Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is Your ISP Throttling Your Bandwidth?

In a recent PC Magazine article, writer Jeremy Kaplain did a fantastic job of exposing the true Internet access speeds of the large consumer providers.
He did this by creating a speed test that measured the throughput of continuous access to popular Web sites like Google, Expedia, and many others. Until this report was published, the common metric for comparing ISPs was through the use of the numerous Internet speed test sites available online.

The problem with this validation method was that it could not simulate real speeds encountered when doing typical Web surfing and downloading operations. Plus, ISPs can tamper with the results of speed tests — more on this later.
When I saw the results of PC Magazine’s testing, I was a bit relieved to see that the actual speeds of large providers was somewhere between 150 Kbit/s and 200 Kbit/s. This is a far cry from the two, three or even four megabit download speeds frequently hyped in ISP marketing literature.

1 comment:

  1. How would you feel if you pumped a gallon of gas only to find out that the service station’s meter was off by 10 percent in its favor? Obviously you would want the owners exposed immediately and demand a refund, and possibly even lodge a criminal complaint against the station. So, why does the consumer tolerate such shenanigans with their ISP?

    Put simply, it’s a matter of expectations.

    ISPs know that new and existing customers are largely comparing their Internet-speed experiences to dial-up connections, which often barely sustain 28 Kbit/s. So, even at 150 Kbits/s, customers are getting a seven-fold increase in speed, which is like the difference between flying in a jet and driving your car. With the baseline established by dial up being so slow, most ISPs really don’t need to deliver a true sustained three megabits to be successful.

    As a consumer, reliable information is the key to making good decisions in the marketplace. Below are some important questions you may want to ask your provider about their connection speeds. It is unlikely the sales rep will know the answers, or even have access to them, but perhaps over time, with some insistence, details will be made available. I will post five questions that u need to ask your ISP before you get into the next years contract. If you have a comment pliz do on this post.