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Internet connection issues?

September 3, 2009

In a previous post I talked about using commands like ping and tracert to test your internet connection and its speed.

Here are some more things you can use — SpeedTest and DownForJustMe.

SpeedTest

SpeedTest (http://www.speedtest.net/)  lets you test your connection speed and shows you the results compared to your ISP’s average and compared to other places in your state, country and the world.

Snapshot of my results

Snapshot of my results

Australia compared to other countries

Australia compared to other countries

You can also view and download a CSV file of your results over time if you need to ‘prove’ that your connection is doing strange things (the screen shot below shows my results over a few hours — the red box is the slowest speed and the green box the fastest).

Results over time

Results over time

Down for everyone or just me?

Another tool for checking a slow or non-responsive connection to a website is the Down For Everyone or Just Me? website (http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/).

You enter the URL you’re having trouble with, then press Enter or click the link.

Enter the URL in the box

Enter the URL in the box

After a very short time (less than one second?), you’ll get your answer:

Looks like there's nothing wrong -- it must be at my end

Looks like there's nothing wrong -- it must be at my end

If there is something wrong, they’ll tell you that too. You don’t get a lot of information, but you get enough to ‘prove’ that it’s not something at your end. (In the example below I entered a fake URL just to see what the response would be.)

And if it's not working, you get this

And if it's not working, you get this

Update January 2010:

Speedtest.net also have another service — pingtest.net — that measures packet loss, ping time, and jitter (the variance in successive ping tests). All these factors can influence the quality of your connection and its ability to handle big downloads, streaming and online games.

[Links last checked August 2009; thanks to the January 2010 issue of Australian Computer Magazine (p11) for alerting me to pingtest.]

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