Network Testing

For a long time Roon has suffered from dropped connections which I generally put down to high demands on the network from Roon (retrieving metadata, controlling many zones etc) or application problems.
However, I recently found an intermittent ethernet socket fault and since clearing it the whole network & Roon experience has improved drastically but it still isn’t as good as I would like!

I am now considering purchasing an ethernet network tester that will indicate high resistance connections (the type that might impede data flow rather than stop it completely ) my previous fault was visibly good but re-terminating cured the problem, so there was a voltage drop across the joint. I already have a, cheap, continuity/ping tester which didn’t find any problems.

So, can anyone recommend an Ethernet network tester that will “do the job” but not not cost a fortune. I am considering £150 maximum but would prefer less if possible.

Thanks in anticipation.

Not sure if you’ll get the attention you wish for in the metadata issues sub-category. :wink:
#tinkering might be a better fit. Or?

Thanks, I missed that & agree with your category :+1:t3:

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Not what you asked for, I know, but…

I use this self-hosted solution at work and home and it works very well to find bottlenecks:

I have a physical cable-test-thingie at work but would need to physically visit my workplace to find out the brand, have had it for ages, just works.

Sadly, I’ve not found “do the job” and “not cost a fortune” to ever happen. The cheaper ones won’t do much beyond continuity and the expensive ones would be required to find the fault you already did.

You might try to find something used. There are only a few trusted names for those that do installs. I’ve found it cheeper to just buy high quality, name brand, patch cables in bulk and then just swap them out if I suspect any kind of data issue.

I agree I’m asking for rather a lot but always hopeful that there’s something around like a nice Fluke device begging for a home at a silly (low) price :grin:

Thanks Daniel, Libraspeed is a useful and resource-lite “App” but as you say not fault finding tool. :+1:t3:

You can rent a fluke

Thanks, but at £234 would blow my entire budget for one week hire and would probably take two weeks to learn to use it :grin:

Cheaper than buying one. My network testing is if it works its fine. I personaly feel Roons network stability has taken a nosedive since they went to the cloud and looking at home is not the issue. If Netfix and Amazon can stream in 4k and I can stream 4k BluRay rips from Plex all is ok.

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That’s certainly a valid comment, I’m in a similar boat but I want to be certain that’s my network is squeaky clean before I star “kicking off.” :+1:t3:

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When compared to streaming Roon is “chatty”. Lots and lots of little bits that must be sent back and forth, received at both ends, for the application to function. Netflix is a firehose of larger bits going in one direction without much care if you receive them all. Very different models for delivering reliability.

But, you’re right, the “smoothness” of the Roon application is very dependent on the round trip time (RTT) of interacting with the backend servers. At least for anything that isn’t already in your database.

But this if they want to sell it as a premium no fuss product needs to be flawless. Nobody should have to tweak their network for it to work. Is it served from just one location? This I feel is the issue and maybe they need to invest in decent CDN’s to help. No idea where in the globe Roons servers are based but I feek its US based and perhaps this does not help us in other parts of the globe,

Found out today Roon is hosted in Google so the below, AWS banter, is irrelevant to Roon. I don’t know enough about Google Cloud to comment about how to distribute back-end across data-centers. Sorry for the fake news :slight_smile:

I believe Roon utilizes AWS but I do not know specifically which services / applications within AWS. Very few AWS services are organically “global” and that requires some decent work of the application developer / architect to duplicate their application across multiple AWS datacenters and then workout how to make sure you attached to the closer one. I’m in way over my head here because I have no direct knowledge of the Roon backend so I’m talking very much in generalities. Additionally, I don’t really have the time to reverse engineer it. I assume, as Roon gets bigger and has an expanded customer base across the globe, they will light more datacenters to reduce Core having to talk to servers over long distances.

For reference, today as I write this…
I’m 23ms RTT to my closest AWS datacenter and 294 ms to the furthest away. Roon works fine for me with very limited delay ever. About 99% of the time it’s pretty darn snappy and most of my interaction with Roon is to artists and albums I do not have in my local collection. But, as I just pointed out, I have very low RTT to the AWS datacenters in the US (specifically 23ms a state away and 98ms to the other coast).

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Ive not had many issues to be fair, apart from the latest Tidal crap and when they first moved to Cloud with very slow searches, which they solved more or less. Im in the UK, I know Amazon have a big presence here as my current employer has used them for rendering. Maybe its other parts of their network code thats the issue, I dont really know, but its far from being trouble free.

I’m in the UK too and haven’t experienced any of the Tidal issues. In fact if roon goes funny I don’t have to look at roon as I know it’s a symptom of my low end BT wholehome wireless mesh getting it’s proverbials in a twist. Aside from as you say system wide roon issues mine just ploughs along.
I only have Tidal not Qobuz though that did work fine when I had it.
When you set stuff up on AWS,azure etc you can more or less just tick boxes for some geospan service so I’d be very surprised if roon wasn’t spread out with at least North America, emea, APAC.
Roon certainly hammers the local network and murders your DNS look ups as it is unreasonably chatty to a wide range of services on the WAN. As you know well over half of non user created problems are network. Either too much of it with cascades of managed infrastructure or not enough of it, not keeping up with Roon hammering it.

I saw a YT video on a guy trying to build a works but not quite lan cable to test such marginal things and he had great difficulty trying to find something that was in between working fine and not working at all…I guess you can google for the video…the tester he was using might be a candidate.

Typically a decent router or switch will have port stats that will show errors too

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Here it is

Instead of trying to find faults with a tester - proper ones cost way to much - the safer bet is to simply replace all patch cables and re-terminate all connections. I presume you have less than a few dozen in your home network, at most.

This is what we usually do in the enterprise environment as it’s simply quicker than finding the fault. Of course, sometimes it’s a fault somewhere in a long run or a cable laying over a high-energy interference source…but typically not, it’s simply a termination come ‘loose’.

Decent time-domain reflectometer (TDR) are expensive and still not the end all be all.

I’ve replaced everything, twice at least, but problems, dropped connections persist. From experience, even good good cabling & switches can be out of limits or just plain faulty.

I have 11KV power lines running nearby and am slowly working towards RF radiation issues, possibly due to poor connections in power lines.

I’m try to eliminate everything physical before looking at other areas. It’s by no mean urgent to resolve but can be a right PITA at times. :roll_eyes: