What do the signal bars next to the server names mean?

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What do the signal bars next to the server names mean?

by usename » Sun Jul 23, 2017 01:23

What do the signal bars next to the server names mean. (I'm guessing they're related to uptime, but I'm probably wrong.)
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Re: Question.

by rubenwardy » Sun Jul 23, 2017 01:24

They're ping time for each server. Ie: how long it takes for each to respond. They're basically meaningless, however - a server will a small "signal" could be better and less laggy than one with a higher signal
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Re: Question.

by usename » Sun Jul 23, 2017 02:16

Okay that makes sense, but is kind of counterintuitive. It should really be the opposite.
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Re: Question.

by Linuxdirk » Sun Jul 23, 2017 04:35

usename wrote:Okay that makes sense, but is kind of counterintuitive. It should really be the opposite.

Nope :) It’s like your cellphone signal indicator. The more bars the better the connection is (which does not mean that a max bars connection couldn’t be worse than a one bar connection).
 

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Re: What do the signal bars next to the server names mean?

by usename » Sun Jul 23, 2017 05:59

Oh okay that makes more sense.
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Re: What do the signal bars next to the server names mean?

by sorcerykid » Mon Jul 24, 2017 22:01

I too find these signal bars to be confusing, if not misleading. I've played servers with 4 bars that have high lag and network latency and are almost unplayable, but then switched to a server with only 3 bars that is very responsive by comparison.

Perhaps a more useful indicator would be a green or red light for the server list itself, since half of the time clients time out while polling servers.minetest.net.
 

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Re: What do the signal bars next to the server names mean?

by Wuzzy » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:00

Now I'm confused.
Now what exactly do the bars mean, and what does the number of bars tell me exactly?

What's the difference between many bars and fewer bars?

If it is really the ping, how can it be meaningless?

PS: If it is really inaccurate like people claim, this sounds like a bug to me.
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Re: What do the signal bars next to the server names mean?

by sorcerykid » Fri Jul 28, 2017 15:55

Wuzzy wrote:If it is really the ping, how can it be meaningless?

PS: If it is really inaccurate like people claim, this sounds like a bug to me.


What I would like to know is how the ping for Minetest's server list is being determined. Is it using an echo packet from servers.minetest.net? If so, the result will be heavily biased since servers.minetest.net is hosted in Amsterdam.

This would explain why "JT2" only shows three bars since it is hosted in Columbus, Ohio, United States (over 6,500 km from Amsterdam, Netherlands) whereas "just test" is hosted in Riga, Latvia and always shows four bars.

Image

Image

For those not in the know, the Netherlands and Latvia are both part of the EU. In contrast, the U.S. is on the opposite side of the world.

Since I live in Illinois, United States, I decided to perform my own comparison:

Image

Image

According to these results, the ping of "just test" (171 ms average) is substantially worse than the ping of "JT2" (34 ms average). In fact, "JT2" even has a better average ping than major sites like Wikipedia (50 ms average) and Yahoo (62 ms average). Yet it only shows 3 bars in the Minetest server list simply because of its location with respect to Minetest HQ.
 

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Re: What do the signal bars next to the server names mean?

by cimbakahn » Mon Apr 16, 2018 16:25

I believe I can help you all make sense of this.  It's just like when you first install a linux-based operating system.  You will go into a place where there is many servers all over the world.  You will usually want to choose the one that's closest to you.  This will be the server that you will receive your updates and upgrades from.  You can usually find it under software and updates.  Say for example,  if I live in the United States and I choose a server in Russia, there is a chance that my packages may not download or install properly or may take a very long time to download.  If I was to choose a local server say like Chicago then there would be no problem, because it's local, it's closer to me.  In my experience it is always best to choose the closest server to you.  And I believe it is the same with minetest servers, when it comes to performance, when it comes to a better connection.
 

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Re: What do the signal bars next to the server names mean?

by rubenwardy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 16:48

It's the ping from the server list. It's not based at all on where you are, but instead where the server list and the server are
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Re: What do the signal bars next to the server names mean?

by Vapalus » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:59

Technically the bars only show you one part of the connection, that is the length of the line between you and the server.
In another sense, the server works like a McDonalds, but one where you need to eat at home, because all the fat people who died of a heart attack are blocking the tables. Also you can also buy only one burger at a time, because every time you want to buy a burger, you need to go home and print a coupon - to save money.

The way you need to walk to the McDonalds is 2 minutes walk, but you will need to wait another 50 minutes to get your burger: That would be a server with a lot of green bars, but a "bad lag": 4 minutes of walking, but still 54 minutes overall wait time until you can finally eat something.
(Example for that would be non-optimized servers, or servers running too many resources)

If there is a Burger King around the corner with a 15 minute walk and a lot faster burger processing, you'd be able to get fat in half the time, even though he would have "a bad signal" according to the bars.

There is other obstacles which block the way, like traffic lights, jehova's witnesses trying to convert you, or drunk people who're blocking the way. Since it is the internet, you never know which way would be the fastest and how many obstacles you have to jump over to finally go get your burger.
(This, actually, is called latency)

That also means that in areas with none of those, the times you need to get fat are more constant and less random, that means your time to get to a Burger King actually match the distance you measured ("the count of bars"). In other areas, you may sometimes get lost, because somebody put burning trashbins in the way or something, and even though it should be a 2 minute walk, you need 10 minutes to find your way. In this case, the bars would be totally off.
(good latency and bad latency)

It still should be a good indicator, if the server is not running on a grandfather clock, or your ISP actually knows how to handle packets.
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