Understanding Your Internet Speed Test Result

Understanding Your Internet Speed Test Result

Understanding Your Internet Speed Test Result

 

There’s no arguing that Internet connection speed defines our overall online experience. If you spend a huge chunk of your monthly budget for a broadband service, it’s important that you get the speed and bandwidth promised by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) in your contract.

Over the recent years, ISPs have increased their Internet speeds. According to Akamai’s 2016 3rd Quarter report, Singapore came out on top for the highest average peak Internet connection speed worldwide at 162 Mbps. She also ranked third in the world for average Internet connection speed at 18.2 Mbps, trailing behind South Korea and Hong Kong.

But just because your local ISP advertises a certain level of service, does that mean you’re actually receiving the kind of service you’re paying for? To find out, you can run internet speed tests to see the speeds that you are getting. However, as a general rule of the thumb, your speed test result may vary depending on your workstation setup and how you are getting your internet connection (e.g. wired or wireless?).

By the end of this article, we hope that you better understand the different things involved with the results you get from your speed tests. Here are the following topics that we will talk about:

  • How Speed Tests Work
  • Things that Affect Internet speed
  • Your Speed Test Results

 

How Speed Tests Work

Your Internet Speed measures the time it takes to transfer a certain amount of data from the Internet back to your computer.

Your broadband’s service level will generally depend on the promised download speed (measured in Mbps or Megabits per second). Running a speed test will calculate your download speed, as well as upload speed and network latency.

 

What is Mbps?

Mbps or Megabits per second is the unit of measurement for your data transfer speed. One unit of data is called “bit”. One megabit is equivalent to 1 million bits. So, the higher your Mbps, the faster it is to load web pages, stream videos and upload files.

 

Download Speed

It Illustrates how fast it takes to download or pull files from a web server to your computer. You may have observed that ISPs normally offer faster download speed than upload speed. That’s because users generally use the internet mainly to consume content such as video streaming and web surfing. It is measured in Mbps.

Upload Speed

It simply measures how long it will take to upload or transfer files from your computer to a web server. This is an important indicator if you regularly upload videos, music or photos on the web. This is also measured in Mbps.

 

Ping or Latency

Expressed in milliseconds, ping reveals the quality of your Internet connection by measuring how quick your service reacts to your request. So, the lower the ping or network latency, the more responsive your connection is. Ping is an important factor for when you need faster response time such as when playing online video games.

 

Jitter

This measures the time difference in between latency in packets since some packets may take longer to transmit data from one network to another. Jitter occurs during route changes, timing drift and network congestion. This is often an issue when communicating through VoIP services and video conferences.

 

Things that Affect Internet Speed

Internet Service Provider

It is common knowledge that ISPs throttle their user’s Internet connection once their usage hit a certain limit each month. Even ISPs that offer “unlimited” broadband or mobile plans may still throttle your service after consuming a larger bandwidth threshold.  

Once you reached your data cap, your ISP might slow down or throttle the service. Others may also charge extra for data above cap or just cut off your access altogether. These so-called data caps are implemented to lessen network congestion and control bandwidth consumption of heavy users.

Internet Connection

Of course, the quality of service will depend largely on the type of Internet connection you choose. While not as fast as cable or fiber optics, DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) connection is way better than dial-up in terms of speed. It’s a popular choice because it’s cheaper and more suitable for casual home use.

Cable connection runs on coaxial cable that connects to your cable TV. It’s 3-4 times faster than DSL so expect it to be a little more expensive. Unlike DSL, your cable connection will not depend on the distance from the main ISP’s connection, so your speed is guaranteed. This is recommended for business or corporate use.

Fiber optics offers far more superior connection of them all because it transmits data over long distances and the cable is smaller and weighs less. It is less expensive than cable so its price comes toe-to-toe with DSL. Fiber optics is now widely available in Singapore, so please check with your ISP if your home is fiber-ready!

Time Frame

If you’re planning to surf the web around 6 pm, chances are, there may be a handful of other users on the Internet as well. Just as when you’re driving during rush hour, the number of users using the Internet will definitely affect your speed. Some home-based freelancers prefer to work later in the evening where there’s lesser people clogging the Internet connection.

