I have a software, PingPlotter that allows me to identify the latency, round trip time, packet loss and a lot of other network statistics. I want to use those statistics as a proof that my ISP is providing a lousy connection in my area.

How to convince the ISP that the fault lies on their side, not on my side?

P/S: Even though we don't have SLA, but I still want them to admit that they are lousy.


First, you must be sure, that there is your ISP fault.

Try mtr utility. It is combination of traceroute and ping which can provide you more information about latency bottlenecks. From its output you will find out, where the problem occurs.

Simple usage example:

# mtr -r -c 10 site.com 

Then, if the problem is with ISP, send them the output.


mtr is the tool you need.

mtr combines the functionality of the 'traceroute' and 'ping' programs in a single network diagnostic tool.

As mtr starts, it investigates the network connection between the host mtr runs on and a user-specified destination host. After it determines the address of each network hop between the machines, it sends a sequence ICMP ECHO requests to each one to determine the quality of the link to each machine. As it does this, it prints running statistics about each machine.

  • 1
    Windows version available here: winmtr.sourceforge.net – Peter Aug 6 '09 at 13:03
  • Can you let me know what that those statistics mean, in particular, Best, Avrg, Worst, Last? I gather Loss%, Sent, Recv mean, respectively, the percentage of lost packages, the number of sent packages, and the number of received ones; is this correct? Is there any information there about the speed of the connection? Thank you. – Iosif Pinelis Dec 28 '16 at 19:52

I think your case is lost, although it may depend on who is your ISP.

In your agreement there is no such point that something is guaranteed. If it's working (lousy but it is) they probably won't give a broken nickel. The least thing you can do is to phone them and tell them exactly what you said in here. And ask them politely to run similar tests on their side.

  • I understand that there is no SLA; but the point is that I want them to admit that their network is lousy. – Graviton Aug 6 '09 at 8:22

As I understand it, in the general case, if a router is busy, then your pings will be treated as low priority traffic. So, you could be getting slightly misleading results from this anyway

Does your ISP provide any web hosting? If so, I'd upload\download files from systems they manage. This will test the connection between you and your ISP in the first instance. Your ISP may only guarantee the connectivity to them. Anything outside of their network is largely outside of their control

You could also potentially run a few Speed Tests to see if the results are as you'd expect

  • For the matter, I ran the Speed Tests you recommend and I couldn't believe the result; the ping time was 10 times shorter than the actual ping time, as measured by PingPlotter – Graviton Aug 6 '09 at 8:27
  • This would strongly imply that your ping testing giving a skewed result, in that case Why do you think your ISP is giving you a poor connection? – Ben Quick Aug 6 '09 at 8:41
  • Simple; because I have a difficult time connect to any website. And that's the real test. PingPlotter collaborated my experience whereas the speed tests ran flat against it. – Graviton Aug 6 '09 at 9:32
  • Any website? The speedtest would argue with that. What I would suggest would be to perform some traceroutes from your location to other hosts within your country. That way you may be able to see if there's an international transit issue, of if it's genuinely an ISP issue. On the face of it, the ISP would seem fine as the speedtest results were positive – Ben Quick Aug 6 '09 at 9:40
  • Looking at your edit - If you've got no SLA, then you're most likely SOL – Ben Quick Aug 6 '09 at 10:29

No matter how much technical information you gather, you'll likely find it impossible to get in touch with the appropriate audience for your report. Unless your ISP is very good (but in that case you wouldn't be having these problems).

If you have a choice of ISPs in your area, change supplier.

If you don't, direct your complaint to the appropriate regulatory authorities.

Either way, there's strength in numbers. Recruit other peeved customers of the ISP to your cause.


You could have a look at the tools from Measurement Lab.

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