Is Your Internet Connection Letting You Down?

Last Update: September 29, 2015

I've read of some members having trouble with videos streaming correctly, who use their Internet connection to make phone calls (VoIP calls). Some even make regular video calls using Skype or some other service over their Internet connection.


What's the problem??


Your problem may be in your your Internet connection. Upload speeds are typically a lot slower than download speeds, and latency can be nearly a second for satellite based Internet providers - since your click has to travel to a satellite 22,300 miles above the earth and back again before it's ever processed by your provider!

How can you be sure if your Internet connection is causing problems when you're trying to stream audio or video - or if you should be hunting elsewhere for a solution to your problem?

I've had good luck with a site called Visualware at http://myspeed.visualware.com/index.php - just pick your location and the type of test you'd like to have done, and the site will do the rest - for free! Note that Visualware doesn't service all countries - they work in many places in the US, in Canada, and in Brazil, as well as in much of the European Union, Japan, and Australia. If you don't find your location, look for other similar sites by searching for "sites like visualware.com".

What's this about Java?


Note that you'll have to allow the use of Java for Visualware to work its magic, since some browsers or providers restrict the operation of Java based web applications. If you aren't comfortable with it, locate a similar site by searching for (you guessed it) "sites like visualware.com".

You may not be able to isolate the problem with your audio or video stream - but you may be able to eliminate your Internet connection as one possible source of the problem!

Dennis

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NWTDennis Premium
Pretty geeky stuff Dennis. I'm not having video streaming problems, but admittedly don't spend a lot of time watching internet videos. But I do get annoyed from time to time with the sluggishness to get my ISP connected in the morning. I'm not in love with my ISP (Comcast), but don't want to deal with an email address change.

But, I ran the test anyway. Upload speed was slower than download speed (6.01 Mbps vs 33.6 Mbps). Bandwidth is 156413 kbps, speed consistency is 73%, round trip speed consistency is 83% with Ave Delay of 2 ms and Max Delay if 33 ms.

What do you think ... or is this TMI?
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Prestones Premium
Greetings Dennis!

Two comments:
- I'm jealous!
- if it's getting the job done for you (if it aint broke), don't fix it.

The only tests that may be of interest would be if you intend to add services such as VoIP (telephone over the internet) to your connection, or if you want to do a firewall test.

Congratulations!

Dennis
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SamiWilliams Premium
Interesting information- will check it out.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention
Sami
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Prestones Premium
Hi Sami!

It's really only of value if you're having issues with email or other Internet connectivity - in which case it's a nice diagnostic tool.

Otherwise, it's just fun to play with!

Dennis
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Mark1957 Premium
Cheers Dennis........quality info as usual :-))
Mark
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Prestones Premium
Hi Mark!

The quantity has been falling off a bit - but (hopefully) the quality will do some members a bit of service.

Onward!

Dennis
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Mark1957 Premium
Service of quality, no doubt!
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Chessie Premium
We were having all sorts of problems when I first went premium a month or so ago and a few members suggested that our connection could be the problem. We upgraded to 'Infinity' in UK and we've not had any problems since. Trouble is, it does cost a little more and not all areas have infinity available, but it's more than worth it if you can afford the little extra each quarter. I feel for those in remote areas, they must get so frustrated with a bad or slow connection. Good blog Prestones. Ches
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Prestones Premium
Hi Ches!

Here in the States, that extra cost might be deductible at tax time. Check it out - perhaps it's a small consolation prize, along with other expenses related to doing business at home.

