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You can run a test that measures your connection speed to a point just outside our network core facility where it interfaces with our Internet Service Provider. It yields information on your download speed, upload speed, connection consistency, packet loss and average/maximum delay. See the section below on "So what about my Quality of Service?" to learn more about what the test results mean. Visit for a speed test to the campus internet router.

We also publicize daily reports about total internet traffic. It shows inbound and outbound traffic for the day in five-minute increments, and also shows historical information for the last thirty-five days. View a report of internet traffic to and from campus for the last 24 hours, midnight to midnight, refreshed each day at 6 AM.

The Department of Networking has established a set of standards so that the users of our network know what to expect in terms of service quality, and has also set up tools so that the user can evaluate that service at any time. We can work with the Help Desk to assess your individual quality of service and do what we can to improve matters.


Our goal is to provide network service with a reliability floor of .999, which means that in a year the user will experience no more than eight hours of downtime. This does not include planned outages, always announced in advance and usually scheduled to create a minimum of inconvenience to the user.


There are two parts to the capacity standard. Connection speeds to resources on the internet are highly variable since we all share a single 700 Mb link and network congestion outside the campus is unpredicatable. Users can measure their bandwidth capacity (and other metrics) on demand by going to


Network latency is a measurement of how long it takes for an individual packet of data to move between two points on a network. Our goal is to keep average latency for internal traffic below 100 milliseconds.


Besides the big three of reliability, capacity and latency, the Department of Networking also monitors jitter, retransmits, dropped packets and bit error rates, plus sources of interference for the wired network. We have the tools and experience to analyze any segment of our network for these parameters if we identify a problem.


The speed of your connection to resources on the internet depends on a number of factors.

First, there's the health of your computer. If the machine is slow, infected with viruses or malware or running too many applications, you aren't going to have a very good internet experience. If you are using a wired connection, make sure your cable is not kinked, stretched or frayed. if you are going wireless, there are a host of other variables outlined in our page on using wireless, but generally speaking, compare service quality in your room to a known good location, like right next to an access point.

The second thing to consider is whether the resource you are trying to access out on the internet is slow because a huge number of people are trying to access it at the same time. There's not a whole lot we can do about that.

The main thing we are responsible for is your connection to the network hardware in your building, from there to our network core and the 700 Mb of shared internet bandwidth. We provide tools you can use to determine the speed and quality of your connection - this will help you understand how your system is performing and whether there is a problem we need to follow up on.


When you run the speed test linked at the top of this page, your computer connects to a purpose-built server that sits right next to the campus internet router. It's called SPEEDY and it basically measures your speed to the edge of the network. It represents all of the network connections (wireless, copper cabling, network switches, fiber-optic cable, core router, etc., etc.) that carries your traffic to the last point that we can do anything about. Once you go past our internet router, the speed of connection is entirely out of our hands.

When you run a test, you will be asked to enter your username, your location and whether you are on wired or wireless. We log the results of all tests run by our users, so if we needed to, we could go back to your test results and look at them for you. You will get several pieces of information:


First is a summary of your connection speed. In this case the user was able to download data at 72.8 Megabits per second and upload it at 44.4 Mbps. Please understand that this is not the user's internet access speed - it is the data transfer rate to the speed test server and measures the speed of the internal campus network.

More important to you is the Consistency of Service metric. In this case, CoS was 96% and maximum delay was 9 milliseconds, which is pretty good. The graph tab shows the details:

Here you can see that the transfer speed was quite uniform, with no big dips or bursts. The delay (red line) was a little more variable but there were no big holdups in the test period. This represents very good Quality of Service.

If you explored the speed tests and found numbers consistently below 1.0 MB per second, average round trip times above 100 milliseconds or consistency of service ratings below 60%, you should definitely contact the Help Desk and open a ticket.

Our goal is that even at peak usage times you should be able to get a usable connection for most basic applications (email, web browsing, etc).

How does our service compare to the kind of bandwidth you may have used at home?

Well, very generally speaking, if you had a broadband connection at home (RoadRunner, EarthLink etc.) you might have had somewhat more bandwidth available to you than you do here in the residence hall. Not a lot more, but a little more. Depending on where you live at home, how much bandwidth your service provides and what you are trying to do with it, you might have had a lot more than you do here.

We are alwys working to improve your service in residence halls and academic buildings as time and resources permit by:

  • increasing the number of wireless access points in areas where signal or capacity is low.
  • upgrading wireless access points to provide 802.11n connectivity.
  • upgrading fiber-optic connections from our network core to buildings.
  • adding wireelss access points to outdoor locations - Red Dragon WiFi is now available in the Netzer-Schumacher quad.
  • employing tools to ensure that available internet bandwidth is shared equally among all connected hosts.


This sample report (on the last 24 hours - up to midnight last night - of campus internet traffic) is from the point of view of our core router. This graph summarizes traffic for the last 24 hours and also provides channel data summaries at the bottom with a graph of the performance for the last month. With this graph you can see just how much of the campus bandwidth is being used and when the really "busy" times are for the network.

Although the report also shows some statistics on errors and discards for the internet link, we can bring much more focused tools to bear on specific problems that we identify. There's just not capacity to carry out this kind of real-time analysis on every single port on campus.