Question: What kind of internet connection do I need to run CASTiNET? What speed should I have?
1) A good connection type, 2) good speed, and 3) low latency. In addition, your computer needs to run well.
Think of the connection type like a road. DSL is like a country road. CABLE is like a two lane road with a middle turn lanes and a shoulder. Fiber is like a 6 lane interstate with exit ramps. (Dial up would be a muddy horse trail). The wider the road, the more stuff can go down it.
CASTiNET likes to run on a nice wide two lane road. It can run on a country road if you're the only one there, but add some other cars (people in your office) and things get clogged up. The interstate will be the fastest, but you only need it if there are a lot of you in the same office.
CASTiNET runs fine on a Cable Modem, DSL, Fiber Connection. We have users report that they use it successfully by connecting to mobile phones and hotspots. We've used hotspots for training events and demonstrations. Satellite connections can be used- we just don't recommend them for various reasons, mostly because they are subject to interference that makes them unreliable.
Regardless of the type of connection, it is very important that your connection is stable and reliable. If your internet gets slow when the wind blows, drops out when it rains, then it's no good. Contact your internet provider and have the service team run quality test on your connection.
If your computer is slow, it doesn't matter how fast your internet is! See our article on Computer Specifications
How fast should my internet be?
It depends. If you are the only person using the internet, you don't need a lot to run CASTiNET. If the person in the office with you is on the internet watching a video webinar- you'll need more "speed" or bandwidth to handle both of you.
If your office has 100 people in it, you're going to need a LOT of bandwidth to cover everyone! For example, if your connection is 100M but you have 200 people in the office, that's only .5M if you were to split it evenly for each person. If you have a 30M connection in a two person office you would 15M per person, the small office would "win".
There are three main ways to look at internet performance. Test your internet connection speed
- Download Speed is how fast your computer and it's connection can download something. Think of it like a moped versus a car versus a truck. 1M download is like a moped, 15-30M is like a car, 100M is like a pickup truck, 1000M is like an 18-wheeler. The bigger the truck (or download speed) the more you can move in one trip. You need download speed to move files, pictures and text down to your computer so you can see it. CASTiNET likes to be at least in the "Car" range. (The more the better).
- Upload Speed is how fast your connection can upload things. You don't usually need as much speed for uploading, so cable, DSL and hotspots will usually have lower upload speeds. CASTiNET will run best in the "car" category to have around 5-10Mbps Upload speed. (The more the better).
- Latency is how long it takes (in milliseconds) to get from point A to point B. It is often represented as "PING ms" on speed tests. We want latency to be low, or as close to 0 as possible. If you go start to exceed 150ms you might see "slowdowns". You might type something or click a button on a webpage and it seems to take a long time. Satellite internet connections may carry 500-800ms ping times because the signal has to go up into space, bounce off the satellite and then com all the way back down. CASTiNET runs best if the latency is low, typically less than 120ms.
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