Keep in mind, as more devices consume shared bandwidth over time, your ISP might throttle the service or cause it to slow down to ensure that other users get their fair use of the bandwidth.

 

Number of Devices

Your Internet speed will also depend on the number of computers sharing the bandwidth at home. If your ISP advertises their service at 6Mbps download speed, but you have 3 computers downloading stuff simultaneously, then the allocated bandwidth will be shared among these computers. Any one of these computers will have lesser speed than what is advertised.

 

Take the Vodien Speed Test

Now that you understand what your speed test entails, it’s time to put your broadband connection to the test. It should give you an idea of how fast or slow your service is. Just click on the link below to test your Internet service.

 Vodien Speed Test

 

About Vodien

We are Singapore’s top ICANN-accredited managed hosting solutions provider since 2002. We offer premium grade hosting solutions that meet personal and business demand for online presence. Each value-price hosting plan features blazing fast speeds, secure and reliable performance. To know more about how to create your own web presence, click on the link below to get in touch with our SuperSupport Specialist.

Vodien 24/7 Managed Hosting

DDoS Attack: What It Is and How To Fight It

DDoS Attack: What It Is and How To Fight It

DDoS Attack: What It Is and How To Fight It

If you’ve been a regular follower of our blog, you may have noticed that we frequently write about topics that hinge on cyber security. That’s because cyber attacks have become commonplace that even small, low-profile websites are no longer immune.

In fact, thousands of data breaches of organizations are happening nearly every day. We saw the need for everyone (not just our customers) to be aware of the common threats that might endanger your online assets before damage can be done.   

One of the notorious cyber threats that continue to plague websites worldwide is Distributed Denial-of-Service or DDoS. As the name suggests, cyber hackers use DDoS methods to render sites inaccessible to their legitimate users.

If you have a website that attracts a huge volume of traffic on a regular basis but you can’t access it one day, you could be a victim of a DDoS attack. In today’s post, we’ll share with you what DDoS is and how you can prevent your site from becoming the next victim.

 

What is DDoS Attack?

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack involves flooding a certain IP address with a huge amount of traffic from multiple sources. These cyber hackers target high-profile sources like news websites, schools, banks and government agencies.

The barrage of packets, connections requests, and incoming messages can cause its target’s system to crash or become unavailable, thus, denying the service requested by legitimate visitors.

What’s interesting about DDoS is the fact that while it’s distributed through multiple sources, it is actually originates from a single point. DDoS attack proves to be more challenging because it is scattered throughout the world.

 

What are the reasons behind it?

Anyone can launch a DDoS attack–he can be bored teenagers, activists or business competitors. These are a few reasons why they do what they do:

  • Web vandalismThis is carried out by defacing any online content purely for the assailant’s own pleasure or enjoyment. These so-called vandals–mostly tech-savvy teenagers or college students– vandalize websites to either show off their skills or exploit any security vulnerabilities they find.
  • Hacktivismis the act of hacking into a computer system driven by political or social motivations. This is a way for hacktivists (online activists) to express their anger or disagreement towards the government, businesses or organizations. Anonymous is a perfect example of a hacktivist group.
  • Business CompetitionDDoS attacks can be a tool for businesses to eliminate known rivals from the competition. They may target their competitors from joining massive events (e.g. online sales campaigns) or shutting it down completely for months.
  • ExtortionIt works the same as any extortion activities in the real world where the extortionist demands money in exchange for not destroying a victim’s website.
  • Online game rivalriesSome online gamers tend to go extreme by using DoS attacks to assault other gamers’ servers to either interrupt online competitions or avoid imminent defeat.  

Types of DDoS Attacks

While the end result might be similar, the method with which it is carried out will vary. These are the different types of DDoS attacks:

  • Volumetric AttackThis type of attack tries to cause congestion by exhausting the victim’s network bandwidth.
  • TCP State-Exhaustive Attack – this targets firewalls, web servers and load balancers to obstruct connections which can lead to congestion of a limited number of simultaneous connections that a device can support.
  • Application Layer AttackAlso known as Layer 7 attack, this target weaknesses found in servers or applications with the intent of maintaining a connection and clogging it by manipulating processes and transactions. Threats are more difficult to mitigate since it only needs a few machines to launch the attack which generates a low traffic rate that may appear to be authentic.

