October 11, 2020

Am I getting right speed from the ISP?

Do you actually receive the Internet Speed and Bandwidth advertised by your ISP? Ever considered the factors that could be affecting them behind your back? Are the two of them even the same? Do you take care of the factors that can potentially alter your readings?

Am I getting right speed from the ISP?

Speed tests might sound simple, as all you gotta do is visit Speedtest by Ookla and tap on run speed test to find out how fast your Internet has been working. The test provides you with details regarding your upload speed, download speed and ping.

But did you know that it doesn’t give you the full picture? Did you know that there is a difference between the total bandwidth claimed by your ISP and the actual speed of the Internet that you are able to use? In fact, there is a difference between the speed and bandwidth, to begin with.

Quick concepts

Internet Speed:

Is a measure of transfer rate of data between two systems.

Internet Bandwidth:

Is a measure of the amount of data that can be transferred in a second.

Confused? Take it this way:

You are riding your car on a highway, how fast you are going is your speed while a measure of how many cars can go that fast (width of the highway or number of lanes in that highway) is equivalent to bandwidth.

Internet Latency:

Latency refers to the amount of time it takes for a signal to travel to its destination and back. For Example, the time it takes for a signal to travel from your device to your ISP servers and back. Since latency is a measure of delay, the lower latency, the better!

Factors affecting Speedtest

The Internet speed shown to you by speed test websites is not accurate! Yes, it is actively and passively affected by a number of factors:

A dart board with darts around the bull's eye
Accuracy? Precision? Anyone?

Devices:

Different devices have different WiFi radio reception capabilities and thus their speeds depend on physical factors like signal strength, distance from the source, etc.

Access Points:

It is also sometimes possible that your WiFi router is not able to render and support the full bandwidth of your service provider.

Test Servers:

The servers used for testing speed may perform differently, depending upon their proximity to your location. Latency of course is the most affected factor here.

Network Drivers:

Drivers act like bridges between your hardware network card (that takes in and processes electrical inputs from LAN/WiFi Antenna) and your software/interfaces. A fault there can compromise speed, connectivity, latency, etc.

Browsers:

Yes, comes as a shocker right? But different browsers have different capabilities and may show different results. This is true especially in the case of high-speed connections.

Background Processes:

Hate them as much as you want but the fact remains, they are there and a process like windows downloading updates, or a torrent running in the background can seriously hamper your speed test results.

Number of concurrent Users:

The speed advertised by your ISP as your Internet speed is basically a best-case scenario estimation. The total bandwidth allocated by the ISP is distributed among the various subscribers sharing the same exchange.

Size/Type of Network:

The real challenge lies in measuring bandwidth for an enterprise (large) network. You have to disconnect your entire networking infrastructure or plug your laptop directly into the slot provided by your ISP and then run the speed test, preferably outside of office hours.

Scared? Don't be. BhaiFi does this heavy lifting and tells you the accurate Speedtest results by itself

Since you are using BhaiFi, Your job now is a piece of cake.

Some heavy lifting that sounds, and is, for sure.
Bodybuilder working out at a gym
Photo by Anastase Maragos / Unsplash

BhaiFi automatically runs periodic speed tests as a maintenance routine to keep a check on your network’s health and performance. If somehow the Internet speed falls below a certain threshold, our automated systems instantly dispatch an email that looks like this.

If however you want to view reports of the tests conducted earlier, you can do that from the “ISP Speedtest Results” section on your Dashboard for a period of up to 30 days.

How to do that?

Follow these steps:

  1. Log into your BhaiFi portal which lands you right on the Dashboard.
  2. Simply scroll down to the “ISP Speedtest Results” section.
  3. Select the date for which you want to view the report. This can be a day when, let’s say, you felt your Internet connection was slow.
  4. Press Refresh button to instantly fetch the report.

For instance, today is the 30th of September and my workspace had witnessed an Internet slowdown on the 31st of August. So all I have to do is select 31st August from the dates.

A screenshot from the Speedtest section of the BhaiFi portal depicting speedtest results
A screenshot from the Speedtest section of the BhaiFi portal

As you can see, I have 4 results of Upload and Download speeds for the 31st of August, that were automatically conducted at 6-hour intervals.

Want to run an instant test?

Simply tap on the “play” icon and you are good to go! You will receive a floating notification that says “Success!! Speed Test Scheduled.”

A screenshot from the Speedtest section of the BhaiFi portal depicting speedtest results
A screenshot from the Speedtest section of the BhaiFi portal

An extensive, accurate and real-time test with meaningful insights is then conducted to measure your bandwidth. You will obtain a graph like this, where the X-Axis plots the speed with respect to Y-Axis which plots time.

Alert:

A word of caution, this is going to hog the Internet bandwidth for the duration of the test, so people connected could experience a slight slowness but you don’t need to either manually remove users or go through the horrors of disconnecting and reconnecting the wires on your exchange mesh. Just a tap! It's that simple!

Conclusion

So, guys, that brings us to the end of our premises with respect to Internet speed, bandwidth, their differences, their measurement, common issues encountered during measurement and precautions that need to be taken. This is also enlightening as towards the end we realized how BhaiFi’s Humanless Solution make this task a piece of cake!

Simple in approach, yet sophisticated in build, unleash the power of BhaiFi at your workspace now! It will change the way you imagine your network!