Comparing ISP networks

Waylander

Expert Member
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
3,016
#1
Here are some ISPs on Vumatel fibre and their respective networks, and their transit providers.

Inspired by https://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/935387-Why-the-sudden-boom-in-amount-of-ISP-s

Why does this matter?
A strong network requires a balanced blend of transit and peering with multiple providers to ensure redundancy, stability and access to all networks around the world in the most efficient manner possible. Some transit providers are better than others, some cost more and some aren't as well connected as others. A strong network is one that doesn't rely on a single transit provider, but rather has agreements with many different providers to utilise the shortest route to every destination, avoid congested paths and have redundancy when one provider drops.

Transit vs Peering
Transit is the service that allows your ISP to connect to other ISPs around the world, it's what allows X's customers to connect to Y's customers and is a fundamental requirement for a functional network. Think of transit as the roads which you'd drive on to get from A to B.

Peering works similarly in that it allows your ISP to connect to other ISPs but peering is generally done as a mutual exchange between two ISPs without payment (usually). For this reason, transit will be what I will be comparing.

In short, for a network to communicate to other networks you need to either purchase transit from that network, or have a peering agreement with that network to exchange traffic, or a combination of both.

Some transit providers
Hurricane Electric (HE)
Seacom
Level3
Cogent
Zayo
NTT
PCCW
Telia
GTT
TATA
ATT
and many more

ISPs
Afrihost (AS37611)
Uses Echotel and HE

Cool Ideas (AS37680)
Uses HE, IS, eNetworks, Seacom, Liquid, WIOCC

Web Africa (AS36943)
Uses IS and AfricaINX

Cybersmart (AS36874)
Uses Borwood, SAIX and AfricaINX

Home Connect (AS37315)
Uses AfricaINX and WIOCC

WiruLink (AS37564)
Uses Workonline

iConnect (AS37515)
Uses Seacom, WIOCC and AfricaINX

Vox (AS11845)
Uses Telia, Level3, Cogent, AfricaINX and SAIX

Comtel (AS37333)
Uses AfricaINX

RSAWeb (AS37053)
Uses IS and AfricaINX

Clear Access (AS327794)
Uses Seacom

CellC (AS37168)
Uses Seacom and AfricaINX

*Data taken from https://shop.vumatel.co.za and https://bgp.he.net

**Only ISPs with valid ASN or SWIP IP address allocations are listed. No resellers.

*** To lower the number of ISPs in the comparison, I excludes those which do not have 200/200 packages.


Concluding remarks
While having multiple transit providers is important, the quality of the transit is of more importance. From the above you can very quickly spot the ISPs which try and cut corners on transit by using only a single, mediocre transit provider. The usual suspects Seacom and AfricaINX are typically used by smaller ISPs as it's cheap and for the most part they get away with it... until Seacom breaks (https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadband/206332-seacom-cable-hit-by-outage.html https://mybroadband.co.za/news/tele...ble-maintenance-scheduled-for-this-month.html https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broa...will-be-affected-by-seacoms-cable-outage.html)

Other such culprits include Frogfoot, which is owned by Vox Telecom, and Workonline. A common tactic used by smaller ISPs trying to branch out and run their own network is buying transit from local aggregators such as IS, Frogfoot and Workonline to avoid having to deal with purchasing transit directly from providers (such as Cogent and HE) to bring costs down. This is colloquially to as "backbone" (ei IS backbone) but generally just means the ISP using the aggregator isn't large enough to afford direct peering.

In closing, from an objective quality standpoint Vox, Cool Ideas and Vodacom have the strongest network diversity, which correlates strongly to the results MyBroadband has shown in the numerous tests and surveys conducted. The latest being the fastest Netflix ISPs here: https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadcasting/243906-fastest-isps-for-netflix-in-south-africa-2.html and my review of Cool Ideas here: https://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/930392-My-review-of-Cool-Ideas-(200Mbit-Vumatel)


Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 12.54.46.png


for updates, please DM me with all required information.
 
Last edited:

rvanwyk

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2007
Messages
1,561
#2
Here are some ISPs on Vumatel fibre and their respective networks, and their transit providers.

Inspired by https://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/935387-Why-the-sudden-boom-in-amount-of-ISP-s

Why does this matter?
A strong network requires a balanced blend of transit and peering with multiple providers to ensure redundancy, stability and access to all networks around the world in the most efficient manner possible. Some transit providers are better than others, some cost more and some aren't as well connected as others. A strong network is one that doesn't rely on a single transit provider, but rather has agreements with many different providers to utilise the shortest route to every destination, avoid congested paths and have redundancy when one provider drops.