 

How to Fight Against DDoS?

 

Recognize early signs of DDoS Attack

Take note of your site’s normal inbound traffic rate. In this way, you can determine what your normal traffic volume is; any unusual movement will be easier to pinpoint.

Check out for any sudden spikes in traffic. This could either be a legitimate surge in visitor traffic or an incoming DDoS attack. Assign someone in your team to be DDoS specialist to monitor your site against possible attack.

Create a Strategic Plan

Education is always the best prevention against any forms of attacks. We recommend that you discuss a strategic plan that details how to audit and respond when you detect a possible DDoS attack.

Another important detail to your planned action is how to communicate it with your customers when such issues occur. Keep in mind, DDoS attacks may last up to 24 hours or more. Ensure that you have proper communication in place and other Business Continuity Plans during and after the attack.

Increase Bandwidth Budget

Increasing your bandwidth allocation for your web servers will help adjust to the unexpected rise in traffic. While this may not stop DDoS attacks per se, it will give you an ample time to respond quickly before it depletes all your resources.

 

Contact your Hosting Provider  

If you don’t host your own servers, then we recommend you contact your hosting providers immediately. Make sure to have their contact numbers ready for any DDoS-related issues. Some web hosts may have already detected it before you can. However, we strongly suggest working closely with them to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.

Contact a DDos Specialist

For attacks that are way beyond your control, you need to call a DDoS specialist. These organizations use sophisticated infrastructure and technologies like data scrubbing. You can call them directly or your hosting provider may also partner with them to treat such attacks.

 

Equip Yourself Against DDoS

Here at Vodien, we are one step ahead when it comes to all forms of cyber attacks, particularly DDoS. Our Infrastructure team has launched our most ambitious project yet–the 3-Sector Artificial Intelligence or A.I. Sentry. It works by detecting any malicious activities and cyber threats from suspicious server traffic data using our advanced analytics.

A.I. Sentry safeguards websites and email accounts across 3 sectors: Application Security, Network Security, and Bot Defence Security. The end goal of this project is to monitor and thwart cyber threats. Examples of these threats are: malware, viruses, brute-force attacks, cyber hacking, defacement attempts and of course, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

We invite to you get know more about how A.I. Sentry can optimize the security for all your online assets. Click on the link below to contact our in-house Cybersecurity Specialists team today.

Vodien A.I Sentry

Benefits of HTTP/2 and How it Boosts your Site

Benefits of HTTP/2 and How it Boosts your Site

Good news! All Vodien shared servers now support HTTP/2! Being the leader in the hosting field, Vodien has now introduced HTTP/2 hosting. All basic and business hosting customers can expect a boost in their website performance with the following benefits:

– FASTER Web Page Loading Speeds (Up to 2x)

– Mobile-Friendlier Sites

– Better Security

– Compatibility with HTTP/1.1

 

Test How Fast HTTP/2 Is!  

Don’t just take our word for it. We’d like you to test for yourself how awesome HTTP/2 is for your website’s overall speed and performance. Click on the link below to run a test and compare HTTP/1.1 versus HTTP/2. You will then clearly see noticeable improvement in speed when you decide to move to HTTP/2.

Test How Fast HTTP/2 Is!  

 

Read on to find out more about HTTP/2 and how to set it up, or Click Here to get HTTP/2 Hosting!                                          


From HTTP/1 to HTTP/2

Providing a consistently fast and reliable shared hosting service for our Vodien customers is no easy task but we are always on our toes to ensure that we equip them with nothing but high-performing tools and technology for superior website performance.

HTTP/2 is the latest HTTP successor designed by Engineering Task Force (IETF) to fix limitations found on HTTP/1.1. It provides a much-needed refresh in terms of security, speed and reliability to keep up with the rapid growth of websites.

