Speed Test

25 08 2013

Nature with it’s electromagnetic waves traveling with the speed of light helps us to retrieve information from the internet pretty fast even if the way data is taking is by far not the shortest possible.

Using a link from within an app a website opens after about 3 sec including the opening of Safari browser. It’s quite fast compared to a bus, a car, a high speed train, or even an aircraft.

The speed of light …

If there is a cellular connection to the Internet data can be transmitted without using a medium in contrast to sound which needs the air or the earth to propagate and to transmit information like the cry ‘Help, help’.

Electromagnetic waves transfer data in vacuum at the speed of light. None of Apple’s innovative techniques can make it faster. It’s a law of nature (a universal physical constant) found out by

Ole Rømer first demonstrated in 1676 that light travelled at a finite speed (as opposed to instantaneously) by studying the apparent motion of Jupiter’s moon Io. In 1865, James Clerk Maxwell proposed that light was an electromagnetic wave, and therefore travelled at the speed c appearing in his theory of electromagnetism. In 1905, Albert Einstein postulated that the speed of light with respect to any inertial frame is independent of the motion of the light source, and explored the consequences of that postulate by deriving the special theory of relativity and showing that the parameter c had relevance outside of the context of light and electromagnetism. After centuries of increasingly precise measurements, in 1975 the speed of light was known to be 299,792,458 m/s with a measurement uncertainty of 4 parts per billion. In 1983, the metre was redefined in the International System of Units (SI) as the distance travelled by light in vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second. As a result, the numerical value of c in metres per second is now fixed exactly by the definition of the metre.

Within media like cables it’s slightly slower, about 90 km/second (324,000 km/h or 201,324 miles/h).

With the speed of light you would need

From geostationary sattelite to earth 119 ms
From Sun to Earth 8.3 min
Across the Milky Way 100,000 years

And from Cupertino (Apple’s Headquarter) to Cologne in Germany?
Well that’s a problem. The app Google Maps showed me neither the way nor the distance. But there is a more severe problem: Light propagates linear. So a light beam would’t go the way to Cologne.

Internet connection …

If you connect your device to the Internet data is transferred via a couple of stations.

With the app Nice Trace the way the data takes from source (the server where you get the data from) to destination (your iPhone or iPad) can be reported.

This is the way my website http://iNotes4You.com is transferred to my device.


Measuring the speed …

I want to compare the apps

SpeedTest by Ookla, USA

Speed Test by Russian Internet Solutions LLC

cnLab Speed by cnLab AG Swiss


My home configuration is a Cable Internet Connection from German provider UNITYMEDIA with a Cisco Modem and Apple’s router AirPort Extreme working on 802.11 a/b/g/n standard in the 5 GHz band. The device was an iPad 3rd Gen.

To eliminate ups and downs of the data transfer speed I measured the transfer rate for downloads under the following conditions:

50 repeated measurements
every day for one month at 8 am, 1 pm, and 9 pm

The apps used different test servers.

To compare the results I calculated the mean value of all measurements for each app.

Do the measured values come close to the everyday usage of your device with all the ups and downs of the internet connection?

Yes, they do.

Here is the result of using the app FTP Client PRO by Anders Havn with which I downloaded a file of 305 MB file size under the same conditions described above.


Here are mean values of all the results I took over a period of one month:


An alternate app …

If you are interested in an app which combines speed test with network analysis try

Net Analyzer by Jiri Techet

This perfect universal All-In-One app gives you all informations about a network including standard tools such as ping, traceroute, port scanner, whois, and beyond providing geolocation for all discovered servers.

Additionally I was impressed of Jiri’s perfect website for mobiles.

See this gallery to get an overview of the features:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Summary …

The results of all apps are within +-4.5 %. Differences may be caused by the different test servers used during measurements. All apps do what they are intended to do but cover just one functionality except Net Analyzer by Jiri Techet.

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.



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