of us have at one time or another wondered why the Internet
seems slow today. And we never had a way to find out if
the Internet is slow globally or if it was just our connection
or our ISP having problems. Someone listened and came up
with a tool to measure the relative speed of the Internet
globally and give us a partial answer to our question: www.internettrafficreport.com
What they are doing is having many computers doing pings
to different places and gathering that data every 15 minutes
and comparing that data to the data gathered over the previous
seven days and coming up with a numeric score for how well
Internet traffic is flowing in different areas of the world.
Whew, that was a long sentence for such a short number as
shown in the little icon to the left.
A ping is a network tool used to see if a computer is online
with the Internet or not. Our computer sends a short message
asking 'Are you there'. And the other computer, if it's
online, will respond 'Yes, here I am'. Normally 4 pings
are sent and then two measurements can be made. How many
answers were returned and how long did it take for the answer
to come back. Those measurements are translated into packet
loss (how many packets were not answered) and how long did
it take (measured in milliseconds) to get the answer. And
when numerically compared with the same pings done every
15 minutes over the last 7 days, these people then put a
numeric score on that answer, with 0 being down and out
and 100 being a perfect score.
From what I have seen over the weekends, the numbers seem
to stay in the low 60's. During the day on weekdays, the
numbers seem to routinely drop down to the low 50's. If
the numbers get much lower than that, it means that Internet
traffic will be quite slow.
For instance, if North America is showing 62, that would
be a normal reading and you should expect normal surfing
speed. If that number drops to 25, expect serious slowness
in surfing. If North America is at 62 and Europe is at 24,
expect that any website in North America to be normal speed
and any site in Europe to be slow.
However these are just general indications. Any single site
can be in trouble via a down circuit or off line or drowning
in heavy traffic. That won't show up in these numbers. Also
if your ISP is having trouble with their internal equipment,
expect all surfing to be slow until they fix it and that
won't be reflected in the numbers posted either.
So in recap, this won't necessarily tell you why any single
website is running slow, but it can tell you if all sites
are going to be slow or if all sites from South America
will be slow.