If you’re already familiar with HTTP/1.1, it’s an underlying protocol that lays the foundation of how the World Wide Web functions.It defines how digital communication is formatted and delivered between web servers and browsers.

Since it requires loading a huge number of files to run websites today, the legacy HTTP/1.1 implementations may bring about certain limitations. One of the feared limitations is the increase in latency (amount of time to deliver the packet from one network to another) causing web page slowdown.

Introducing HTTP/2, a solution to the limitations of HTTP/1.1 and more.

 

Benefits of  HTTP/2

Websites that switch to HTTP/2 will experience the huge difference instantly.  Here’s a summary of the benefits:

  • Faster Web Page Loading Speeds – HTTP/2 will help make the browsing experience much faster than its old version since it eliminates known flaws and limitations.
  • Mobile-friendly – With the header compression enhanced, it helps mobile sites with high volume of requests to prevent from downloading wasted bandwidth from the header.
  • Better Security – Since HTTP/2 already has encryption enabled by default, it further reinforces security among websites using this protocol.
  • Compatible with HTTP/1.1 – For servers and browsers that still runs on HTTP/1.1, they may still communicate seamlessly with HTTP/2-powered browsers and servers. Both protocols have the ability to choose which version to use when communicating with each other.

 

What is HTTP/2?

As mentioned above, HTTP/2 is the latest HTTP successor designed by Engineering Task Force (IETF) to fix limitations found on HTTP/1.1. HTTP/2 aims to achieve these objectives by decreasing latency in browser requests through capabilities such as compression, multiplexing, server push and request prioritisation. Changes in HTTP/2 are meant to be compatible with HTTP/1.1.  

 

Improved Features of HTTP/2

Improved Features of HTTP/2

Multiplexing

One of the striking limitations with HTTP/1.1 is that it can only transfer one request per TCP connection at a time. This forces browsers to utilise multiple TCP connections to simultaneously handle multiple requests.

With HTTP/2, multiple HTTP requests are now possible on just one TCP connection. This means that transferring resources to a website will be faster and more efficient.

 

Server Push

HTTP/2 uses a procedure called server push where servers understand which files the browser need before the browser requests for them.

The server will technically “push” these files to browsers before the latter can even request for them. This makes the entire process of retrieving all resources needed to run a website faster.

 

Binary Protocols

HTTP/1.1 processes text-based commands to complete requests which may transmit excess data. HTTP/2 cuts down the amount of data transmitted by implementing it through the binary protocol which simplifies how a client’s computer interprets the transmitted information. This saves time translating information from a text to binary. This can significantly improve load time and overall performance.

 

Header Compression

For media-rich websites, clients have to push multiple header frames; this leads to latency and uses extraneous consumption of network resources. HTTP/2 addresses this issue by compressing a large size of redundant header frames.

It uses HPACK compression which compresses individual value for each header before transmitting it to the server. It then searches the encoded information from a list of previously transmitted header values to reassemble the full header information.

 

Stream Prioritisation

One of the weaknesses of HTTP/1.1 is the minification of CSS files and JavaScript. This is to reduce bandwidth and boost performance based on smaller file sizes.  

The implementation of HTTP/2 prioritisation allows clients to provide preference over particular data streams. This means that only the codes needed by a certain web page will be served to visitors. Since requests are simultaneous on HTTP/2, loading several small stylesheet files will not be a problem.

 

Can I Implement HTTP/2 on my Website?

The answer will depend if your web server supports HTTP/2. The majority of the web servers like Apache, IIS and NGINX already have support for HTTP/2.

However, even if you are using any of these servers, this does not mean that your site supports HTTP/2. Ultimately, it depends if your web hosting service provider has implemented the servers’ current software version to enable HTTP/2. We’re happy to announce that Vodien is one of the few web hosts that is HTTP/2-capable.

 

Which Browsers Support HTTP/2?

