EC2 is definitely faster than home broadband

Though this should not come as a surprise! I’ve had this site on EC2 for about a day now and I could immediately tell that this site was a fair bit faster to respond to requests. I did an ApacheBench test (just for 10 requests, connection times and requests per second reported).

Command used: ab -n 10 -c 2 <url>

  • Intel NUC being accessed locally over the LAN:

Requests per second:    3.45 [#/sec] (mean)


So about 578 milliseconds total for a direct LAN connection.

  • Intel NUC being accessed from the public router IP (WAN):

Requests per second: 3.31 [#/sec] (mean)


Here we see an average of 603 milliseconds total – we can see the additional time taken to connect through the router (15ms). This is still from the same internal network, so it is time to simulate what it would be like for an external client. I’m using my phone’s tethered hotspot for this test.

  • Intel NUC being accessed via an external connection:

Requests per second:   1.83 [#/sec] (mean)


Off the bat we can see straight away the extra time taken by the initial connection: 72ms, but with a fair bit of jitter – standard for 3G connections. We get an average of 892 ms, with a maximum of almost 2 seconds! My 3G connection for those who are interested:

My 3G connection for those who are interested

So now it is time to test the AWS EC2 server! I ran the next two tests in a similar manner:

  • EC2 via Virgin Media cable:

Requests per second:    4.82 [#/sec] (mean)


Wow – 18ms of connection time is almost as low as connecting through my own WAN interface! Total average page loading times seem to be about 400ms, perfectly adequate in my books. This is in comparison to the 800-900ms I was seeing for the NUC, so no wonder it seems to be faster. It is at least twice as fast!

Let’s repeat the test for the 3G connection:

  • EC2 via 3G hotspot:

Requests per second:    3.80 [#/sec] (mean)


So now we get about 50ms of connection time, compared to the 72ms I was getting to my own connection before. There also seems to be a lot less jitter too, but this might be due to the 3G network. Total access times are about half a second, just a tiny bit higher than the cable connection. Nice!

So there we go! AWS EC2 is faster than my home broadband connection – who would have guessed? I mean, its not like I have a huge datacenter with terabits of bandwidth to the outside world. Or more direct access by clients. Oh wait, those reasons are totally why EC2 is a lot faster! And their servers are quite a lot more powerful than the little 7.5W TDP NUC I’m using (more to come on this soon).

Trying out Amazon EC2!
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