Monitoring Your Internet Connection Speed

JD Auto Speed Tester is a free utility to monitor your internet connection speed. Last week, I posted about some problems I was having with the program being flagged as a trojan by MalwareBytes AntiMalware. Well it turned out that was a false positive and this is being rectified by MalwareBytes in an update. I have since reinstalled the program as it gives some really useful data on your internet connection speed. It is set up by default to measure upload and download speeds every 60 minutes but you can change that on the main screen under Cycle Time.

I won’t go into the workings of the program which have been well covered in Martin’s post on JD Auto Speed Tester. Just one point to note though – the program automatically displays the data as a neat graph and listing. Once you have been viewing the graph, click Send to Tray not Close, otherwise the program will not reload to memory and will stop monitoring your connection.

Broadband speed4

I’ve shown the graph of a typical weekday between the red lines and the actual data are highlighted in pale green to the left of the graph. There are data right through from around 9am to about 11pm. During the day, I’m getting typical download speeds of around 6.5 Mb/s until around 7.30pm on weekdays. The speed then drops to around 1.5 Mb/s until about 10-11pm and then starts to pick up again. I’ve also found that speeds are generally slower throughout the weekend. I guess all this isn’t very surprising and I think most people would see a similar daily pattern with lower download speeds in the evening as everyone tries to get on the net and stream/download. At the same time, the servers are seeing higher demand to access the files for streaming and this adds to the slowdown. From reading around, the general rule of thumb seems to be that at least 2Mb/s download speed is required for smooth streaming of video. My connection falls below this in the evening period which explains why my Boxee Box doesn’t always stream well then.

Looks like the best plan of action for me, or indeed anyone freelancing from home is perhaps to watch movies, etc on weekday mornings when download speeds are better and then work on into the evening instead!

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