02 January 2009

Personal Technology: Checking Internet Speed

Test the speed of your Internet connection by logging into an MSN web site and entering just two pieces of information.

1 - Enter your area code.
2 - Select the type of connection (dial-up, LAN/WAN, DSL/Cable).
Then just click on the Test It button.

My results were consistent across several trials. The measurement is made against CNET servers. CNET is my favorite "tech help" resource, as noted in a previous blog.

There are a lot of similar free services on the web. Speakeasy Speed Test is the most entertaining of the sites. Click a city name and a test with that server will ensue, complete with animation for both download and upload speeds.

What these sites are checking is best described as your potential connection speed. If your neighborhood is surfing at the same time or other external forces (such as lots of "hops" of data around the globe before the data reaches you) are at work, you may still experience slower downloads than the test indicates is possible. So, our fiber optic service (FIOS) tests wonderfully but we routinely experience slow loading of web sites. One great lesson that only took a few weeks to learn: piping radio across the web slows surfing by anyone else in the house. YMMV.

YMMV = your mileage may vary. Interesting cross-over advisory from automobiles to computers.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

No comments: