Diagnose your Internet Connection
An internet speed test is the process of analyzing broadband connection parameters by sending a small file from the server and measuring the time it takes to download and then upload the file back to the server. Along the way, parameters like jitter and packet loss can also be calculated.
Some speed test hosts also measure ping, which is the time for a message to make a round trip from the sender to its destination and back, by sending an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request packet to the host.
The best speed tests have multiple host servers across the globe, which allow a user to test internet speed to different locations. It is best to test speed with a server that is near the server of the website or web application in use; otherwise, the reported speed does not reflect the user’s actual working speed.
When accessing the internet or any network, small units of data called packets are sent and received. When one or more of these packets fails to reach its intended destination, this is called packet loss. For users, packet loss manifests itself in the form of network disruption, slow service and even total loss of network connectivity. Any application can be disrupted by packet loss, but the most likely victims are applications that rely on real-time packet processing, such as video, audio and gaming programs.
Information is transported from your computer in data packets across the internet. They are usually sent at regular intervals and take a set amount of time. Jitter is when there is a time delay in the sending of these data packets over your network connection. This is often caused by network congestion, and sometimes route changes.
Essentially, the longer data packets take to arrive, the more jitter can negatively impact the video and audio quality.