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Internet Access Speed

Posted on 2011-03-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I would  like to know what is Internet Access Speed .

We can use speedtest.net or other similar online services to test our internet access speed , to check whether the speed meet what we subcribed (pay)  for .

(1)
I like to know when we  "measure " the  "Internet access speed", are we only measure the speed between our home's modem and Local ISP ???

(2)
If the "Internet access speed " is only measured between home's modem to Local ISP, how about "WAN Speed"  ( the data flow through WAN ) , how to measure WAN Speed .

If I confuse you on this second question , please let me know , i will try to describe one more time .
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Question by:kcn
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 35041847
The service that an ISP provides is only between you and them.  And all of the speed statements I've seen say "Up to xxMbps" and that the actual speed will vary.  WAN would suggest that you have a contracted link between two or more points.  The available speed will depend on what you have been able to sign up for.

Speed on the public internet is quite variable.  It depends on the traffic between two points and what speeds the two points have available to them.  If you are the only connecting to the server that a web site is on, you should get a pretty quick response.  If you are 1 of 10,000, it could be a lot slower.  If you have a blazing fast 50Mbps connection and a web site only has a T1 at 1.544Mbps, the slower connection will set the limit.
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Author Comment

by:kcn
ID: 35042204
If I use SPEEDTEST.NET  to test my Internet Speed , the measurement from SPEEDTEST.NET is this indicate the speed  between I and my Local ISP , or , between I and my Target Server (that's mean the average speed across the WAN link )  ???
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savone earned 334 total points
ID: 35043368
Sweetest.net tests the speed from your modem to their servers.

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Author Comment

by:kcn
ID: 35043431
The Speedtest.net 's server is after the my Local ISP . That's mean the measured download & upload speed is indicate the  average "internet speed"  across the WAN until reaching " destinated server " .

In the other words , the measured speed is between my modem and destinated server ( remote target server ) ???  Am I right ???   Please advise.
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by:savone
savone earned 334 total points
ID: 35043540
Yes you are correct.
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Assisted Solution

by:profgeek
profgeek earned 166 total points
ID: 35043744
Most speed tests work by timing the downloading and uploading of a file of known size.  They simply time how long it takes to download the file to your computer from theirs and do the math.  Upload is timed in the other direction.  The actual time depends on a variety of factors, many of which are unrelated to your ISP, since they are happening between the testing server and your ISP, and then to your system.  They do not test the speed between your ISP and your system.  Rather, they test the speed between their server and your system, via your ISP.  What can you tell about your ISP from this?

1.  Whatever speed you get, you know you are getting at least that speed from your ISP
2.  If the speed is slower than you want, it may or may not be your ISP.  It could be slowness elsewhere on the path between the testing server and you.
3.  Speed is dependent on lots of factors.  If you have a cable connection, it could vary greatly, as you are sharing a connection with others.  When it's busy, you will get slower speeds.  If you have DSL, then that isn't so much of a factor.

Most ISPs provide a minimum guaranteed speed.  You may purchase a package that says "6 mb" but if you read the fine print, it will usually say "up to" 6 mb.  Most do have some minimum guaranteed speed, however, which is their threshhold for letting you initiate a trouble ticket for your connection.  I have DSL at 10 mb, but the "guaranteed" speed is only 2 mb.  That means that my ISP won't consider anything as being defective with my connection unless I consistently go lower than 2 mb.  

Try testing speeds at a variety of times throughout the day to get a better feel for how traffic might be effecting your connection.  Log the speeds you are getting.  
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