Upstream, downstream, ping: How good is your internet connection at home?

Upstream, Downstream, Ping: Wie gut ist eure Internet­verbindung zuhause?

With this Sunday question, our editors would like to know from you how you get online. How fast and reliable is your connection, what technology is used and how satisfied are you with the status quo?

A year of questions Sunday

It’s been a year since the editors of the first Format post asked you if you see the future of servers and PCs more in ARM or in the x86 architecture. Meanwhile, no fewer than 46 questions appeared on Sunday, but one really obvious topic wasn’t considered: How fast is your Internet connection? Although there was a discussion at the end of April 2022 about the available bandwidth on your first visit to the World Wide Web, it’s likely that a lot has happened since then for most ComputerBase readers. Today’s Sunday question aims to get a sense of the current state of your internet connection at home.

First of all, there is the issue of the technology you use to connect to the Internet at home. Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL for short, is a classic today, with a long-service telephone network as the basis and data transfer rates above 16 Mbit / s generally cannot be achieved.

A more robust alternative is VDSL, which uses routing to reduce unwanted crosstalk from several adjacent copper lines to different landline subscribers. A centralized DSLAM, where the signals of all participants of the telecom networks’ optical fiber backbone are encoded into a single signal or decoded in individual transmissions using a multiplexing method, calculates in real time how much simultaneous transmission of different signals on adjacent lines can cause interference unwanted. The transmission symbols are then shifted in the opposite direction to the expected interference in the constellation diagram in the complex plane in quadrature amplitude modulation.

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And with that sentence and at the end when you open the stock Wikipedia article it becomes clear: This is a very complex technology with sophisticated algorithms and a need for computing power that should not be underestimated – and all this serves the sole purpose of breathing new life into the old copper cables. Successful: With supervisory oversight, i.e. VDSL2 in profile 35b, participants are enabled with data transfer rates of 250 Mbit/s downstream and 50 Mbit/s upstream, provided the DLSAM is not too far from their home.

A fiber optic network allows for higher bandwidth, as the signals are not transmitted using electricity, but optical fibers are used instead. Fiber optic cables allow a greater distance between the platform and your home without transmission losses, and provide a high level of security against eavesdropping. However, the fact that the expansion of fiber optics, especially in Germany, is not progressing as quickly as politicians and end consumers would like has been the subject of many debates for years. Even more exciting is the question of how many users the technology will have by the end of 2022.

How good is bandwidth and latency?

Ultimately, apart from improved 5G connections, only fiber-optic connections allow sustained transfer rates of 1,000 Mbit/s or more to be achieved. However, by now, very few ComputerBase readers should be traveling that fast, right? When it comes to internet speed, a distinction should generally be made between upstream and downstream—that is, the throughput achieved when downloading or uploading. The question below is how do these speeds turn out for you on average. Therefore outliers up or down should not be taken into account. If the values ​​are not known, a normal speed test, such as those offered by many websites, will provide the information.

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Most of these apps also provide a latency measure; Specifically at package cycle time. It is the time that elapses between sending a packet to a host and receiving a response packet that is immediately sent back. Since the diagnostic tool or ping command in the console is often used to determine this value, the term is considered synonymous. If you want to test your connection latency, you can easily ping Type the Windows command prompt – this exact packet cycle time for ComputerBase servers with a direct connection to the large Internet node DE-CIX in Frankfurt should serve as the basis for comparison in the following survey. At the same time, no other applications should burden the Internet line, router or computer.

What is there to complain about?

In addition to upstream and downstream transmission speed and packet response time, there are a few other parameters relevant to a smooth connection on the Internet. It is worth noting, for example, jitter, which is a fluctuation in latency, or packet loss, which in packet-based data transmission in computer networks reports information that was lost during the data transmission – whether due to a bad line, excessive interference or Decreased IP packet value to 0. Do you have to deal with such problems at home? Or are you completely satisfied with the quality of your Internet connection, including its speed?

And if you are not satisfied, why? Is it not possible to upgrade to a faster internet connection where you live, is the technology causing problems or is the WiFi coverage in your home unsatisfactory?

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Participation is expressly encouraged

The editors will be very happy to receive good, detailed reasons for your decisions in the comments on this Sunday’s question. If you have completely different favourites, please write them in the comments.

Readers who have not yet participated in Sunday’s Final Questions are encouraged to do so. Exciting discussions are still going on in the ComputerBase forum, especially regarding recent polls.

The last ten questions in the public view

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