Question: I barely get 220 Kbps when I do bandwidth tests on either of my computers. Your site says 384 to 768 Kbps. I was wondering why I can’t seem to hit over 220? When watching Movie trailers on Apple’s site I have to wait several minutes for a 2 minute trailer. Is there anything we can do? My two machines are both running windows XP. One is a brand new Dell Laptop D610, my desktop is an HP. My laptop races when I go to work, friends house or anywhere with high speed. At one they both perform the same.
- Ted, June 1, 2007 (name changed for privacy)
Hi Ted, before I direct you to the High Speed Internet speed test page, let me say a few things. Residential DSL and Cable internet systems work in a shared environment. Residential customers share internet lines with others between your home and the system hub. Businesses will often purchase leased lines, a fraction of a T1 line for example, which greatly reduces the number of shared users. In essence businesses pay more, while sharing keeps the cost way down for home users.
Going to work or another person’s house is not comparable, unless that other person’s house is subscribed to the sameAtt Yahoo high speed internet service with a rating of up to 768 kbps. What you can do is measure the “Overhead” percentage at a friend’s house and compare it to yours. For example, if your friend is rated at 1,500 kbps (1.5 mbps) and they are speed testing at 1,200 kbps, that’s an Overhead of 20% or (1,500 – 1,200) / 1,500. Comparing it to your service would be 768 x (1 – 20%) or 614 kbps. Comparing to work is not a good idea unless they are using the same residential Att Yahoo High Speed Internet service.
As you will read on the Att Yahoo High Speed Internet website link I’ve provided below, DSL has distance issues. Distance and sharing could be your issue assuming that your equipment is set up correctly.
Here’s that link to the official At&t Yahoo speed test web site. I copied and pasted the first bit of info for your convenience.
“What is throughput? Throughput is the amount of data moved successfully from one place (e.g., your computer) to another (e.g., any given website on the Internet) in a given time period.”
“What does this test measure? This test measures the throughput of the connection from your computer to our network location. The throughput of your High Speed Internet service is based on a number of factors, including the distance between your home/office and our network location, the number of “hops” from our network location to your computer, the performance of network servers and routers, the condition of any lines between these two points, environmental factors, and your computer performance. Because many factors affect throughput, your actual experience may vary. The results of this test could be affected by a number of factors inside your home or business, and in the network.”
“This test checks throughput between your computer and our network to the Internet. This test does not check sync rate (the speed or capacity of the High Speed Internet connection from the Network Interface Device at your home to the High Speed Internet Access Multiplexing or Remote Gateway equipment in our network). Only a trained technician using special equipment can test the sync rate. Throughput is not necessarily an indication of sync rate.”
After thoughts: Sometimes slow internet speed is a technical issue that can be improved. Sometimes its a distance or overhead issue and cannot be improved without upgrading. While comparing your high speed internet options remember that you are buying “speed.” A closer look at Att Yahoo DSL pricing helps to understand this, setting special offers and extras aside.
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