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I Don't Understand Internet Speed

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Vihzel, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Vihzel

    Vihzel Destroying Balls Everyday
    Thread Starter

    Why does my internet feel so slow even though when I do the internet speed test, it is a decently fast connection? For example... I have a download speed of 3Mbps but I struggle to play Youtube videos or Hulu. I know it's not my computer because it's not the same at school. I also noticed this a lot over the summer at my dad's business where the download speed was 1.5Mbps but I could only play Youtube videos at 360p MAX or else it was buffering a lot. Netflix was playable only at the very lowest setting. I also notice that when I download something, I never get the speed that was posted on internet speed test.

    I am SO confused.
     



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  2. jwp1223

    jwp1223 Android Enthusiast

    If you're using it at Peak hours, then you're speed is going to suffer, also you could be having issues with your modem or the wiring in your house. There are a lot of factors that go into internet speeds.
     
  3. Vihzel

    Vihzel Destroying Balls Everyday
    Thread Starter

    I understand that. What's puzzling is that I will do the internet speed test and it'll come up like 2.3Mbps (for example) and then immediately download something and the download rate will be much slower. Or... do the internet speed test and come with 2.8Mbps while having Youtube on another page struggling to stream a 360p video
     
  4. jwp1223

    jwp1223 Android Enthusiast

    Which speed test are you using? Speedtest.com? They are notorious for giving false packets.

    Go to DSLReports.com and use their speed test. They are a bit more accurate.
     
  5. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer

    Well for one the speed test is only telling you the speed between you and the server you are using for the test, and in the case of speedtest.net that will be the closest server they have to your location. In real life when you are downloading from a website somewhere you will be routed through various nodes to reach the server you are downloading from. If one of those nodes is slow it will effect the whole communication between you and the server.

    Another point is you are being told by your ISP and speedtest.net you have a download rate of 2.3 megabits (Mb) which equates to 0.2875 megabytes (MB) or 294.4 kilobytes, and this is probably the speed you are seeing in your download window, not quite as fast as you thought hey! For high quality videos you need a fast connection and 294 kilobytes per second is not enough, you really need at least 1 megabyte per second for high resolution video which is 8 megabits per second (and what you need to look for from an ISP).
     
  6. jwp1223

    jwp1223 Android Enthusiast

    All of the above plus, you'll probably want to upgrade if you can to at least 6.0 Mbps (which is ATT's fastest DSL), or switch over to ATT Uverse, or get cable/FIOS.
     
  7. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Android Expert

    Like it was said above, the weakest link in the system is what the speed will be.

    Imagine a garden hose that will allow(just a for-instance) 3 gallon per minute flow. Now imagine there being a restriction of water flow down at the next block from you that restricts the flow to 1 gallon/minute. Your garden hose will not flow water out at 3 gallons/ minute no matter what you do.

    Now obviously that doesn't truly reflect things, but is a good way of thinking about it.
     
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