The internet is fast becoming the number one place most people spend their time. Whether on social media sites, online gaming, shopping, or browsing the news; a fast reliable internet connection is something that is highly sought after.
Upload and Download Speeds
Internet connections have two different speed numbers associated with them: upload and download.
Upload speed is the speed at which your connection can upload data to a server. An example of this would be if you’re putting a video onto YouTube. The data has to be uploaded from your computer onto YouTube’s servers. The faster your upload speed, the faster the video will get on YouTube.
Download speed is the speed at which you can download data from a server to your computer. This is the important number to most people, since the internet is often a place where we consume data, not contribute, as such the faster the download speed the better the experience will be online. An example of this would be purchasing a movie or song off of iTunes, and putting it on your computer.
What Speeds to Expect from Each Type of Connection
As shown in the graph, the speed of optical internet is a massive jump over more traditional internet means. At the low end of the spectrum is dial up, at speeds of 10-50 kB/s (0.01-0.05 MB/s), and at the high end is fast optical internet with speeds of 15+ MB/s. Expect speeds to increase every year as technology improves.
Never expect the full advertised speed from your internet provider. The numbers that are given out in advertised speeds are reached under ideal settings that will almost never occur. Expect about your speed to be about half the advertised speed.
Different Tools to Measure your Speed
The simplest way to see what speeds you are achieving is to look at the speed your web browser tells you when you are downloading a file. You can also open task manager, go to the performance category, and look your network information. It will tell you some speeds there. Both of those methods are only rough estimates though, and can be heavily influenced by other factors.
The best way to measure your internet connection is to use a utility dedicated to doing so. Here’s a number of tools that you can use to test your speed:
You will also want to test your ping. Ping is a measurement of how responsive your connection is, and it is just as important as having a fast connection. Your ping will appear as a number, which represents how many milliseconds of lag there is between you and a server. A lower number is better. Ideally you ping should be below 100.
In order to test your ping go to: pingtest.net
All of the above services work great, some are better than others however. Speedtest.net, and its sister site: pingtest.net, offer the most features and most accurate measurements. They are by far the most popular sites to test internet speed. They also offer dedicated Android and iOS apps to test the data speeds on your smartphone.
Remember that your ping and download speed will fluctuate and depend on the quality of the server you are connected to. There are a lot of variables when calculating internet speed. Benchmark your speeds on multiple testing sites, and keep an eye on how fast you can download files. That will give you the broadest and most accurate representation of your speed. If you are experiencing significantly slower speeds then what your expecting from your internet provider, or are not satisfied with your connection, contact us today to a quote a new internet experience.
Check out our article on internet connection types for more info on this topic: Internet Connection Types
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