Are you satisfied with your Internet service performance? This article is devoted to outlining three important items you can check to ensure your Internet service performs as efficiently as possible.

Step 1: check your Internet speed

There are several free speed test services online (see web links at bottom). For the most accurate performance measurement, conduct the test from your server. This measures the true performance before the connection travels to PC’s on your network.

If you subscribe to a T1-based service, you should be getting a minimum 90% of the advertised speed. About 10% of the bandwidth is used for monitoring by the service provider.  If you are getting speeds well below 90%, it may be time to contact the service provider and open a ticket. There may be a problem somewhere in their service delivery.

Step 2: firewall check

Firewalls are designed to keep bad stuff out while allowing the good stuff to come in.  Predictably, firewall devices will slow down performance. However, you shouldn’t notice more than a 5% drop off between the server and your desktop. Be sure to ask your I.T. professional if your current firewall is rated to handle your current speed level.  As some businesses purchase more bandwidth, they may also have to upgrade their firewalls to keep pace with the faster speed.

Step 3: LAN performance

Your Local Area Network and its components play a vital role in Internet performance.  Be sure your network cabling is at least CAT5 rated.  Like the firewall, your wiring is rated to handle specific speeds.  Older cabling won’t necessarily handle 2MB or more of Internet speed efficiently. If you’re designing a new office or plan any network upgrades, you may want to consider CAT6 rated cable. This latest generation is designed to handle higher data traffic levels.

LAN switches send traffic to specific computers on your network. These devices are also designed with speed ratings. You want a switch that will handle a minimum 100 MB of information. You will find this standard available on most any new switch.

Step 4: more measurements

If you and your I.T. pro have performed the first three steps correctly, your Internet performance should be acceptable for each user.  If you’re still having performance issues, contact RAM.  There are additional items we can check such as jitter, latency and packet loss. These measurements also provide clues where performance may be effected.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact RAM today at 847-358-0917.

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