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Basic Internet Terminology

There are a lot of things that factor into your speed of your Internet connection. Download and upload speeds, backbones, networks, latency, ping times, and DNS servers to name a few. Below you will find some fequently used terms and their description used on the Internet

The transmission capacity of the lines that carry the Internet's electronic traffic.

Download is a measure of how fast your connection delivers content to your computer or local area network.

Upload is the measure of how fast content is delivered from your computer or local area network to others on the Internet.

For businesses or power-users, download and upload speed should match or at least be very close. This is important for applications like VoIP, on-line gaming and other interactive programs. Upload speed is even more important if you are operating a server at your location. If achieving optimal upload speed is a concern, consider Ethernet, T1 or SDSL services.

Kbps transfer rate = kilobit per second transfer rate. There are 8 bits in a byte, so we would divide kbps by 8 to get KB/sec transfer rate.

Transfer Rate
Transfer rate is speed at which data can be transmitted between devices. This is sometimes referred to as throughput. As files to download become increasingly larger, the highest data transfer rate is most desirable.

In a network, latency, a synonym for delay, is an expression of how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another. In some usages, latency is measured by sending a packet that is returned to the sender and the round-trip time is considered the latency. Low latency is extremely important for businesses and power-users.

Core Network Performance Speed Up Your Internet Connection

Like the old adage, "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link," every web page you view, file or download from the Internet is handled by dozens of computers before it appears on your screen. And the speed you receive from the Internet is determined by the slowest "link" in the data chain leading to your computer. Listed below are some factors that can affect the speed of your Modem connection.

What Affects Speed?

1. The Host Server

The most common cause of slow speed on the Internet is the host server. This server may be mis-configured or underpowered for the number of people using it at the same time. A slow server can affect anything you do on the Internet.


2. The Host Server's Internet Connection

The servers from which you receive web pages, files, videos or gaming data from, connect to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider. These servers connect using one or more T1 lines, which can deliver a guaranteed 1.5 Mbps. If a server only has a single T1 line and ten people are using it simultaneously, each person will only receive 150 kbps, slowing the speed.


3. Internet Routers

The data sent to your computer from a server typically bounces through a dozen or so routers. Their purpose is directing data from one point to another on the Internet. Routers, or the connections between them, can become mis-configured or overloaded by high demand.


4. Ad-ware or Spyware 

If your computer is infected with "ad-ware" or "spyware" you'll likely see reduced computer performance and a constant stream of pop-up ads. This will likely cause everything on your computer to work slower.


* Please note that Sniper's Paradise does not recommend or endorse the use of these products and/or web sites. There are many other products and services available on the Internet which provide similar removal tools.

5. Web Browser

A corrupted or poorly configured web browser is one of the most common bottlenecks for fast web browsing.


6. Your TCP/IP Configuration

Installation software provided by dial-up Internet providers can change the default TCP/IP settings on your computer in an attempt to provide better performance. These changes usually cause poorer performance with high-speed Internet services. Macintosh users don't experience this particular problem.


7. Your Computer Hardware

The speed of the processor, hard drive, network card, graphics accelerator, even the amount of RAM, all impact the speed your computer can process Internet data.


Here is a good way to determine whether or not your computer is at fault:

Find a friend who is receiving good speed with their connection. Borrow their lap top computer and connect it to your modem. If the speed problem doesn't manifest itself, it could be your computer.

8. Your Operating System

With extensive use, any computer operating system can become corrupted, inefficient or mis-configured, which will affect the speed.


9. Your Home Networking Device

A home networking device, or router, routes traffic between your modem and your computer(s). Routers which do not use the 100baseT Ethernet Standard and routers which have outdated software could slow your connection.


The major cause of a slow internet connection in most cases is as a result of the Internet Service Provider (ISP). Whether this is the case or not, it is possible to optimize the internet connection through port functions with the bandwidth that has been provided. A common problem of slowed internet connection is for the router to have been set with a downloading limit without the user's knowledge and this slows downloading speeds. In order to find out if this is the case, the cable going to the router may be connected directly to the computer and the speed monitored. If the speed is significantly faster, then the router could have been set with a limit.

The ports for the router can also be opened on the computer and under the router settings and port forwarding, the IP address should be input. The router is required to be configured in a way that it can accept ports for the appropriate programs that are being used. Port speed is an important factor and the modem should be set up with the right speed for appropriate internet speeds. Incase modem connection problems still persist; one could try and lower the port speed towards modem speed and turn off the compression. This is done only for those set ups that still utilize old UART's.

The general connecting ports should be checked for any loose connections or wiring which may be the cause of a slow or breaking connection. The use of cable mapping tools may also play a vital role in ensuring that cables are properly assigned and in addition can show port status, byte counts, and port speed. The use of USB ports for internet connection has served to create a fast and convenient way for broadband internet connection. Wireless USB devices have also shown great performance speed in addition to their portability.

10. Cabe Company Routers

In addition to passing through routers on the public Internet, information received also passes through between six and twelve routers maintained by Cable company's. It is possible for them to become mis-configured or overloaded, but it's more common for routine upgrades or maintenance to these routers to be at fault.


11. Your Modem's Signal

If your signal delivered to your modem is too weak or too noisy, it can cause your Modem to slow down or stop working entirely. Adding a signal splitter to your cable line; a nick in the cable line running to your house; or changes to the cable system in your neighborhood, could also slow your cable signal.


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