Browsers that support HTTP/2

If your visitor uses a non-HTTP/2 browser, backwards compatibility will come in place and your site will revert to using the HTTP/1.x connection. What’s great is that most of the browsers now support HTTP/2. The list of browsers includes Chrome, Opera, Safari, Firefox and others. You can check out Akamai’s tool to see if your browser supports HTTP/2.

 

How to set up HTTP/2 for my websites?

How to set up HTTP/2 for my websites?

HTTP/2-supported browsers only allow HTTP2 connection over Transport Layer Security (TLS). This means that your site needs to be on an encrypted connection. You will have to purchase and install an SSL certificate for your website to enjoy the benefits of HTTP/2.

For more information about SSL, read this post: Do I Need to Have an SSL Certificate for my Website?

 

Vodien Website Migration: How We Do It

Vodien Website Migration: How We Do It

Vodien Website Migration: How We Do It

Migrating thousands of websites on a monthly basis is one of the many things we do here at Vodien. We have a dedicated team of Migration specialists handling websites and email transfers to Vodien, ensuring a seamless migration experience. We offer website migration service free of charge as part of our onboarding process for our new/existing customers.

While site transfers are generally manageable to do, what’s challenging is when we’re moving websites hosted on another web host. Moving to another web host is just like moving to a new home. You can only say you have successfully moved if it’s done right.

There are crucial variables involved. When moving to a new house, you need to search for a new location, work with a real estate agent, prepare your belongings, and move all your stuff physically to your new place.

It’s similar to site transfers–only it’s done digitally. So, you purchase a new hosting plan, audit all website essentials, create a full site backup, transfer to the new host and let your domain point to your new host’s DNS (Domain Name Servers). We believe some of our customers want to know how it’s done, so we’d like to share that with you.

 

The Website Migration Process

 

Pre-Migration

While we do most of the actual migration process, we also need our customers to prepare some things before the transfer is done.

At this point, we recommend you don’t inform your current web host that you’re moving to a new host until you have prepared your full site backup, made some SEO audits for your site and purchased your new hosting plan.

Here are some great pre-migration articles to read before making the transfer:

Aside from doing a full backup, make sure to note down other information like MySQL authentication details, email account settings, usernames, passwords, etc.

Then, contact our web hosting specialist to buy a web hosting plan of your choice. They’ll help you activate and migrate your hosting account at no extra cost. After signing up, we will send you a welcome email. You’ll need that email when migrating your site soon.  

 

Domain Ownership and Transfer

Before you could even move your site, decide whether or not you want to switch domain registrars, too. There are two scenarios you need to consider:

  • Switch domain registrars – This is when you want to transfer your domain to another domain registrar (example: from GoDaddy to Vodien). All domain settings remain the same, but questions about billing and domain account will be routed to your new domain provider.
  • Keep current domain registrar – You can stay with your current domain provider but only to have the nameservers pointed to Vodien’s domain name server (DNS). Update it to the following nameservers:

                       ns1.vodien.com

                      ns2.vodien.com

                       ns3.vodien.com

If you want to register your domain or switch domain hosting to us (from another domain registrar), we can expedite that process along with migrating your website. It normally takes around 6-48 hours for domains to propagate on the Internet.

 

Migration of Databases and Files

So, now you’re now ready to migrate your site. You have the option to either do it yourself (if you know how) or we can do it for you.

For DIY migration, here’s an outline of what you need to do:

  • Download all website files and emails from your old web host.
  • Upload them via FTP with the IP address found in the welcome email we sent.
  • Set up all databases, email accounts and other configuration settings through cPanel (we use it as our control panel).
  • Add your domain name to your cPanel and point it to Vodien servers.
  • Test it if it’s working by visiting your site’s URL or domain name.
  • For email accounts, you need to recreate email addresses and import your email backups using an email client.

If you want us to do it on your behalf, send us an email for a website migration request. We will need you to have this information ready (from your existing web host):

  • URL link to access existing web hosting server, and login credentials
  • URL link to access your Webmail for your email services
  • Email accounts: all email addresses (from previous web host) and passwords.
  • Web Hosting Account Expiration Date

Our website migration experts will work on your request on the next available schedule, to ensure minimal downtime at non-peak hours. We highly recommend you don’t change your domain name’s DNS settings until all website files and emails are uploaded completely by our support team. Otherwise, you might encounter some serious downtimes and we don’t want that to happen to you.

