Columnist Bruce Kerr tries to clear up some of the confusion surrounding internet connections.
Columnist Bruce Kerr tries to clear up some of the confusion surrounding internet connections.

BYTE ME: Is your internet up to speed?

THIS week we try to clear up some of the confusion surrounding internet connections.

Unfortunately, this is a very subjective and technical topic so I will try to keep things simple.

It is also due to the technical and subjective nature of internet connections that there will always be confusion surrounding this topic.

We always hear stories about someone’s best friend’s neighbour that just got their new XYZ internet connection and it is a piece of junk.

This news travels faster than the other friend’s neighbour who got a new internet connection that they are very happy with — such is the good news vs bad news syndrome.

The only way to compare internet connections is via a speed testing utility like www.speedtest.net which will give non-subjective actual comparable data in the form of three parameters.

Speedtest.net will give you a ping time as well as download and upload speeds. This sometimes tells an entirely different story to an end user’s subjective guestimation.

I am also trying to alert the rural community that they could be making a big mistake if they have or are about to sign up to NBN satellite-based internet connection.

If they have absolutely no mobile phone reception then they will have no other option.

However, if they can make a mobile phone call by standing on the roof of their house, then we can supply a wireless broadband kit to give exceptionally good internet using a proper directional MIMO antenna and an industrial-grade 3G/4G/4GX router.

Satellite-based internet will always have a very slow ping time that is close to a full second. This is the time it takes between the user clicking on a link or typing a letter and that action getting registered on the world wide web. Alternatively, a wireless broadband connection will have a more typical ping time of around 30 milliseconds — which means about 30 click registrations per second.

This ping time is a vital measurement and has a large bearing on the speed with which you can browse from page to page on the internet.

It is best likened to how long it takes the water in your shower rosette to change temperature following a change in the position of the hot or cold taps. You may have plenty of water flow, but if these changes take ages it is not a good experience, which can be likened to a slow ping time on the internet.

The other two measurements of upload and download speeds indicate what volume of data can flow to and from the internet once a registration or click is made.

All three measurements will interact to have a bearing on the usability of your internet connection, however, the slow ping time of a satellite connection will always relegate this type of connection to second rate at best.

We have heaps of our wireless broadband kits around The Caves, Theodore, Moura, Baralaba, Dingo, Emerald, Clermont and even Longreach that work efficiently day and night to keep people connected to the outside world.

Some of our business customers even rely on these connections for their in-field contractors and salespersons to remote back into the servers in their main office. This is often in stark contrast to the often slow and unreliable satellite-based connections that they more often get talked into because of their location.

The same speed testing utility can be used for town internet connections, which we will look at next week.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to bytemearticles@ gmail.com.

Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave St or on 4922 2400.



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