Transit vs Peering
Transit is the service that allows your ISP to connect to other ISPs around the world, it's what allows X's customers to connect to Y's customers and is a fundamental requirement for a functional network. Think of transit as the roads which you'd drive on to get from A to B.

Peering works similarly in that it allows your ISP to connect to other ISPs but peering is generally done as a mutual exchange between two ISPs without payment (usually). For this reason, transit will be what I will be comparing.

In short, for a network to communicate to other networks you need to either purchase transit from that network, or have a peering agreement with that network to exchange traffic, or a combination of both.

Some transit providers
Hurricane Electric (HE)
Seacom
Level3
Cogent
Zayo
NTT
PCCW
Telia
GTT
TATA
ATT
and many more

ISPs
Afrihost (AS37611)
Uses Echotel and HE

Cool Ideas (AS37680)
Uses HE, IS, eNetworks, Seacom, Liquid, WIOCC

Crystal Web (AS328239)
Uses Frogfoot

Web Africa (AS36943)
Uses IS and AfricaINX

Cybersmart (AS36874)
Uses Borwood, SAIX and AfricaINX

Home Connect (AS37315)
Uses AfricaINX and WIOCC

WiruLink (AS37564)
Uses Workonline

iConnect (AS37515)
Uses Seacom, WIOCC and AfricaINX

Vox (AS11845)
Uses Telia, Level3, Cogent, AfricaINX and SAIX

Comtel (AS37333)
Uses AfricaINX

RSAWeb (AS37053)
Uses IS and AfricaINX

Clear Access (AS327794)
Uses Seacom

CellC (AS37168)
Uses Seacom and AfricaINX

Vodacom (AS36994)
Uses Level3, GST-N, Vodafone, AfricaINX and RSAWeb

*Data taken from https://shop.vumatel.co.za and https://bgp.he.net

**Only ISPs with valid ASN or SWIP IP address allocations are listed. No resellers.

*** To lower the number of ISPs in the comparison, I excludes those which do not have 200/200 packages.


Concluding remarks
While having multiple transit providers is important, the quality of the transit is of more importance. From the above you can very quickly spot the ISPs which try and cut corners on transit by using only a single, mediocre transit provider. The usual suspects Seacom and AfricaINX are typically used by smaller ISPs as it's cheap and for the most part they get away with it... until Seacom breaks (https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadband/206332-seacom-cable-hit-by-outage.html https://mybroadband.co.za/news/tele...ble-maintenance-scheduled-for-this-month.html https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broa...will-be-affected-by-seacoms-cable-outage.html)

Other such culprits include Frogfoot, which is owned by Vox Telecom, and Workonline. A common tactic used by smaller ISPs trying to branch out and run their own network is buying transit from local aggregators such as IS, Frogfoot and Workonline to avoid having to deal with purchasing transit directly from providers (such as Cogent and HE) to bring costs down. This is colloquially to as "backbone" (ei IS backbone) but generally just means the ISP using the aggregator isn't large enough to afford direct peering.

In closing, from an objective quality standpoint Vox, Cool Ideas and Vodacom have the strongest network diversity, which correlates strongly to the results MyBroadband has shown in the numerous tests and surveys conducted. The latest being the fastest Netflix ISPs here: https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadcasting/243906-fastest-isps-for-netflix-in-south-africa-2.html and my review of Cool Ideas here: https://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/930392-My-review-of-Cool-Ideas-(200Mbit-Vumatel)


View attachment 494119
Don't get me wrong, I am currently with Cool Ideas and very happy and will continue to recommend them to everyone, but, the Netflix results are a bit skewed. Cool Ideas is the only provider on the list that only offers fibre services. What I mean is that the results of other providers might look lower due to DSL and 3G / 4G connections pulling the averages down.

Just my opinion. But yes... Cool Ideas FTW!

Good info in your post though! Well done!
 
Last edited:

ajan

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2012
Messages
545
#3
Here are some ISPs on Vumatel fibre and their respective networks, and their transit providers.

Inspired by https://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/935387-Why-the-sudden-boom-in-amount-of-ISP-s

Why does this matter?
A strong network requires a balanced blend of transit and peering with multiple providers to ensure redundancy, stability and access to all networks around the world in the most efficient manner possible. Some transit providers are better than others, some cost more and some aren't as well connected as others. A strong network is one that doesn't rely on a single transit provider, but rather has agreements with many different providers to utilise the shortest route to every destination, avoid congested paths and have redundancy when one provider drops.

Transit vs Peering
Transit is the service that allows your ISP to connect to other ISPs around the world, it's what allows X's customers to connect to Y's customers and is a fundamental requirement for a functional network. Think of transit as the roads which you'd drive on to get from A to B.

Peering works similarly in that it allows your ISP to connect to other ISPs but peering is generally done as a mutual exchange between two ISPs without payment (usually). For this reason, transit will be what I will be comparing.

