The internet has become essential to how we live our lives in the decades since it became widespread in the 1990s and 2000s. Yet, though we depend on it in much the same way that we depend on utilities like power and water, much of the way it operates is shrouded in mystery.
Today, let's shed some light on internet speed. Here are the essential components to check when diagnosing your internet connection:
Download speed - important for all internet activity such as web browsing and watching videos.
Upload speed - important when sending files to someone else, videoconferencing on Zoom, and all other real-time communication.
Ping - measures how far away you are from your internet service provider's equipment.
Packet loss - shows whether your internet connection is working properly. Having a packet loss number larger than 0% means there's a problem with your internet connection, or if on Wi-Fi, that you are too far away from your wireless router.
The easiest way to test your internet speed is to use the tools found at Speedtest.net. While the website itself has testing tools, you must download the Speed Test app (compatible with Mac, Windows, iPhone, and Android) to test packet loss.
Here are some typical speed test results for a healthy internet connection in the Asheville metro area:
Packet loss: 0%
Be aware that if you run a speed test while connected to Wi-Fi instead of hardwired via ethernet cable, the signal strength of your wireless connection will play a part in the results of your test. To get the most accurate results for the speeds coming from your internet service provider, run the test while hardwired to your router.
Do you have issues with your internet connection? We love troubleshooting interesting internet issues, and would be happy to diagnose your internet connection during our appointment with you.
Jensen Gelfond is the Founder of Asheville Digital Lifestyle. He helps people use their technology more effectively and joyfully.