[xubuntu-users] network information

Peter Flynn peter at silmaril.ie
Sat Aug 17 21:32:06 UTC 2013

On 08/17/2013 09:46 PM, Ali Linx (amjjawad) wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 18, 2013 at 12:23 AM, Norman Silverstone
> <norman at littletank.org <mailto:norman at littletank.org>> wrote:
>     On 17/08/13 20:39, Ali Linx (amjjawad) wrote:
>         On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 10:38 PM, Norman Silverstone
>         <norman at littletank.org <mailto:norman at littletank.org>
>         <mailto:norman at littletank.org <mailto:norman at littletank.org>>__>
>         wrote:
>              Could someone please tell me what Speed, in the Active Network
>              Connections window, means? For example, as I am typing this
>         message
>              the entry fluctuates between 1Mb/s and 52Mb/s. This can't be my
>              broadband speed can it?
>              Norman
>         Hi,
>         www.speedtest.net <http://www.speedtest.net>
>         <http://www.speedtest.net> - use this to check your
>         Broadband Speed or the Speed that you signed for with your ISP.
>         http://www.numion.com/__calculators/units.html
>         <http://www.numion.com/calculators/units.html> - use this to
>         convert if
>         needed.
>         There is a difference between 1 MB/Sec and 1Mb/Sec.
>         1 Byte = 8 bits.
>         The speed you are seeing is the connection speed of your machine and
>         your router/whatever device you are using to connect to the
>         internet.
>         It has nothing to do with your speed that you signed for with
>         your ISP.
>     Thank you very much for your reply, very interesting.
> At your service, anytime :)
>     So, is there something not right with my connection because it is
>     not steady?
> No, there is nothing wrong at all. As long as you are using the Wireless
> Connection, you can not have same speed all the way. Wireless Signal
> can't remain on the same speed as long as the connection is alive. It is
> up and down. Without going deep into details but this is what I know or
> aware of. If you are interested, you can do some google search about it.
> For me at least, the Wireless Signal NEVER was stable on the same speed
> whenever the connection is alive. That is the nature of that kind of signal.

This is exactly correct. If you consider what a wireless signal is 
trying to do (send data through the air) you may see that this is a VERY 
different thing from sending data down a nice clean piece of 
properly-insulated and shielded copper cable (a wired connection).

Wireless signals and receptions vary massively by the second, and are 
generally MUCH slower than wired connections simply because of the 
difficulty of sending a signal through a non-conductive and highly 
unstable medium (air).

> If you are looking for a much stable type of connection, the Wired
> Connection (LAN) is the best way to go but for sure, you will lose the
> mobility feature of the Wireless Connection.

Use wireless for reading mail, browsing the web, etc. If you have any 
work to do with large amounts of DATA, use a wired connection.

>     Also, what sort of speed should one expect with the latest version
>     of Xubuntu 64 bit?
>     Norman
> Nothing specific, really. It depends on many thinks like your Network
> Device, your Driver, System, Machine, Router, Your Internet Speed, etc.

Yes, absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the operating system.

> I had an issue lately, I think it is a driver issue and my PC is very
> old so I had to give up the Wireless Connection and went to the Wired
> Connection. Everything is super great now. Note that, I'm NOT talking
> about the speed between my Router and my PC, I'm talking about the
> download speed. I have 8Mbps connection but my machine was using ONLY
> 1Mbps. Problem solved by using the Wired Connection.

That is normal. The best a domestic wireless connection (802.11a and 
802.11g) can do is a theoretical 54Mbit/s (802.11n will be much faster). 
In practice, speeds are often half this.

Compare this with the slowest wired Ethernet connection at 10Mbit/s, the 
current common domestic speed of 100Mbit/s (twice as fast as wireless), 
and the 'gigabit' speed of 1000Mbit/s (20x faster than wireless) already 
common on desktops and some laptops.

No matter what speed your router is communicating with the Internet at, 
the limiting speed is likely to be your local wireless connection 
(unless you are unfortunate enough still to be using dial-up).


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