Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket Live Wire: Surfing waves at high speed

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Understanding the changing tide of internet speeds on Phuket is easier said than done.

Everybody wants to know how fast their internet connection is running, and what they can do to speed it up. Fortunately, internet speeds in Phuket have been improving – dramatically in some cases.

The general SOP level (“Screams Of Pain”) this year, compared to two or three years ago, has subsided. In short, internet Service Providers in Phuket (3BB, True, CAT, TOT, Island Technology, iPStar, and various Cable TV companies) are doing a reasonably good job of providing internet service. If you’re not happy with your service, vote with your pocketbook: there’s never been more, or better, options for internet than you have right now.

Of course, that begs the question: Which internet service in Phuket is best – fastest, most reliable, cheapest? Predictably, there’s no simple answer.

People in Phuket have been measuring their international download speeds using a simple, consistent test since January 2008. We now have almost 20,000 observations at phuketinternetspeed.com and you can see any or all of the data there, any time. It’s an invaluable reference for people who are looking at internet options, for people who want to complain about their internet service, and for the ISPs themselves to see “real world” checks of their service levels.

Times are changing, and we’re about to change the speed test to make it better reflect reality. To understand what’s happening, I need to explain a technique called “cache” (pronounced “cash”).

The computer industry is full of examples of different components operating at vastly different speeds. Your CPU chip, for example, runs very quickly. The memory chips that hold the data for the CPU chip are considerably slower. And hard drives are yet another order of magnitude slower than main memory.

A cache is a location set aside in a faster area that’s used to manipulate data from a slower area. So, for example, a CPU cache is a very fast location next to the CPU that sucks data from memory chips, serves the data to the CPU, then returns any changed data back to the slower memory chips, as needed. A big CPU cache can speed up the overall operation of a PC by an order of magnitude or more. Caches work.

In Phuket (indeed, in all of Thailand), some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are starting to use caches to minimize the number of times the ISP has to run overseas to retrieve a web page. In theory, here’s how it works: the very first person who surfs to a specific web site – say, bbc.com – forces the ISP to run to the bbc.com website to retrieve the page. It takes time to pull the whole bbc.com page from the UK and put it on your PC.

Some ISPs are smart enough to store that copy of bbc.com in a web cache, located in Bangkok, before sending it on to the user. That way, when the next person asks to see bbc.com, the ISP doesn’t have to run all the way to UK to get it. There’s a quick check to make sure the page hasn’t changed (it’s complicated; details can be found at is.gd/CH7AFT), but most of the time, the ISP doesn’t have to spend the time – or the money – to pull the data from the UK; it just uses the copy sitting in the cache in Bangkok.

In Live Wire next week, I’ll explain how caching has changed both the way we’re getting data from international locations, and the validity of our speed tests. I’ll also introduce you to a new speed test that we’ll roll out shortly, to level the playing and reporting field a bit.

Live Wire is Phuket Gazette columnist Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket. Follow him on Twitter: @PhuketPC or visit his free computer clinics at Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes

— Woody Leonhard

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 mins ago

Thai researchers develop flood-resistant rice strain

Press Room21 mins ago

Southeast Asia’s hospitality leaders step into the ring to fight for sustainability at PHIST 5

Crime22 mins ago

Horrified relatives attempt ID of disfigured suitcase victim

Sponsored5 hours ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Travel24 mins ago

Things to do in Bangkok that cost next to nothing (2022)

Travel1 hour ago

5 best spa treatments in Bangkok to pamper yourself this September – October

Phuket1 hour ago

Phuket’s governor Narong braces for storm Noru

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Politics2 hours ago

Royal defamation case dropped against Thai activist

Myanmar2 hours ago

OnlyFans star sentenced to six years in prison in Myanmar

Protests3 hours ago

Activists plan protests across Bangkok

Crime3 hours ago

Woman kidnapped in Malaysia found in southern Thailand

Singapore3 hours ago

Singaporean food hawker centre makes NYC debut

Politics4 hours ago

The Russia-Ukraine conundrum and US interference

Thailand4 hours ago

VIDEO: 500 year old Buddhist stupa collapses in Chiang Mai revealing hidden treasures

Cannabis4 hours ago

Marijuana growers dazed, confused by legal smoke and mirrors

Crime4 hours ago

64 Thais deported from Cambodia after scam crackdown

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending