Why is my internet slow?: making network speeds visible

  title={Why is my internet slow?: making network speeds visible},
  author={Marshini Chetty and David Haslem and Andrew Baird and Ugochi Ofoha and Bethany Sumner and Rebecca E. Grinter},
  journal={Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
With widespread broadband adoption, more households report experiencing sub-optimal speeds. Not only are slow speeds frustrating, they may indicate consumers are not receiving the services they are paying for from their internet service providers. Yet, determining the speed and source of slow-downs is difficult because few tools exist for broadband management. We report on results of a field trial with 10 households using a visual network probe designed to address these problems. We describe… 

Figures from this paper

You're capped: understanding the effects of bandwidth caps on broadband use in the home
This paper presents results from a qualitative study of households living with bandwidth caps, and suggests home users grapple with three uncertainties regarding their bandwidth usage: invisible balances, mysterious processes, and multiple users.
HomeShaper : regulating the use of bandwidth resources in home networks
This thesis presents HomeShaper, a programmable bandwidth management framework which accepts as input a set of user-defined requirements in the form of high-level contracts, and transparently reconfigures the underlying home network infrastructure in order to fulfil them.
When the price is right: enabling time-dependent pricing of broadband data
The first TDP trial for mobile data in the US with 10 families is carried out, which can help the HCI community as well as ISPs, app developers and designers create tools that empower users to better control their usage and save on their monthly bills, while also alleviating network congestion.
A survey of smart data pricing
This survey reviews some of the well-known past broadband pricing proposals (both static and dynamic), including their current realizations in various consumer data plans around the world, and discusses several research problems and open questions.
How's My Network - Incentives and Impediments of Home Network Measurements
This dissertation explores how to gather data from the HN Ecosystem (e.g. devices, apps, permissions, configurations) and feedback from HN users across a multitude of HN infrastructures, leveraging low impediment and low/high incentive methods to entice user participation.
A Survey of Broadband Data Pricing : Past Proposals , Current Plans , and Future Trends
Traditionally, network operators have used simple flat-rate broadband data plans for both wired and wireless network access. But today, with the popularity of mobile devices and exponential growth of
Perspectives on Net Neutrality and Internet Fast-Lanes
This approach can provide a compromise solution that can break the current stalemate and be acceptable to all parties, and is to propose a new model that engages consumers in fast-lane negotiations, allowing them to customizefast-lane usage on their broadband link.
Communicating with caps: managing usage caps in home networks
A system that allows users to monitor and manage their usage caps and shows various use cases, such as limiting the usage of a particular application, visualizing usage statistics, and allowing users within a single household to "trade" caps with one another.
The Effect of Signal Expense and Dependability on Family Communication in Rural and Northern Canada
A study of family communication practices in rural and northern areas of Manitoba, Canada where Internet connectivity is intermittent or severely limited in some communities shows the ways in which individuals stay connected with outside relatives can be hampered by communication infrastructure challenges.
Network Capacity as Common Pool Resource
This work explores the design of community-based congestion policies and mechanisms, through the lens of network capacity as a Common Pool Resource (CPR), through a series of workshops and interviews in a rural community in Oaxaca, Mexico, and encounters design opportunities for new types of tools supporting communal network management.


Who's hogging the bandwidth: the consequences of revealing the invisible in the home
The consequences of showing real time resource usage in a home are described, and how this varies depending on the social make up of the household is described.
Characterizing residential broadband networks
This paper presents the first large-scale measurement study of major cable and DSL providers in North America and Europe, and characterizes several properties of broadband networks, including link capacities, packet round-trip times and jitter, packet loss rates, queue lengths, and queue drop policies.
More than meets the eye: transforming the user experience of home network management
This paper seeks to understand how to design better home network management tools through a study of sketches created by 40 people in 18 households, and presents guidelines for transforming the user experience of home networkmanagement.
Which Factors Affect Access Network Performance
An analysis of the performance of residential access networks using over four months of round-trip, download, and upload measurements from more than 7,000 users across four ADSL and cable providers in France to present the first study of how access network performance relates to other factors.
The ins and outs of home networking: The case for useful and usable domestic networking
Key issues for development include the development of networking facilities that do not require advanced networking knowledge, that are flexible and support the local social order of the home and the evolution of its routines, and which ultimately make the home network visible and accountable to household members.
Implications of Internet architecture on net neutrality
This article develops a net neutrality policy founded on a segmentation of Internet services into infrastructure services and application services, based on the Internet's layered architecture, that restricts an Internet service Provider's ability to engage in anticompetitive behavior while simultaneously ensuring that it can use desirable forms of network management.
Characterizing high-bandwidth real-time video traffic in residential broadband networks
This work uses packet traces and active measurements from houses to shed light on the video transmission quality that is typically achievable from residences and is used to characterize the reasons behind quality deterioration.
How Smart Homes Learn: The Evolution of the Networked Home and Household
Findings are presented from a study that examined the relationship between home networking and the house itself--and the work that results for householders as a consequence of this interaction.
Improving users' security choices on home wireless networks
A novel wireless router configuration wizard is designed and evaluated that encouraged strong security choices by improving the network configuration steps and found that security choices made by users of the wizard resulted in stronger security practices when compared to the wizard from a leading equipment manufacturer.
The Global Net Neutrality Debate: Back to Square One?
  • G. Goth
  • Political Science
    IEEE Internet Comput.
  • 2010
The debate over Internet neutrality and equitable network access policies has been ongoing for several years. However, recent events in both Europe and the US indicate that technologists and