If you are curious about the test results but don’t care about the methodology and factors involved, here’s the…

TL;DR version:

We have decided to test our tracker’s redirect speed using an external tool, and then compare it to other trackers’ speed.

Here are the results: we came on top in most locations but not all. We’ll improve there soon.

To run this test on your own, and decide for yourself if we (or your tracker if you don’t use Voluum yet) live up to your expectations; we make our test script available below and include all necessary details.

Long version:

What Elements Matter In the Redirect Speed?

Redirects are becoming more and more obsolete, and redirect less and cookieless tracking is becoming a thing. Still, good old redirects are very popular and heavily used for many traffic types.

There are four components of the redirect:

  1. DNS lookup
  2. SSL
  3. Connection
  4. Traffic server response time

We have control over some of them. What we can control depends on:

  • Our infrastructure
  • Our software

The Infrastructure

Minimizing the distance between a server and where traffic comes from influences the connection speed the most.

Voluum has not one, not two, but seven server locations scattered around the globe. We are in every major part of the world. So there’s that.

On top of it, we pay for premium DNS service that reduces the DNS lookup time to the minimum.

The infrastructure we use is the best technology money can get. But that’s not all.

The Software

Our software does make use of these fast servers. The traffic server response time is lightning fast but this doesn’t mean that there’s no room for improvement.

The Test

At first, we wanted to test only our tracker’s redirect speed for internal purposes using GTMetrix.

It turned out GTMetrix has a really good API, so we decided to automate it and do a comparison test of redirect speeds for a few more trackers apart from ours.

For the test to be as objective and impartial as possible, we have created the cheapest (or free where available) accounts in every mainstream cloud-hosted tracker and used the domain that came with the account.

Then we’ve created the simplest campaign possible: with a single direct linking offer, no custom variables, no rules, nothing special. We used two redirect modes:

  • 302 (a simple redirect method)
  • Double-meta refresh (a redirect method that loads a part of landing page’s HTML twice before loading it fully to hide a referrer)

We’ve tested it on Chrome for 7 locations that GTMetrix provides: Vancouver, London, Sydney, Dallas, Mumbai, São Paulo, and Hong Kong. We repeated each test 10 times and averaged out the results for both redirect modes.

Each test measures time in milliseconds from the start of the request to a tracker till the start of a request to a landing page. This includes the execution time of all scripts (ie. time to process a part of landing page’s HTML with meta refresh within it).

Full results are available in a spreadsheet here.

For 302 redirects:
Voluum is the fastest in 3 regions, Bemob in 2, Kintura in 1, Redtrack in 1

For double-meta redirects:
Voluum is the fastest in 6 regions, Bemob in 1.

At this point, we should admit that most outcomes are very close to each other and most trackers perform well. You should be fine with any of the ones tested here unless you want to shave off as much from your page load time as possible and extra 0.2 of a second is too much for you.

We, for example, see some room for improvement for Voluum, especially in UK and India, and we’ll focus on speeding them up in the upcoming weeks.

Run the Test Yourself

If you’re the ‘I have to check everything myself type of person or doubt our results as we aren’t impartial here, you can do this test on your own.

GTMetrix lets you do 100 tests via API for free once you sign up, and then 20 tests daily; and our very simple test script is available here.