Your Broadband Connection: Accounting for Both Speed and Quality
- Feb 28, 2014
- By Randy Laub
If you’ve ever experienced a choppy Voice over IP (VoIP) call or waited (and waited and waited) while a video clip rebuffered, you know the issues a slow or poor-quality Internet connection can cause. In recent years, the quality of a broadband service has become as important as connection speed. That’s because organizations have adopted bandwidth-demanding applications such as Voice over IP to run their businesses.
Speakeasy developed one of the very first broadband speed tests. Millions of users have relied on this highly popular, easy-to-use application to measure their broadband service’s upload and download speeds. Speed Test Plus, also available for free, not only measures upload and download speed but also checks broadband connection quality.
Speed Test Plus is particularly helpful for companies that want to determine whether their Internet connection will support increasingly popular services such as Hosted PBX. That’s because a better-quality connection contributes to a better experience, especially when using highly demanding, bandwidth-intensive applications like voice and video.
Let’s take a look at what these terms mean.
- Download Speed – The amount of information that a computer can receive from the Internet. Organizations should have enough capacity to accommodate their business needs.
- Upload Speed – The capacity of information that a computer can send to the Internet, which is critical for VoIP calls, sending large files or hosting websites.
- Packet Loss – Occurs when packets fail to reach their destination and often causes voice calls to sound choppy. For videos, users may notice buffering and delays as packets are re-sent.
- Latency – The time it takes for a data packet to make a round trip between two points. Delays in conversation or periods of silence on voice calls, or websites that load slowly are often caused by latency.
- Jitter – The variation of latency over time across a network. For voice calls, high jitter values can cause voice packets to be delivered out of order, resulting in echoes or talk-over effects.
- Mean Opinion Score (MOS) – The numerical score used to predict the quality of a voice call.
If your connection earns a fair to low MOS score, your Speed Test Plus results will suggest actions you can take to remedy it. Looking at alternative connectivity services could be worthwhile if your company is considering layering on Hosted VoIP or additional bandwidth-hungry applications.
Take Speed Test Plus for a spin. If your service leaves room for improvement, please give us a call. Fusion Connect serves more than 235 metro markets throughout the United States with Internet connectivity—with dedicated circuits providing a best-fit solution for business customers.