Using Cloudflare Warp & 1.1.1.1 in Hawaii

When you’re connecting to the internet in the middle of the pacific, 2,400 miles away from a major internet exchange, I often obsess over my internet speed. While there is no way around the laws of physics (the limitation of the speed of light traveling across a vast ocean body to the mainland US), there are a few ways to optimize the internet experience.

The first is using a public DNS resolver that has local presence like 1.1.1.1. And the other is using Cloudflare Warp, a VPN service that optimizes your traffic (again with local presence). I say local presence because cloud providers normally do not commit investment dollars to build internet infrastructure in Hawaii. Therefore, the Hawaii internet experience is a bit slow. Fortunately, Cloudflare expanded its presence to the Hawaiian islands in January 2020, which opens its expanding product portfolio of cloud edge services like 1.1.1.1. and Cloudflare Warp to Hawaii.

In my test below, I evaluate response times between Spectrum and Cloudflare Warp, and Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 and Google’s 8.8.8.8 public DNS resolvers.

Spectrum (aka Oceanic Cable, Hawaii Road Runner)

Traceroute 8.8.8.8

  1  192.168.4.1 (192.168.4.1)  12.237 ms  6.256 ms  9.464 ms
  2  142.254.191.109 (142.254.191.109)  87.183 ms  25.059 ms  24.838 ms
  3  agg60.hnllhiqe01h.hawaii.rr.com (24.25.230.9)  64.606 ms  54.026 ms  49.913 ms
  4  72.129.46.22 (72.129.46.22)  27.335 ms  33.162 ms  37.762 ms
  5  agg1.hnllhiik01r.hawaii.rr.com (72.129.45.43)  34.487 ms  23.036 ms  22.017 ms
  6  agg1.hnllhiel02r.hawaii.rr.com (72.129.47.231)  23.725 ms  24.702 ms  27.141 ms
  7  ae-9.edge1.honolulu1.level3.net (4.68.72.5)  36.506 ms  25.201 ms  25.908 ms
  8  ae-2-7.edge1.sanjose3.level3.net (4.69.209.169)  79.419 ms  95.470 ms  79.165 ms
  9  72.14.223.91 (72.14.223.91)  82.096 ms  82.160 ms  86.285 ms
 10  108.170.242.241 (108.170.242.241)  82.664 ms
     108.170.242.81 (108.170.242.81)  78.151 ms  81.888 ms
 11  72.14.239.43 (72.14.239.43)  87.217 ms
     72.14.235.1 (72.14.235.1)  77.827 ms
     142.250.238.165 (142.250.238.165)  79.994 ms
 12  dns.google (8.8.8.8)  88.615 ms  93.422 ms  88.555 ms

Up until recently, Spectrum carried Hawaii’s Google traffic on its own backbone through its point of presence (POP) in California. As of December 2020, however, Spectrum’s Google traffic is now aggregated in Honolulu then passed to Level3 for its journey to California. So it seems Spectrum has diversified is traffic routes and no longer uses its own tbone.rr.com backbone for all of its Hawaii internet traffic.

Ping 8.8.8.8

--- 8.8.8.8 ping statistics ---
 30 packets transmitted, 30 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
 round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 84.737/98.113/174.275/15.746 ms

Over multiple 30 packet sample tests, I average around ~98.1 ms to 8.8.8.8.

Traceroute 1.1.1.1

traceroute to 1.1.1.1 (1.1.1.1), 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
  1  192.168.4.1 (192.168.4.1)  15.445 ms  12.847 ms  9.986 ms
  2  142.254.191.109 (142.254.191.109)  22.535 ms  20.022 ms  23.564 ms
  3  agg60.hnllhiqe01h.hawaii.rr.com (24.25.230.9)  36.126 ms  273.376 ms  39.858 ms
  4  72.129.46.22 (72.129.46.22)  22.305 ms  32.425 ms  27.982 ms
  5  agg1.hnllhiel01r.hawaii.rr.com (72.129.47.229)  18.936 ms  21.613 ms  34.456 ms
  6  72.129.47.109 (72.129.47.109)  19.863 ms  20.880 ms  20.041 ms
  7  one.one.one.one (1.1.1.1)  19.952 ms  25.565 ms  26.141 ms

Cloudflare’s Hawaii internet traffic is aggregated in Honolulu at a local IX called DRFortress.

Ping 1.1.1.1

--- 1.1.1.1 ping statistics ---
 30 packets transmitted, 30 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
 round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 16.320/22.367/29.043/3.347 ms

Over multiple 30 packet sample tests, I average around ~22.3 ms to 1.1.1.1.

Using Cloudflare Warp

Traceroute 8.8.8.8

traceroute to 8.8.8.8 (8.8.8.8), 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
  1  172.16.0.1 (172.16.0.1)  38.127 ms  44.710 ms  37.841 ms
  2  8.20.125.1 (8.20.125.1)  32.165 ms  51.585 ms  50.062 ms
  3  ae52.edge1.honolulu1.level3.net (4.79.8.21)  58.519 ms  52.873 ms  60.827 ms
  4  ae-2-7.edge1.sanjose3.level3.net (4.69.209.169)  79.377 ms  112.303 ms  98.395 ms
  5  72.14.223.91 (72.14.223.91)  81.828 ms  97.791 ms  99.276 ms
  6  108.170.242.241 (108.170.242.241)  78.082 ms  103.767 ms
     108.170.242.225 (108.170.242.225)  82.838 ms
  7  142.250.238.167 (142.250.238.167)  111.343 ms
     108.170.237.105 (108.170.237.105)  73.744 ms
     142.250.238.167 (142.250.238.167)  79.228 ms
  8  dns.google (8.8.8.8)  72.699 ms  76.089 ms  93.262 ms

Cloudflare’s Hawaii internet traffic is aggregated in Honolulu at a local IX called DRFortress.

Ping 8.8.8.8

--- 8.8.8.8 ping statistics ---
 30 packets transmitted, 30 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
 round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 70.047/82.408/137.076/11.584 ms

Over multiple 30 packet sample tests, I average around ~82 ms to 8.8.8.8.

Results

Cloudflare is the clear winner if you want a faster internet experience in Hawaii.

In the public DNS resolver test, I found that ping round trip time was reduced by 75.746 ms when using Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 over Google’s 8.8.8.8. This is a result of Cloudflare’s local presence in Hawaii.

In the Cloudflare Warp test, I found that the ping round trip time was reduced by 15.705 ms and standard deviation was reduced by 4.162 ms. This reduction is remarkable given both Spectrum and Cloudflare Warp uses common internet paths of DRFortress and ae-2-7.edge1.sanjose3.level3.net.

I configured my internet router, a eero wifi system, using 1.1.1.1’s public dns addresses:

1.1.1.2
1.0.0.2
2606:4700:4700::1112
2606:4700:4700::1002

So far so good. As for my client devices, I’m currently testing Cloudflare Warp on my main MacOS and iOS devices. Using Cloudflare Warp via Spectrum works well. However, when connecting through cellular on my iPhone, I noticed that Warp connects to LAX, which means T-Mobile probably does not peer at DRFortress.

In conclusion, I think Cloudflare’s Warp and 1.1.1.1 services are worth a try for Hawaii residents. There is no way around the 2,400 mile distance from major internet exchanges. Luckily, Cloudflare is awesome enough to bring the cloud closer to Hawaii.