Internet Speed - Understanding Why it Varies So Much
Internet speed is such a mystery to many people. "Why is my internet so slow while others enjoy fast speed" people often ask themselves. Is it just luck or can you take steps to ensure good internet speed?
Internet access speed is a popular bragging topic these days. For example the following discussion is overheard at a BBQ:
Tom: "I have a 1.56 megabit DSL line."
Mary: "I have a 384K DSL line."
Steve: "My internet
on my smartphone is slower than a 56K modem."
Group: "What a shame!"
Firstly lets discuss data flow rates. Take the old dial-up modem speed; 56K. This means 56,000 bits of data per second. And it takes 8 bits to form 1 character or number, so a 56K modem has a maximum speed of 7000 characters (or bytes) per second.
Next lets discuss how you access the internet; there are 3 main ways. First via ADSL connections (via a telephone line), second via wireless. There are two types of wireless - best explained using the telephone analogy. There is wireless like a cordless telephone where you need to be within range of a "wireless router" at home or a "wireless hotspot" like at McDonalds or the Airport. The other wireless type is like a mobile phone "it works wherever your mobile phone would", ie within range of 3G towers.
Lastly lets discuss speed issues.
ADSL and access via a wireless router should produce fast internet speeds all the time if you are connected to a reputable service provider whose infrastructure is not overloaded making everyone slow. You can check your speed by going to www.speedtest.net.
With smartphones and wireless 3G (these are the dongles that stick out of your laptop's USB port) , the speed impact of a slow provider is very noticeable. For example I had a lady in the shop using Dodo internet and she was getting 1k/sec internet speed - 50 times slower than dial up. It took 10 minutes to display 1 webpage. My wife's iPhone is also very slow on Vodaphone, but my sons-in-law get great 3G speed with Telstra.
So I think the lesson to be learnt is - choose a supplier carefully and NOT based on price. Cheap deals tend to delivery an internet experience that's so slow that you tend to not use it. Happy surfing ....
Example of very show internet