In short, for a network to communicate to other networks you need to either purchase transit from that network, or have a peering agreement with that network to exchange traffic, or a combination of both.

Some transit providers
Hurricane Electric (HE)
Seacom
Level3
Cogent
Zayo
NTT
PCCW
Telia
GTT
TATA
ATT
and many more

ISPs
Afrihost (AS37611)
Uses Echotel and HE

Cool Ideas (AS37680)
Uses HE, IS, eNetworks, Seacom, Liquid, WIOCC

Crystal Web (AS328239)
Uses Frogfoot

Web Africa (AS36943)
Uses IS and AfricaINX

Cybersmart (AS36874)
Uses Borwood, SAIX and AfricaINX

Home Connect (AS37315)
Uses AfricaINX and WIOCC

WiruLink (AS37564)
Uses Workonline

iConnect (AS37515)
Uses Seacom, WIOCC and AfricaINX

Vox (AS11845)
Uses Telia, Level3, Cogent, AfricaINX and SAIX

Comtel (AS37333)
Uses AfricaINX

RSAWeb (AS37053)
Uses IS and AfricaINX

Clear Access (AS327794)
Uses Seacom

CellC (AS37168)
Uses Seacom and AfricaINX

Vodacom (AS36994)
Uses Level3, GST-N, Vodafone, AfricaINX and RSAWeb

*Data taken from https://shop.vumatel.co.za and https://bgp.he.net

**Only ISPs with valid ASN or SWIP IP address allocations are listed. No resellers.

*** To lower the number of ISPs in the comparison, I excludes those which do not have 200/200 packages.


Concluding remarks
While having multiple transit providers is important, the quality of the transit is of more importance. From the above you can very quickly spot the ISPs which try and cut corners on transit by using only a single, mediocre transit provider. The usual suspects Seacom and AfricaINX are typically used by smaller ISPs as it's cheap and for the most part they get away with it... until Seacom breaks (https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadband/206332-seacom-cable-hit-by-outage.html https://mybroadband.co.za/news/tele...ble-maintenance-scheduled-for-this-month.html https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broa...will-be-affected-by-seacoms-cable-outage.html)

Other such culprits include Frogfoot, which is owned by Vox Telecom, and Workonline. A common tactic used by smaller ISPs trying to branch out and run their own network is buying transit from local aggregators such as IS, Frogfoot and Workonline to avoid having to deal with purchasing transit directly from providers (such as Cogent and HE) to bring costs down. This is colloquially to as "backbone" (ei IS backbone) but generally just means the ISP using the aggregator isn't large enough to afford direct peering.

In closing, from an objective quality standpoint Vox, Cool Ideas and Vodacom have the strongest network diversity, which correlates strongly to the results MyBroadband has shown in the numerous tests and surveys conducted. The latest being the fastest Netflix ISPs here: https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadcasting/243906-fastest-isps-for-netflix-in-south-africa-2.html and my review of Cool Ideas here: https://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/930392-My-review-of-Cool-Ideas-(200Mbit-Vumatel)


View attachment 494119
Better content and research than some of the official writers of this website. :whistling:
 

cavedog

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
11,606
#4
I must say the peering of any ISP that uses Seacom is impressive. Using A360 and use Seacomnet which basically peers with everyone.
 

Waylander

Expert Member
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
3,016
#6
Don't get me wrong, I am currently with Cool Ideas and very happy and will continue to recommend them to everyone, but, the Netflix results are a bit skewed. Cool Ideas is the only provider on the list that only offers fibre services. What I mean is that the results of other providers might look lower due to DSL and 3G / 4G connections pulling the averages down.

Just my opinion. But yes... Cool Ideas FTW!

Good info in your post though! Well done!
The addition of the Netflix results was simply to supplement the conclusion of my own research, not to validate it in any way, but thanks.
 

Waylander

Expert Member
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
3,016
#10
Amended to reflect Crystal Web not using their own network for Vumatel, a valid correction as this comparison is based on Vumatel only. I know I said I wouldn't count resellers but for interest and future sake, I have decided to keep it listed.
 

Waylander

Expert Member
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
3,016
#15
Looks like Crystal Web renamed their AS to EvoNet (AS328239)

I noticed that they dropped their 102.177.128.0/18 range... very strange things happening at the EvoNet/CW homestead.

What a waste of IPs... I really don't know how they got AFRINIC to designate so many to just be wasted.
 

cavedog

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
11,606
#18
@Waylander

You can also add Aeonova360 to the list. Not a massive fibre provider but probably amongst the top imo. They are the best internet I have ever used. Open access but I chose to stick with Aeonova360 fibre line and their ISS A360 too.

https://bgp.he.net/AS328229
 
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