Most businesses probably take their internet connection for granted. After all, as long as they can browse the web, check their email, and stay connected to their customers, what more could they need?
But the truth is, the quality of a company's dedicated internet access can significantly impact its business. A slow or unreliable connection can lead to lost productivity, missed opportunities, and even angry customers.
So how can a business tell if its internet connection is up to par? Here are five ways to start.
Download and Upload Speeds
The first step for any business is to check its download and upload speeds. A company can easily do this by running a speed test.
Several different speed tests are available online to test your internet speed, but Ookla's Speedtest is one of the most popular. To use it, a business needs to go to the website and click "Start Test." The test will take a few seconds to complete and will provide the company with its download and upload speeds.
If a business is paying for a certain amount of speed (known as bandwidth), it should expect to get that amount of speed. If it isn't, it may be time to upgrade to a faster connection or talk to the service provider about the issue.
Another way to measure the quality of a business's internet connection is by checking for packet loss. Packet loss occurs when data packets sent over the internet are lost or corrupted.
This phenomenon can lead to connection issues like choppy audio or video, frozen pages, and lost data. In other words, packet loss can harm a business's productivity.
There are a few different ways to check for packet loss. One is to use the Command Prompt tool on a Windows computer. To do this, a business owner or IT professional just needs to open the Command Prompt and type in "ping."
Then, they'll need to type in the address of a website or server. The default is "google.com," but any site will do. After hitting Enter, the Command Prompt will show how many packets were sent, how many were received, and the percentage of packet loss. If there is any packet loss, it indicates that the company's internet connection is not as good as it could be.
Jitter is another term for variation in latency. Latency is the time it takes for a data packet to travel from one point to another. So, jitter is the difference in latency from one packet to the next.
A high amount of jitter can cause problems like choppy audio or video, frozen pages, and lost data. In other words, it can harm a business's productivity.
Jitter can be measured in the same way as packet loss. By following the same steps as above and typing in "ping," a business owner or IT professional can see the jitter for each data packet. If there is a high amount of jitter, the company's internet connection quality is not as good as it could be. If this is the case, it could be a good idea for the business to invest in dedicated internet access with dedicated internet pricing to have a more reliable connection.
Bufferbloat is a phenomenon that can occur when there is too much buffering on a network. Buffering is the process of temporarily storing data so that it can be sent more smoothly.
However, if there is too much buffering, it can cause internet connection issues like latency and jitter. In other words, it can make a business's internet connection slower and less reliable.
To improve bufferbloat, a business can invest in a Quality of Service (QoS) router. QoS routers allow companies to prioritize different types of traffic on their network. For example, a company could prioritize VoIP traffic (like phone calls) over web browsing traffic. By doing this, the business can ensure that its internet connection is more reliable and efficient.
Another factor that can affect the quality of a business's internet connection is DNS performance. DNS, or Domain Name System, allows people to connect to websites using easy-to-remember names (like "google.com") instead of hard-to-remember IP addresses.
If a business's DNS server is slow, it can cause issues like web pages taking a long time to load. In other words, it can make the internet connection seem slower than it is, which can be very frustrating for a business or its customers.
To check DNS performance, a business owner or IT professional can use the Command Prompt tool on a Windows computer. To do this, they'll need to open the Command Prompt and type in "nslookup."
Then, they'll need to type in the address of a website or server. The default is "google.com," but any site will do. After hitting Enter, the Command Prompt will show the IP address of the website's server. If the IP address starts with "192.168," the website uses a private DNS server. The website uses a public DNS server if it begins with anything else.
Private DNS servers are typically faster than public DNS servers. So, if a website uses a public DNS server, it could be causing slowdowns for the company's internet connection.
To improve DNS performance, a business can invest in a DNS accelerator, a tool that speeds up the process of resolving DNS queries. By using a DNS accelerator, a company can make its internet connection seem faster and more reliable.
Many factors can affect the quality of a business's internet connection. However, the most critical factors are packet loss, jitter, bufferbloat, and DNS performance.
Businesses can improve the quality of their internet connection by investing in tools like dedicated internet access, Quality of Service routers, and DNS accelerators. By doing this, they can ensure that their internet connection is more reliable and efficient. Ultimately, this can help improve the business's productivity, leading to more success and profits.