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Old 4 Jul 2012, 02:35 AM   #1
markhd
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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webmail slowness

I've been using Fastmail Webmail the past several days, and I'm finding it excruciatingly slow. Just doing the common task of clicking on "back to inbox" or "back to search results" takes at least 5 seconds, and often quite a bit longer. It's driving me up a wall. I know my inbox is big. Is that the major factor? Is Fastmail's webmail just not able to scale such that it gives reasonable performance with a large inbox? Or are servers just getting bogged down lately? I don't see anything about this on the status page, so I'd thought I'd check. This is really excruciating to use, borderline unusable for me now.
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Old 4 Jul 2012, 02:46 AM   #2
janusz
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I did not notice any slowness, though in fairness I should add that my inbox is of a reasonable site (90-odd messages, just under 40 MB).
I believe I've seen some recommendations in this forum to keep the inbox not too big (I don't remember if anything more precise was given)
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Old 4 Jul 2012, 04:42 AM   #3
BritTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markhd View Post
I've been using Fastmail Webmail the past several days, and I'm finding it excruciatingly slow. Just doing the common task of clicking on "back to inbox" or "back to search results" takes at least 5 seconds, and often quite a bit longer. It's driving me up a wall. I know my inbox is big. Is that the major factor? Is Fastmail's webmail just not able to scale such that it gives reasonable performance with a large inbox? Or are servers just getting bogged down lately? I don't see anything about this on the status page, so I'd thought I'd check. This is really excruciating to use, borderline unusable for me now.
Fastmail may suffer from certain deficiencies, but performance of the webmail interface is not one of them. No matter the size of your inbox, a regular delay of five seconds when returning to the mailbox is too long and suggests a problem somewhere in the network link between your computer and Fastmail. The Pingdom report (http://stats.pingdom.com/x8mbe1jgimkn/49229) shows a consistent response time of about 0.6 seconds all day almost every day.

As a first step in tracking this down, I would suggest you try the command 'TRACERT www.fastmail.fm' and see if there is an obvious performance bottleneck on one of he hops between you and FM. If you are using Windows, it may also be of value to run the diagnostic program FastTest (download link) and see if this can identify the source of the problem. Sometimes, it is something as simple as the network routing tables used by your ISP.
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Old 4 Jul 2012, 06:08 AM   #4
markhd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritTim View Post
Fastmail may suffer from certain deficiencies, but performance of the webmail interface is not one of them. No matter the size of your inbox, a regular delay of five seconds when returning to the mailbox is too long and suggests a problem somewhere in the network link between your computer and Fastmail. The Pingdom report (http://stats.pingdom.com/x8mbe1jgimkn/49229) shows a consistent response time of about 0.6 seconds all day almost every day.

As a first step in tracking this down, I would suggest you try the command 'TRACERT www.fastmail.fm' and see if there is an obvious performance bottleneck on one of he hops between you and FM. If you are using Windows, it may also be of value to run the diagnostic program FastTest (download link) and see if this can identify the source of the problem. Sometimes, it is something as simple as the network routing tables used by your ISP.
Thank you. Indeed, it looks pretty messed up to me: the second hop out from my router is a timeout:

TRACERT www.fastmail.fm

Tracing route to www.fastmail.fm [66.111.4.56]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 3 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.0.1
2 * * * Request timed out.
3 15 ms 10 ms 11 ms te-0-6-0-2-sur01.westroxbury.ma.boston.comcast.net [68.87.152.85]
4 19 ms 11 ms 11 ms te-1-8-0-4-ar01.needham.ma.boston.comcast.net [68.85.106.229]
5 38 ms 59 ms 35 ms 68.86.93.33
6 49 ms 43 ms 43 ms pos-2-0-0-0-cr01.ashburn.va.ibone.comcast.net [68.86.87.61]
7 46 ms 41 ms 42 ms be-12-pe04.ashburn.va.ibone.comcast.net [68.86.84.210]
8 384 ms 50 ms 50 ms 211-126-245-83.packetexchange.net [83.245.126.211]
9 50 ms 49 ms 55 ms 64.90.164.70.static.nyinternet.net [64.90.164.70]
10 52 ms 50 ms 51 ms www.fastmail.fm [66.111.4.56]

What do I do now?
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Old 4 Jul 2012, 11:24 AM   #5
BritTim
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This is odd. I suspect something bad at Comcast. That second hop timeout is actually nothing to worry about. It probably just means that particular bit of networking kit is not configured to respond to ICMP requests. Since the next hop shows fast and consistent response times, I do not think hop 2 is bad. Did you try rerunning the TRACERT several times? If you sometimes see a timeout on other hops, then there is probably an overload condition somewhere causing lost packets. Otherwise, based on the latency and short network path between you and FM, you should be seeing faster response than Pingdom!

