provo Speedtest

KC Speedtest.net

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Google Fiber - Phase II Fiberhood

I went to check out a fiberhood under construction in phase II for KC since I heard they were using different vaults this time.

Looks like they moved away from the NewBasis polymer concrete enclosures to Channell Corp thermoplastic enclosures. Grade Level Boxes (GLB®) for Broadband and Telecommunications

It may be hard to see but they were ordered with the green cover, no logo, stainless steel L-bolt on the large vault and plastic L-bolt on the small vault.

New large vault (Maybe not the best example for a picture - the rest I saw were placed with more care.)
New small vault

LCP with new thermoplastic vault.
This is the same Clearfield FieldSmart Fiber Scalability Center Cabinet that was used before.

The inside of a newly installed LCP. (Before the cassettes and fiber have been installed.)
The splitters are 1:16. This cabinet has 48 distribution fibers coming in that can feed 288 homes (aka access fibers).

Update 4/19/2015:

Outside view of new NID. Not sure if this replaces the old NID or if both are in use now.

Old NID OptiNID 300 DM000795
New NID 3M NID NID-FO-2724
Inside view of new NID before fiber has been spliced to the pigtail.
(i.e. first step of fiber being installed at a house)

Second step - fiber sliced inside the NID is shown on an older blog post here.

Update 5/21/2015:

Google Fiber is going back and replacing some (if not all) of thermoplastic vaults because of issues with vehicles parking on them and causing damage. New areas may be installed with only the polymer concrete vaults.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Google Fiber Kansas City Phase II Pre-registration Beginning

Phase II pre-registration will start on March 11th, 2014.

Cities included are:
Kansas City, North
South Kansas City, Mo

Deadlines to signup:
Sunday, April 14 — deadline for residents in 76 fiberhoods in south KCMO, Grandview & Raytown 
(Closed for registration now - all but two made it!)
Thursday, May 15 — deadline for residents in 34 fiberhoods in KCMO northwest 
(Closed for registration now - all but one made it!)
Monday, June 19 — deadline for residents in 52 fiberhoods in KCMO northeast and Gladstone plus 17 fiberhoods in Central KCMO and 4 fiberhoods in KCK that didn't meet their goals the first time!
All KCMO northeast fiberhoods qualified and 8 fiberhoods in Central KCMO qualified!

Map of cities in the KC metro area that have been announced officially for all phases:

Phase III (by process of elimination - 2014):
Fairway, Kan.
Leawood, Kan.
Lenexa, Kan.
Merriam, Kan.
Mission Hills, Kan.
Mission Woods, Kan.
Mission, Kan.
Olathe, Kan.
Prairie Village, Kan.
Roeland Park, Kan.
Shawnee, Kan.
Westwood Hills, Kan.
Westwood, Kan.

Phase IV (2015)
Lee's Summit, Mo

Phase IV+? (Cities that will probably be included someday but not announced yet):
Blue Springs
North Kansas City (The city)
Overland Park
Platte City
Pleasant Valley