PC Basics: Internet Speeds


Internet providers always tout how fast their
Internet speeds are but what are they actually talking about? Your computer’s connection to the rest of
the world is a two way street. Your computer will send up requests for whatever
you are trying to access. The Internet then responds by sending down the requested information. This information could be a website or even
streaming video. This is called downloading. The main focus in the context of Internet
speed is on downloads because this is the speed at which you receive your requested
information and determines how fast the information is available to you. There is another side of the equation. Any time you click a link or type in a website’s
address, you are uploading your request. The most familiar form of uploads would be
if you were putting your photos online. Uploading is basically any time your computer
sends information from your computer to the Internet One of the most popular tools online that
lets you determine your upload and download speeds is found at speedtest.net. There are many factors which will cause your
speeds to vary. These include your service speeds, the location
of the server, and the route your connection takes Despite what Speedtest shows, the actual speeds
may vary due to these factor. An easy way to remember which direction the
data is flowing, look at the Internet as “the cloud” above your computer. Up is the direction of your files going to
the cloud and down is your computer pulling your data from the cloud. There are many factors that figure into how
fast you can download and upload data between your computer and the rest of the Internet. Hopefully this gives you some insight into
why it might take a certain amount of time to accomplish something through the Internet.

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