I think the most likely culprit is 68.86.93.33. Notice the increased latency compared to 68.85.106.229 and (more significant) the variability in response times. I suspect this hop is overloaded. The symptom, when running TRACERT multiple times, will be sporadic timeouts at hop 5 or later hops. Also, try a command like "PING -n 20 68.86.93.33" and see if that shows timeouts/extreme variability in response times. Have you noticed slowness on any other sites? If you can gather a little more evidence of trouble on 68.86.93.33, you could contact Comcast and ask them to investigate.

Last edited by BritTim : 4 Jul 2012 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 4 Jul 2012, 11:53 AM   #6
n5bb
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Due to the power outages on the East coast of the US in the last few days and the failure of the Amazon cloud over the weekend, I'm not surprised that things are a bit weird at those hop locations.

Bill
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Old 6 Jul 2012, 02:56 AM   #7
labarum
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Posts: 399
I have been moaning about Fastmail's slowness recently. That's why I came hunting this thread. Been using it over a hotel system for the last few days, but niw I'm home on my 80Meg Fibre Optic connection.

It's no better. TRACERT below - not that I know how to interpret it.


Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\Labarum>tracert www.fastmail.fm

Tracing route to www.fastmail.fm [66.111.4.56]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms BTHomeHub.home [192.168.n.m]
2 17 ms 14 ms 182 ms 217.32.141.6
3 * * 211 ms 217.32.140.206
4 72 ms 198 ms 198 ms 217.41.216.130
5 58 ms 198 ms 12 ms 217.41.222.18
6 59 ms 203 ms 191 ms 217.41.222.178
7 54 ms 201 ms 195 ms acc1-10GigE-0-7-0-6.bm.21cn-ipp.bt.net [109.159.
248.86]
8 189 ms 198 ms 198 ms core1-te0-15-0-15.ealing.ukcore.bt.net [109.159.
248.40]
9 196 ms 198 ms 198 ms peer1-xe1-0-0.redbus.ukcore.bt.net [62.6.200.77]

10 192 ms 396 ms 398 ms ge-2-1-0.mpr1.lhr2.uk.above.net [195.66.224.76]

11 196 ms 202 ms 203 ms ge-2-1-0.mpr1.lhr2.uk.above.net [64.125.28.141]

12 * 411 ms 400 ms so-1-1-0.mpr1.dca2.us.above.net [64.125.31.186]

13 197 ms 197 ms 199 ms xe-0-3-0.cr1.dca2.us.above.net [64.125.29.17]
14 * 208 ms * xe-3-2-0.cr1.lga5.us.above.net [64.125.26.102]
15 188 ms 198 ms 198 ms xe-1-0-1.er1.lga5.us.above.net [64.125.26.162]
16 390 ms * 208 ms 64.124.193.85.available.above.net [64.124.193.85
]
17 * * 208 ms 64.90.164.70.static.nyinternet.net [64.90.164.70
]
18 206 ms 198 ms * www.fastmail.fm [66.111.4.56]
19 * 108 ms 197 ms www.fastmail.fm [66.111.4.56]

Trace complete.

C:\Users\Labarum>

Edit:

Well my superfast 80M connections seems to be working at 350k at the moment! Must be rain in the light pipes.

Last edited by labarum : 6 Jul 2012 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 6 Jul 2012, 04:19 AM   #8
markhd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritTim View Post
you could contact Comcast and ask them to investigate.
How would one do that? Can one person on the entire Internet tell me if they've ever successfully contacted Comcast about something like this and gotten through to anyone who had any clue how to interpret traceroute, much less "investigate"? I tried. When you try to "escalate" it, they try to start scheduling a "technician" to come out and "fix your wireless" or whatever they model your "problem" as. So, A, I'd like to know if there's really anyone out there who's ever done this, and B, I'd like to know how they did it. Sincerely, I'm interested. Thank you.
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Old 6 Jul 2012, 09:41 AM   #9
BritTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labarum View Post
... I'm home on my 80Meg Fibre Optic connection.

It's no better. TRACERT below - not that I know how to interpret it.
tracert www.fastmail.fm

Tracing route to www.fastmail.fm [66.111.4.56]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms BTHomeHub.home [192.168.n.m]
2 17 ms 14 ms 182 ms 217.32.141.6
3 * * 211 ms 217.32.140.206
This is as far as you need to go. There is something very bad in your fibre connection. Normally, the latency on the second and third hops should be in single figures, and with very little variability. Also, note that a couple of packets get lost altogether. Contact BT and have them fix it.
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Old 6 Jul 2012, 04:51 PM   #10
labarum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritTim View Post
This is as far as you need to go. There is something very bad in your fibre connection. Normally, the latency on the second and third hops should be in single figures, and with very little variability. Also, note that a couple of packets get lost altogether. Contact BT and have them fix it.
Thanks. I restarted both the BT wall box and the router. Normality was restored.

I have just moved to Infinity 2 from BE to get the 20M upload. My next step is to get a better router so I can establish my own VPN server - I will use that when in Cyprus.

PS

Still think Fastmail is slower than it Used to be - have though that for months.
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