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I have a weird issue. A certain website I am hosting on my server for a customer works fine and loads fine on my machine. However on the client's machine it is taking a long time to load. I believe it is the client's Internet connection speed but the client doesn't believe this as they are saying other sites load fine on their machine.

Is there a tool I could install on the client's machine to inspect what is happening when they click on a submit button on their machine and then install it on mine and see what is different?

I don't know if a network sniffer or something would help with this problem or not.

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3 Answers 3

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I'm going to reference my answer to a different question:

Chrome has an awesome built-in diagnostic tool, "about:net-internals", which is designed to help troubleshoot network problems. In particular, it has an "Events" tab which lets you specify a URL and then Chrome breaks down the entire process of loading it, step-by-step, including DNS resolution, cache hits, and AJAX element requests.

In this case I'd suggest having your client install Chrome on their machine and then perform a test on your website. The logging data will indicate where the time is spent. In particular, to diagnose a slow internet connection at the client's end, I would look for the following red flags:

  • Taking a long time to start the initial connection. The time from when the client clicks the button and the browser begins to open a connection to your website, to the first bit of response from your server, is usually limited by the client's internet connection. Especially if the client has poor upload speed or a lot of uploads going on on his network (say if somebody is running a file sharing program); either of those can create a substantial delay in starting a connection.
  • Files transferring slowly. You'll be able to see how large each file is and exactly how much time it takes; you can tell if they're taking longer than they ought to. Also, if files are transferring slowly, you should be able to determine whether the issue is more with smaller files spending a lot of time waiting to start transferring, or perhaps with larger files that never reach a high bandwidth.
  • Slow DNS resolution. The client's computer or network may have a bad DNS server configured, so that whenever he tries to visit your site, his computer looks up www.yoursite.com in DNS and has to wait a few seconds for that lookup to fail before trying again elsewhere. This can introduce a very significant delay on accessing a wide variety of sites, which then vanishes on a page reload (since the DNS lookup has already been done and the result saved).

One of the nice things about using this tool to troubleshoot is that you can then provide the client with an annotated log as evidence that you're not at fault (presuming that does wind up being the case), so that they have something solid to use when confronting their ISP.

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You may use http://www.speedtest.net/ to test speed client internet connection, or just use ping to test internet lags (delay).

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You could do something simple as a first check:

go to one of the internet speed check websites - these let you determine upload and download speeds, and often the latency as well.

You run it, and let the client run it - compare times.

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have you got a reliable one i can use to try this? –  Beginner Jul 13 '11 at 10:42
    
You could use speedtest.net as @strangeman pointed out. It works well. –  Rory Alsop Jul 13 '11 at 11:14

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