Modem Connection Speeds

A modem is the device that connects your computer, or laptop, to the internet. Depending on the internet plan you have with your Internet Service Provider (ISP), you may well have a different connect speed from your neighbour.

In the “old” days we had Dial Up. Do you remember that time? This allowed the modem to connect to the internet at a theoretical download speed of 56kbps (Kilo Bits Per Second). The reality was that if you could get a good clean connection of 40kbps, you were happy. Dial Up modems were particularly susceptible to online noise and this noise would dramatically drop the connect speed. This was often evident in the rural sector if an electric fence was not correctly earthed and you could hear the pulse from the fence on your phone.

Then along came Broadband. At last we no longer had to wait for web pages to show themselves, or go get a coffee while pictures of the grandies took ten minutes to arrive with the email on Dial Up. We now had speed! While it was theoretically possible to now connect at 16Mbps (Mega Bits Per Second), if we got over 5Mbps we were happy. Note: a Mbps is 1000 times faster than a Kbps. Most folks around Rotorua were connecting at around 8 or 9 Mbps and some lucky ones were getting up to 15Mbps of download speed. A critical factor with broadband is distance from the nearest phone exchange. If you live more than 5Km from the exchange, then broadband may be possible to get, but the connect speed would drop way down near Dial Up speed.

Fibre is the next incarnation of connecting to the internet. Fibre Broadband uses light pulses passing down a fibre cable as opposed to regular broadband pushing electrical pulses down a copper wire. Distance is no longer an issue and download connect speed is now up to either 30 or 100Mbps depending on the plan you have. When you send out an email, this is referred to as Upload and Upload speed is usually 10Mbps with Fibre.

To check out the speeds you are achieving try this link: Select Tauranga and then Trust Power. You will get 3 speed numbers. The first is the Ping speed, this should be under 100 with lower being better and 1 is achievable. The second speed is your Download speed. On Broadband this should be at least 5 and Fibre should be 30 or 100 (see image at top). The third speed is your Upload speed. Broadband should be at least 0.5, higher is better, and with Fibre it should be at least 10.

Evening Computer Classes

Check out the upcoming sessions for the remainder of the year listed in this issue.

If you need help with this, or would just like to chat about your options, give me a call at 345-6098. To find out more about this, follow this link:

Wayne Parkinson
Abingdon Computing Essentials –
Phone – 345-6098
Contact Wayne for all your virus and computer fixes or training needs.