Most Popular Myths About Internet Performance

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The Internet is a funny place; it is full of verifiable information and false information. 

There are a lot of misconceptions and myths about Internet performance that you probably believed was true, but that in actuality, are completely false. 

In fact, most Internet plans focus on how well the Internet will perform with certain types of bandwidth and routers. Does the Internet perform better with a higher count of Mbps, and if it doesn’t, will that affect customer satisfaction? 

The questions are endless. 

There is a lot about Internet performance that we don’t know. It’s time to debunk all the myths. 

Myth #1: You Can’t Have Performance And Security

This is like saying that you can’t have a personal life and a successful career. Or you can’t have carbs and also lose weight. 

Not true. 

There is always a solution to any Internet problem and there are ways of maximizing performance without compromising sensitive information. 

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are a type of network that functions as the invisible foundation of all Internet interactions. They help optimize Internet performance by storing cached versions of content to minimize the distance between visitors and website servers. 

When it comes to having the performance that we want, CDNs are helpful in that they can improve performance by moving web content closer to the end-user. However, because using a CDN requires the storage of sensitive content to be unencrypted, any hacker would have easy access to this. While having a CDN improves performance, there is a risk of losing some safety.

One way to counteract this is by enabling SSL offload. SSL offload refers to removing SSL-based encryption to relieve servers from overworking themselves by decrypting or encrypting too much data. This slows down your Internet performance sometimes. 

By enabling SSL offload, users can improve performance and prevent the Internet from being too slow to load. Enabling this feature also requires the original web server to be the only one that permits any sharing of SSL certificates, which would violate privacy laws. So you have both improved performance and the privacy that you need for all of your personal information. 

Myth #2: Upload Performance Is Never Great

This is a fairly common complaint and also a very common myth. Most users are not aware that they can actually improve their upload speeds by up to 20 times what they originally are. 

This is an instance in which using a CDN would improve the performance of upload speeds. Because of a CDN’s need to minimize the distance between visitors and website servers, it could provide faster page loading times for static content. 

There are also virtual networks that use edge routers which function to speed up data and dynamic content by clearing up congestion and improving transfer feeds. Edge routing works by creating a faster Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) path that can transport data without too much traffic.

Another way of improving upload speeds is to run regular updates on your computer. Whenever there is software that is outdated, it slows down the speed of uploads and downloads. Pay close attention to any updates with your firmware so that the speeds for uploads are used at maximum capacity. 

Myth #3: Monitoring Can Fix Internet Performance

Monitoring is a sensitive subject. Every single Internet user out there values their privacy and most believe that monitoring should not happen. 

Some computer experts are firm believers that monitoring can sometimes help identify and diagnose problems that hinder Internet performance. However, identifying them doesn’t solve them. 

The actual issues behind less-than-great Internet performance have to do with other aspects of the Internet that have nothing to do with monitoring tools.

  • Congestion
    This is an actual problem for the Internet. The Internet is just like a highway, the more drivers it has, the more jammed it gets. Think about it, the number of people using the Internet continues to increase every day. There is enough content out there to last the next five million lifetimes. Inevitably, the Internet suffers from digital congestions that slow down performance.
  • Outages
    Even if users are not always aware, outages happen often. Whenever an outage happens, Internet connections are disrupted by reasons that are out of a user’s control. Outages of central wireless Internet towers have the power of bringing traffic to a standstill and not allowing the Internet to perform at its best.
  • Government Regulations
    It shouldn’t come as a surprise that governments do their own monitoring for information. Whether it’s right or wrong, that’s up for debate. However, the one thing that we can all agree on is that government monitoring and regulations can definitely slow down Internet performance. Too many regulations significantly hinder Internet performance and encourage traffic jams in servers. 

Myth #4: The Best Way to Improve Performance is by Building Regional Points of Presence

In order to understand this myth, it’s important to understand what the definition is of a regional point of presence. 

A regional point of presence is a way to cache static media content like pictures and videos. Basically, to cache data means to store the data in the computer after a user visits a website. 

Because there is so much congestion online that delays and that worsens Internet performance, some website owners have used Points of Presence (PoP) to enhance the cache of data and therefore improve content delivery. 

Though building regional PoPs improves performance, they are not the best way to do so because, in order for PoPs to successfully improve the Internet, it would require large infrastructure and investments. Internet overlay networks like CDNs are more practical and cost-efficient as a solution for poor Internet performance. Internet overlay networks offer faster routing and better transport of data to minimize the number of trips to deliver content to users on their web pages. 

Myth #5: The Internet Performance Is Already Good Enough

While the Internet has evolved since its invention, it is still not technically at the level it should be since its creation. 

Yes, we’re able to use the Internet to communicate, entertain, and research. Yet, Internet performance has a long way to go before we consider it to be “good.” 

The main issues with Internet performance continue to center on its delayed responses and what consumers refer to as “lagging.” What this means is that the content on web pages still doesn’t upload fast enough and it makes the experience feel slow and, frankly, annoying. 

Poor Internet performance affects the use of applications and presents challenges for businesses, especially. 

Lagging can cause:

  • Customer dissatisfaction
  • Less of a chance of customers purchasing products
  • Higher chance of consumers going to competitor sites 

Internet performance still largely relies on protocol and design decisions that are outdated and no longer apply in today’s technology. Though the Internet continues to improve and new networks and devices come out each year to enhance the Internet experience, the same question still haunts Internet companies everywhere: Is it better to focus on reliability or speed and consistency?

Internet providers and website owners continue to ponder the correct answer. For now, at least there are ways to combat poor Internet performance. There’s always hope that one day, Internet performance will truly work at its maximum potential.