Is Your Internet Provider The Best In The Market?
Living in Singapore, we may take our fast connectivity to the internet for granted, Do you know that on our tiny red dot, internet speed puts us at within the top 10 in the world?
Having said that, a lot of us actually subscribe to broadband based loosely on two criteria: price and speed. For those who want to just surf the net, use social media and watch some occasional videos, we might settle for something fuss-free and economical. For those who are serious gamers or drama-serial lovers who watches their favourite movies on stream, a faster speed is probably more important as lagging sucks. So how do you know if your current internet provider is the fastest in the market?
In fact, there are public data available for you to find out! The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore publishes the performance of broadband plans here. There are three main indicators to look at- price, throughput and latency.
Pricing is pretty straight forward. You’d have expected that in the competitive market, internet providers are matching their prices to the one with the lowest price point, right? Wrong. If we look at absolute pricing, M1 has some of the lowest prices in the market, with the M1 200 Mbps HomePac Fibre coming in at the lowest at $29.90 per month.
But the better way to compare is actually using price ber Mbps, which puts MyRepublic as a leader for its consistently value for money plans across its offerings.
When we are surfing the Internet, the data packets need to travel from our computer to the intended website through the network matrix that we call the Internet. Throughput refers to the amount of data that is successfully transferred over a specified period of time. It is usually expressed as kilobits or megabits per second (kbps or Mbps). Throughput is thus an important indicator of network performance, especially when it involves large file transfers or high-bandwidth applications.
When we look at the data for throughputs, M1 has shown to be performing the best for both upload and download throughputs(note data available only for Singtel, M1 and Starhub)
VPN & DNS
Does you internet provider offer VPN (Virtual Private Network) or DNS (Domain Name Server) features to keep you and your data safe? A VPN in Singapore is a key piece of software that keep your data and browser history safe from prying eyes, by tunnelling your connection via an encrypted network of servers. These features allow you to conceal you identity and computer location, effectively lets you bypass geo-restrictions.
A VPN allows you to watch TV shows, movies, live sporting events while abroad. What’s more, you can access blocked website like Facebook and Google search while his China with a China VPN (bypassing the great firewall).
Latency is defined as the time taken for a data packet to travel from one point to another and back. In applications which require real-time communications, such as video-conferencing, skype calls and multi-player online games, high latency will slow down the communications and may result in quality degradation and lagging. Simply put, if the latency is too high, the data is taking too long to return to you.
In the published data, it’s interesting that while M1 is able to transfer more data, it has a higher average latency compared to Singtel and Starhub. The latter two are comparable in terms of their latency standards. However the ViewQwest and MyRepublic run lucent based servers, which constantly update and mange the routes data is transferred, this can dramatically improve latency.
So when you are due to renew your broadband connection, look to use these 3 indicators to guide you in your next choice!