Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Throttling Counter Measures

I've been using multilink PPP to circumvent Bell's throttling since around May 2008. The purpose of multilink PPP is for combining PPP connections together into a logical bundle which aggregates the bandwidth of all the connections. This bundle inserts a 6 byte header into the packet data which is enough to fool the deep packet inspection that Bell uses to throttle connections. The best part is that multilink PPP works on a single link. It is well known that it would be easy for Bell to counter act multilink PPP on a single connection.

For the past few nights bittorrent looked like it was being throttled again. Oh, no! They finally figured it out, I thought. I checked the Teksavvy.com forum and others had noticed the problem, but there was no need to worry. The reason was a much less sinister. Teksavvy was having problems on a server and had turned off multilink PPP on that server. Sure enough, I was connected to that server. Taking a chance that I would find a different server, I reconnected. It worked and bittorrent speeds returned to normal.

This highlights a couple of issues. I'm now completely dependent on getting good speed from bittorrent. If Bell decides to counter act the multilink PPP, I would have to consider getting a second line. It shows how transparent Teksavvy is. Very few ISP would even consider discussing their network problems in a public forum.

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