Is Your Internet As Fast As It Should Be

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Everyone now-a-days wants things to move fast, whether its your car, your computer, your internet or even your career ;). We are a generation that wants things to happen now. So, if you are surfing the net or uploading or downloading stuff and the internet begins to crawl we are bound to get a little flustered :). Most of us, for the very same reason signed up with our ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) for a decent broadband connection. But not always do we get the speeds we were promised. In this article, we show you how you can check your internet speed in less than 5 mins and a few things you can do to improve it.

Quick And Dirty Way  - Using A Online Services

You can use one of the online sites that provide this service. bandwidthplace.com and speedtest.net are the two most common websites that let you check your internet speed for free. All you have to do is open a browser windows and visit these sites and click on the “Start Test” (or Begin Test) button. Once you do this, you will see a speedometer needle move twice, once to check your download speed and once to check you upload speed. Compare these speeds to that promised by your service provider. It’s okay if your download / upload speed is 80% of what was promised. Anything else than 50% is bad.

bandwidthplace

Thorough Way - Using Command Line “Ping” Utility

Do not let the word “Command Line” scare you, it is as simple as the above method, I promise :). If you are on a Windows machine, (MAC users skip to the next paragraph), hit the “Windows Key” and  ”R” at the same time and in the dialog box, type “cmd” and hit enter.  This will launch a Command Line window. Now at the cursor type “ping www.yahoo.com -t” and hit enter. You should see a similar output as below. Note, the last entry of any line “time = 73.012 ms” is what we need to observe. This is the time in milliseconds that it takes to send and receive any request you make to a remote site, like Yahoo in this case. You can ping any site for that matter, we are just using www.yahoo.com as an example. To stop the test hit “control key + c” at the same time and close the window.

ping utility

On a Mac, (Windows users skip to the next paragraph), in “Spotlight” search, type “terminal” and hit enter.  This will launch a Command Line window. Now at the cursor type “ping www.yahoo.com” and hit enter. You should see a similar output as above. Note, the last entry of any line “time = 73.012 ms” is what we need to observe. This is the time in milliseconds that it takes to send and receive any request you make to a remote site, like Yahoo in this case. You can ping any site for that matter, we are just using www.yahoo.com as an example. To stop the test hit “control key + c” at the same time and close the window.

So, what is an exceptable request time, well it depends. If the site you are pinging is in the same continent than up to 150 ms is considered okay, anything greater than 250 ms is bad. If the site is on an another continent like www.vsnl.com (service provider in india) it should be around 250ms, anything more than 400 ms is bad.

Note: Certain sites block others the ability to Ping them for security reasons. If you see no response from a site, then try another site. Also, if you see incomplete lines in between the scrolling output, this indicates a packet loss, call your service provider to investigate.

Things To Do Before You Call Support

1. Make sure to connect directly using a ethernet cable to your modem and repeat the above to be sure. Since, measuring your speed while connected over wireless or a crowded router can skew your results.

2. Turn of your router and modem and wait for 60 seconds. Now turn your modem on and once it is fully up, turn your router back on and repeat the above steps.

3. Make sure the cables between your modem, router and computer are secure and are not loosely connected. Also make sure the cables do not have any sharp bends and are not twisted.

If the above solutions do not resolve your problem, than it’s time to pick up the phone and make that call to your service provider.

Please see disclaimer.

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About Vijay

Computer junky for 20 plus years and still obsessed with it. I enjoy exploring and tweaking popular operating systems and tinkering with computer hardware. Professionally, I work as a Storage Systems Administrator. When not on my computer, I love to travel, shop, read and hang out with my family and friends.

Comments

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