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Stuff I Just Gotta Share..

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Have you tested your internet connection speed?

Having recently moved house I thought I’d run a test on the connection speed I’m getting with my broadband connection.

Most services will limit you to around 7-800KBps upload speed, so it’s really the download speed I was interested in, especialy as that’s what effects stuff like browsing sites, watching videos and downloading programs etc.

I’m not going to mention the name of the first site I first used to test my connection speed, as after the results I got with them sucked I realised I should probably do a bit of research before I called my provider to shout at them…

This first site was showing my download speed as around 2MBps on average, which may not sound too bad, but I’m paying for 30MBps from my provider and it’s not exactly cheap…

It turns out that there are quite a few different things that can effect the speed of your connection, but primary amongst them are the age of your computer and how far you are from the server on which you run the connection speed test.

As an example of the first “variable”, my desktop PC (running Windows XP Pro) is a 2 or 3 years old now and has way too much stuff running on it, so it often struggles simply because of the number of applications I run on it.

I also have a laptop (running Vista) that is just a few months old and fairly high spec.

My laptop, even though it is running of a wireless connection, was achieving on average, double the download speeds of my desktop PC, so the age/speed/specification of the computer you’re using can make a big difference!

I also found a decent speed testing site, after checking a couple of dozen!

the difference with this particular site is that they offer the ability to test your download speed for diffeent servers in different locations across the world, obviously some (like those that are closer) will give you better results.

Here’s a selection of the results I got with my desktop pc for some differenet server locations, bearing in mind I’m based in Cheltenham in the middle of the UK: –

Maidenhead  : 16MBps
London           : 10MBps
Kent                :  3MBps
Dublin             : 10MBps
Kiev                :  2.6MBps
Moscow          :  0.7MBps
New York      :  3.7Mbps
L.A.                 :  3.5MBps
Vancouver     :  2.3MBps

as you can see from the results, the servers in the UK gave me far higher download speeds.

So am I getting what I pay for?

well, remember I said that my laptop was getting double the speeds of the dekstop pc, in fact on the laptop I was able to get download speeds of close to 30MBps for all of the UK servers, and over 20MBps for most of the USA based servers, so I guess my provider (Virgin Media) are delivering what I’m paying for!

one last tip, if you’re broadband/cable/DSL supplier have increased your bandwidth over the last year or so and you haven’t upgraded your modem, then doing so will probably help as well, but have a chat with your supplier to see if they will provide one for free, mine did…

The best site I found for doing internet speed connection tests is SpeedTest.net

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