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How to analyze internet connection speed on a SOHO network

The small (6 workstations) workgroup network, including wired and wireless connections, currently uses a 10/100 switch and a DSL modem to access one another and the internet. How can I determine if upgrading to a 1Gb switch and 1Gb NICs will improve the internet connection speed for the workstations on the LAN?

In other words I don't want to upgrade the NICs and the switch to 1Gb then find out that there's little or no performance gain because the DSL modem is a bottleneck or that the incoming DSL service to the office can't utilize the 1Gb speed.
4 Solutions
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
In all likelihood, the bottleneck for your Internet connection is the line from your ISP itself.  If you have a 5MB connection, you'll never do any better than that, regardless of what NIC or switch you use.  It's worth pointing out that 5MB connection I shared 6 ways, so each person (on average) gets 1.2MB...

Unless you have a big pipe to the Internet, there's not much to be gained by upgrading your internal network.
Mike RoeCommented:
You would have performance gain on your internal network but nothing for the internet if you went to GB.  I would see if you could get cable/fiber to the office since they are priced very reasonably depending on your area.
As the others have said, you won't improve your Internet performance by upgrading your switches and NIC's.

You can't go any faster than the slowest link.  So unless your DSL connection is faster than 100 Mbps, your bottle neck is the DSL link.
Correct. If your issue involves only traffic to the internet, then your issue is most likely the DSL line.

You never mentioned the speed they are supposed to get in the first place. I assume it is 5 mbps or higher, but please confirm.

Try statically setting your DNS servers to and on one machine. If things are suddenly much faster for that computer, then the ISP has DNS issues. The fix for that would be manually setting dns on the router.

You could also do a speed test and be sure that you are getting close to whatever their speed is supposed to be. DSL providers sometimes provide slow or unstable connections and blame everything but themselves.

After this, then I would pursue the faster connection. Might as well provide solid evidence before making a move.
SnakeEyedMojoAuthor Commented:
Thany you all for your answers.
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