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.: Network Speed Test :.


Internet Speed Test

Is your Internet connection working at the speed of light or is it slower than a rainy day? Sometimes it's not just your imagination. There are many things things that can cause you internet connection to slow right down. Our Internet Speed Test can tell you exactly how fast data is being recieved by your computer, whether you're using a state-of-the-art wireless connection, integrated services digital network (ISDN) connection, satellite or just a plain old dial-up modem.

Why do I get different speed results each time I run the test?

Just like a major high way or intersection, the rate at which information travels across the internet is dependent upon the amount of traffic. Information travelling to your computer often has to wait while data on its way to other computers passes through intersections, or 'routers'. If there are very many users online, this can slow your connection speed considerably.

It is worth remembering that in the same way that it takes longer to get home from work during rush hour, you are more likely to run into Internet traffic jams during peak use hours, than during those times when fewer people are online, such as after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m. If you really want to find out what your best possible Internet Speed Test result is, try loading this page at 3:00am on a weeknight, when almost everyone is asleep and Internet use is at it's lowest. Friday and Saturday nights are not a good time for this kind of test!

I thought my Internet connection was supposed to be faster. Why does the Speed Test come up with a lower figure?

No Internet connection ever performs at 100%. There is always some loss, and the faster your connection is, the greater that loss is going to be.

Next, this page can only measure the time it takes the applications data--the actual data file--to reach your browser. Wrapped around that data is some overhead that can range from 2 percent to 25 percent of the total data sent. There's no way for the program built into this Web page to control or discover exactly how much overhead was used to send the page's internal data file, but generally the percentage is small, and this page adjusts its figures up by 2 percent to compensate. Nevertheless, the actual overhead may be higher than expected, resulting in a depressed value for the Kbps figure.

Also remember that your connection to your ISP is just one part of the system that gets data to your computer. Between your computer and the server that sent this Web page there are probably a dozen or more routers, communications links, and other network components this page had to travel through. Each of these components have a set capacity and speed at which they can operate, and most of them handle network traffic for thousands, even millions of computers every day. The inevitable result is that all Internet traffic encounters some sort of delay as it transits across The Net, and that reduces the amount of data that gets funneled into your connection in the first place.

I'm getting a big slowdown. Could my Internet Service Provider (ISP) be the cause of my problem?

Perhaps. The delay could be at your ISP, or it could be elsewhere. (See the explanation above) But if you're consistently getting Internet Speed Test results that are substantially below expectations, the root problem is likely to be your ISP's fault or a very poor quality phone line.

While your dial-up modem, DSL, ISDN or other Internet connection may be a dedicated line, all of an ISP's connections get combined into one or more shared connections. In most cases, these shared connections have less capacity than the combined total of all the customer connections they serve. Done judiciously, this works better than you probably think. Since most Internet users spend more time reading their email and Web pages than they do downloading them, they're only using a fraction of their connection's actual capacity. Overbooking allows an ISP to combine several customer connections into a single link that's smaller (and less expensive) than the combined total of all the connections they serve, without reducing the amount of data sent to a customer when they are downloading data.

The problem is that some ISPs take the overbooking concept too far. They funnel so many connections into a small combined connection that normal customer demand overwhelms the capacity of the combined connection. This is a particular problem during peak use hours, when line speeds can slow to a crawl. Unfortunately, there is no remedy for this problem. As competition in the high-bandwidth Internet connection business heats up, you'll have more options and your ISP will have more incentive to maintain more reasonable overbooking ratios. Until that time, however, your only options are to complain to your ISP or switch to another Internet provider with a better track record.

I have a 56K modem. Why isn't my download speed even close to 56K?

There could be several reasons--and most of them aren't your ISP's fault.

First of all, static electricity caused by radio signals, power lines, and other sources interfere with most 56K modem signals, forcing them to fall back to 42-50Kbps.

56K modems also require a clean, straight through telephone connection to the telephone company's central office switching center. Phone company line amplifiers that boost a telephone signal over a long distance, PBX switchboard systems, and other phone equipment alter the phone signal and force 56K modems to fall back to speeds of 33.6Kbps and lower.

So no 56K modem ever connects at 56K. Most 56K modem users seem to connect at speeds of 44-48Kbps. In country areas it is rare to get a conection of 33.6Kbps or greater.

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