Bandwidth Testing for Verizon's BroadbandAccess Service - USB720

I was asked by someone who was considering moving to the same area I live in whether I thought the Verizon BroadbandAccess would be adequate for her needs. She works from home and needs to transfer QuarkXpress files back and forth from her home to her office. Unfortunately, neither DSL nor cable Internet access are currently available in the area to which she is considering moving. She had talked to Verizon and been told by a Verizon representative that their BroadbandAccess service would likely not be adequate for her needs. Since I use the service with my laptop, I thought it would be adequate based on my own experience. My mother-in-law also uses it for her job, which involves a lot of travel between construction jobsites in the area.

At Verizon's Coverage & Speeds webpage Verizon lists typical download speeds of 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps. Typical upload speeds are estimated to be 500-800 Kbps, which I thought should be adequate for her requirements. Verizon does caveat those speeds with the statement "BroadbandAccess speed claim based on our network tests with 5 MB FTP data files without compression. Actual speeds and coverage may vary. Rev. A capable device required for these speeds. With a non-Rev. A-capable device, expect typical download speeds of 400 – 700 Kbps and typical upload speeds of 60 – 80 Kbps."

I don't like to rely solely on a vendor's own bandwidth estimates, though, so I ran some tests with several bandwidth testing sites on Saturday, August 9, 2008. The results of those tests are listed below. I tested with a Toshiba M35X-S109 laptop, which runs Windows XP Home Edition, with a Verizon Wireless USB720 EVDO Rev A USB Modem installed to provide Verizon BroadbandAccess network connectivity. I have VZAccess Manager version 6.7.8 (2084b) installed on the laptop. The tests were done within Firefox

Verizon Broadband Bandwidth Tests for USB720 on 2008-08-09
SiteBandwidth (Kbs) Download Speed (Kbs)Upload Speed (Kbs) Start Time Duration
Bandwidth Place Speed Test 804.52   3:06 PM20.813 seconds
Bandwidth Place Speed Test 750.43   5:32 PM20.813 seconds
Speakeasy - Washington, DC  7294613:15 PM <1 minute
Speakeasy - Washington, DC  742 4785:40 PM <1 minute
Speakeasy - New York City, NY  5784213:29 PM <1 minute
CNET Bandwidth Meter Speed Test 355  3:24 PM <1 minute
CNET Bandwidth Meter Speed Test 495.5  3:28 PM <1 minute
CNET Bandwidth Meter Speed Test 287.3  5:47 PM <1 minute - Washington, DC   451 2943:33 PM <1 minute
Digital Landing  4142793:40 PM <1 minute
Digital Landing   699 2765:25 PM <1 minute

Note: where the bandwidth testing site provides both download and upload speeds, both are listed. Where the site provides only one figure, only that figure is listed.

DirectionMin (Kbs)Max (Kbs)Average (Kbs)

The average download speed was barely within the range stated by Verizon. The average upload speed I achieved was significantly less than the bottom end of the range stated by Verizon. The maximum upload speed I achieved was 478 Kbs, which was still somewhat less than the bottom end of the upload range stated by Verizon. Still, I think the actual rates I encountered would be adequate in this case.

To test the maximum transfer rate I could achieve between the laptop and her office, which has a T1 (1.544 Mbs) circuit for Internet access, I installed Iperf 1.7.0 on the Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 domain controller at her office and on the Windows XP laptop. I set the system at the office to run in server mode with iperf -s and ran Iperf on the laptop in client mode with iperf -c The bandwith reported by Iperf on the laptop for 3 tests run between 10:00 and 10:30 PM on August 9 is shown below. By default Iperf performs a 10 second test. I ran two tests for 3 minutes by using iperf -t 180 -c on the client side.

Iperf Tests 2008-08-09
Interval (sec)TransferBandwidth (Kbs)
10.3472 KB374
10.3576 KB458
10.5512 KB400
180.213.8 MB641
180.714.3 MB662

I also ran some tests on Sunday, August 10, 2008 with an 8.3MB QuarkXPress file that the user needed to transfer to the office, since she said that was a file that was an example of one of the larger files she needs to transfer from home to her office, using the pscp secure file transfer program from PuTTY. I thought I would create a batch file for the transfer and use the DOS time command in the batch file before and after the pscp command to time the transfer. Unfortunately, though if you issue the time command by itself at a command prompt, you get hours, minutes, seconds, and hundredths of a second, when you issue the time command with the /t switch, i.e. time /t, to avoid a prompt for a new time, you get only the hour and minute, which isn't as precise as what I wanted. Fortunately, Microsoft provides a free download for the timethis utility, which is available on the Windows 2000 Resource Kit, at Windows 2000 Resource Kit Tool: Timethis.exe. The timeshis.exe program times how long it takes to execute a given command.

After installing Timethis on the laptop, I placed the sample QuarkXPress file on my webserver and timed the download with Wget for Windows. The first test, which I ran around 3:00 P.M., took 4:00.390 minutes to transfer the 8.3 MB (8,704,000 bytes) file yielding a transfer rate of about 283 Kbs (8,704,000 bits * 8 bits/byte / 1024 bits/Kb / 240 seconds). When I repeated the test at about 3:21 P.M., I achieved a somewhat higher transfer rate. That test had an elapsed time of 3:30.203 for a transfer rate of about 324 Kbs (8,704,000 bits * 8 bits / 1024 bits/Kb / 210 seconds). A third test at 3:29 PM yielded a download rate of 256 Kbs.

Wget Download Tests
Rate (Kbs)
C:\Program Files\GnuWin32\bin>"c:\program files\resource kit\timethis" wget

TimeThis :  Command Line :  wget
TimeThis :    Start Time :  Sun Aug 10 12:28:40 2008

           => `test.qxd.2'
Connecting to||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 8,704,000 (8.3M) [text/plain]

100%[====================================>] 8,704,000     39.24K/s    ETA 00:00

12:33:06 (31.99 KB/s) - `test.qxd.2' saved [8704000/8704000]

To test upload speeds for the 8.3 MB sample file, I used PuTTY's secure file transfer program, pscp. Again I transferred the file from the laptop to my webserver, but this time via the SCP protocol rather than the HTTP protocol.

The upload speed was actually slower with the first test yielding an upload rate of approximately 170 Kbs and 210 Kbs for the second test, perhaps because of the overhead involved in encrypting the transmission.

Pscp Upload Tests
Rate (Kbs)
C:\Program Files\PuTTY>"c:\program files\resource kit\timethis" "psc p -l jddoe -pw APasswd test.qxd"

TimeThis :  Command Line :  pscp -l jddoe -pw APasswd test.qxd
TimeThis :    Start Time :  Sun Aug 10 12:48:00 2008

test.qxd                  | 8500 kB |  24.1 kB/s | ETA: 00:00:00 | 100%

TimeThis :  Command Line :  pscp -l jddoe -pw APasswd test.qxd
TimeThis :    Start Time :  Sun Aug 10 12:48:00 2008
TimeThis :      End Time :  Sun Aug 10 12:54:40 2008
TimeThis :  Elapsed Time :  00:06:40.546


TechRabbit ad 300x250

Justdeals Daily Electronics Deals1x1 px

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional

Created: Sunday August 10, 2008