 

Post Migration

After moving your site, test if your website is working properly. Additionally, check if your domain and email accounts are also working and pointed to your new site location.

If everything’s working as they should, then you’re all set and ready with your new Vodien web hosting account.  If not, feel free to get in touch with our customer support team to assist you with any issues.

 

New Beginnings at Vodien

Starting over is not easy and that’s why we make our website migration process fast and simple for our customers. We want to welcome you onboard with access to the right tools and support so you can set up your site in no time.

With Vodien’s Hosting Migration Service, we will help you make that big switch effortlessly while reducing downtime. Click on the link below to get started!

 

A.I. Sentry – How Vodien Protects Your Websites and Emails

The most important factor of any cloud hosting service is to provide a peace of mind that the services are always online and well-secured. A smoothly-running online presence is the foundation of any businesses in this age and our mission is to ensure that you are secured.

Since last year, the Vodien team has been developing a groundbreaking 3-Sector Artificial Intelligence (AI) implementation named A.I. Sentry. The AI solution makes use of deep analytics to process and fingerprint malicious behaviour and cyber threats from anonymous server traffic data. Results are dynamically distributed to Vodien’s servers, preventing similar attacks in real-time.

Machine-learning algorithms identify patterns of undesirable behaviour to prevent not just existing attacks but also adapts to stop new ones. Hwa Rui, AVP of Vodien’s Infrastructure team, points out that the AI solution is revolutionary in the fight against cyber attacks, but does not remove the need for users to remain proactive. “Malicious attacks are constantly evolving, making it harder for conventional security solutions to catch and prevent. Our 3-Sector AI solution was created to adapt to the new attacks, but the basics, such as patches and upgrades must still be performed.”

A.I. Sentry protects our users’ websites and emails across 3 main sectors: Application Security, Network Security, and Bot Defence Security.

Here are just some of the threats A.I. Sentry learns and trains itself to protect against:

– Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) Attacks
– Hacking attempts
– Virus attacks
– Brute-force attacks
– Malware injections
– Defacement attempts

Application Security

Web and email applications are common targets of attackers as they typically contain sensitive information, and are easy to exploit. Your brand suffers a hit upon a successful malicious attack, leading to the loss of trust and revenue for your business. Vodien’s Application Security solution consists of an integrated set of implementations to protect you against such attacks.

Network Security

A DDoS attack is an attempt to bring down your online service by crushing it with waves of traffic from different sources. If left unchecked, it can cause very slow page loads to a total disruption of site availability. Through the years, we have tested different ways of anticipating, detecting, and mitigating such DDoS attempts, finally coming up with our AI-driven implementation that combines advanced DDoS mitigation and smart load balancing for your services.

Bot Defence Security

Every minute, there are bots that are trying to learn more about your online services and even maliciously gaining access to your website. These bots cause a high load on your server’s resources, that could be otherwise consumed by legitimate website visitors. A.I. Sentry learns from millions of data sets, differentiating a real attack from a legitimate visitor, and immediately prevents any similar malicious attempts on your account.

Some Numbers to Show What A.I. Sentry is doing

On a daily basis, A.I. Sentry prevents unauthorised login attempts, DDoS attacks, brute force attacks, and other forms of attacks on a massive scale. This gives a better hosting experience for all our clients and their visitors.

Numbers based on an average Vodien Server

  • Brute-Force Attacks Stopped: 14,000 per day
  • Challenge-Response Authentication Logged: 700,000 per day

 

A Multi-layer Defence Approach to Better Secure your Website

Safeguarding your online services via AI-driven server-wide security solutions is the first step Vodien takes to enhance your hosting experience. You can further secure and optimise your website with Vodien’s webGuard, our all-in-one website optimisation and security add-on exclusively for Vodien hosting customers! To learn how you can take advantage of this add-on to give you peace of mind and protection against downtime, please click on the link below to get in touch with our SuperSupport team!