Just looking for that silver lining... ;)

Dennis
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Mark1957 Premium
Hi there Ches
I'm stuck with "normal" broadband down here even though Openreach are in the locality and have been promising Infinity is "coming"......so's Christmas!!
But Dennis is right, part of your phone line and internet connection/broadband fee is tax deductible if you're running business from home ;-))
Mark
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Chessie Premium
Thanks for that Dennis, yes we do put it against tax but the initial outlay has to be paid for but as I said, well worth it for us. We were like Mark, with no upgrade available but luckily 'infinity' has just come to the outback of Wales! Ches
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Chessie Premium
Hi Mark, yes we were the same as you last year and they did promise it would be in by last Xmas, they weren't far out, it became available shortly before we went 'infinity'. Even so there are variations of infinity and we're on the low one. Why they didn't put in the best version I don't know, must be something to do with the infrastructure of the BT network in this area I suppose. It may be the same when it comes to you ie 2nd rate infinity! Ches
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Mark1957 Premium
Hahahaha....2nd rate Infinity, I like it!
Or maybe not ;-)
Mark
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OldMCSEGuy Premium
Very good info
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Prestones Premium
Howdy Keith and Jay!

Glad to hear you found it may be of use down the road ~ Dennis
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OldMCSEGuy Premium
We both hold MCSE and MCSA Certifications.
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Prestones Premium
Impressive Keith and Jay!

I hold a PhD in fumble-your-way-through-diagnosis-and-repair :)

Yep, I'm one of those guys <chuckle>

Dennis
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AZechinato Premium
We were spoiled living in the states with our internet connection. It never occurred to us that moving to Puerto Rico would mean going back in time with internet service. The service men still climb poles and test cable up and down the street whenever we have a problem. Very frustrated. I called them Saturday. They are still chasing cable trying to find out why our internet runs at molasses speed. I will probably die of old age waiting...I am grateful to have any connection at this point.
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Prestones Premium
Hello Angela!

Funny how Murphy hides when you make major changes (like moving to Puerto Rico), then hits you with all those niggling little irritants - or big ones.

At least there's no snow to shovel... ;)

Dennis
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AZechinato Premium
Hola Dennis!

It's also funny how easy we get used to living in less than desirable situations when the trade off is beach and constant sunshine.

Oh and I never need anything more than flip flops on my feet.

My goodness, I must be suffering from sunstroke if I am willing to compromise on my internet.....
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krazykat Premium
Pretty cool. Thanks!
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Prestones Premium
Greetings Val!

Just another diagnostic tool to put in your "fix it" bag of tricks. You may never need it, but it's there if you do :)

Dennis
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krazykat Premium
Thanks Dennis. I like those bags of tricks :-)
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Prestones Premium
One other thought Val ~

This thread, along with your profile picture, remind me of Felix the Cat and his magic bag of tricks, from an old cartoon series (dating myself here). More at http://felixthecat.wikia.com/wiki/Felix's_Magic_Bag...

... when you have a bit of time to waste! ;)

Dennis
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krazykat Premium
Hahahaha. Thanks for a giggle :-)
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CathyS Premium
This is so cool! We have to use satellite ... most of the time it seems as slow as dial-up. Unfortunately, Louisiana (where I live) isn't yet a test site, but hey, with all this waiting on satellite ... got nothin' but time. :-)
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Prestones Premium
Greetings Cathy -

Gotta love satellite connections - except the long latency periods, the bits that rain and snow do to cause the signal to drop entirely (generally right when a submittal is due ;) and so on. I even tried spraying the dish with Pam to get the snow to fall off more quickly!

Put another way, I feel your pain :\

Dennis
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CathyS Premium
So - did the Pam work? It rarely snows here, but we've had to move a lizard out when he decided to make the dish his home ...
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Prestones Premium
Hi Cathy ~

It seemed Pam worked a bit, but I'd put it on just before the snow season began here - so it's tough to tell.

I think today if I had a dish I'd coat it periodically with Rain-X (for car windshields) to help year-round, repelling rain and making snow slip off more easily.

There's no escaping the latency issue though!

Dennis
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Kathy331 Premium
Don't talk to me about Internet connection, rural Scotland is still in the dark ages. Lucky if I get 2mbps, occasionally pushes to 3 on a good day!
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Prestones Premium
It takes time to paint all those ones and zeroes onto the walls of the cave, eh?

You're preaching to the choir!

Dennis
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Kathy331 Premium
Lol!
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Shawn Martin Premium
Thanks, Dennis!
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Prestones Premium
A tiny repayment for the contributions you've made here Shawn!

Dennis
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Shawn Martin Premium
:)
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