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Speed Test Glossary

What are speed tests?

This will determine your download and upload rates, giving you the speeds in ‘mbps’. We do speed tests to ensure that your line is running at the best possible speed, as per your selected package. The faster your upload and download speed, the quicker your downloads will be and the better the quality of streaming, with less of that pesky buffering! 

How do we determine the speed?

You can test your speed on Speedtest.net (be sure to select the Webafrica test server). This site will automatically perform an upload and download test on your internet connection and give you the results in a jiffy. Be sure to do this while plugged into your router with a network cable instead of WiFi though for accurate results. For WiFi speed issues, please click here.

What’s the difference between upload and download speeds?

In simple terms, your upload speed is the speed at which you send information across to someone else or to a site on the internet. 

For example, if you send a video to your friend via WhatsApp and the image loads and loads and loads – it means your upload speed is low.

Download speed is from the opposite side. When you open a website, scroll down Instagram or try downloading a song – your download speed will affect how fast the page loads or how fast the song will take to complete its download.

Ping – What does Ping mean? Ping(latency is the technically more correct term) means the time it takes for a small data set to be transmitted from your device to a server on the Internet and back to your device again. The Ping time is measured in milliseconds(ms).

The cause of slow speeds

It can be caused by outages by your infrastructure provider or line faults. It can also be caused due to an obstruction in the way of the WiFi signal in your house. To see how to boost your router’s WiFi signal, click here. It is normal for the signal to sometimes drop, but if the problem persists, you can contact our WhatsApp Live Chat (by adding 021 464 9500 to your WhatsApp contacts and sending a message) to get our support agents’ to assist and check for technical faults on your line. We also post frequent outage updates on our Network Status page – www.webafrica.co.za/network.

What is a WiFi channel test?

We use this test to determine if the WiFi signal on your router is operating at the right frequency band and that there are no conflicts with other WiFi routers nearby. If you pass the test – which we will always ensure, of course, it means your router is tuned perfectly like that old trusty radio you love. For a step-by-step guide, please click here.

What else can cause issues with your internet?

Besides the obvious issues such as a slow computer, you may also experience buffering or poor online game quality if there is high latency on your connection. Latency is measured by sending a “ping” to a remote destination and measuring the time it takes to return, as it goes over the internet, the ping must traverse several different networks. Sometimes one of those networks between you and the destination may be experiencing problems and this can lead to high latency. Click here to find out how YOU can.

How do pings work?

A ping is a signal sent out from one host to another host. It is an echo request, meaning that we expect the signal to go straight to the source and bounce back to us. The speed there and back is then measured which will give us an idea of what your latency is at that time. If you do experience high latency, the next step would be to determine where along the path between your connection and the destination, that latency begins. You can test that using a “traceroute”.

E.g. ping www.webafrica.co.za

How do traceroutes work?

A traceroute is similar to a normal ping, except that it will measure and report a ping result to each and every “hop” or network along the route between your connection and that of the destination. This is helpful in determining where exactly the higher latency begins and the key to resolving high latency issues having pin-pointed where the issue is.

E.g. tracert www.webafrica.co.za

Click here to find out how YOU can do a ‘ping’ and ‘traceroute’

Updated on July 30, 2023

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