Many of us that have older Macs and Macbooks are quick to find something in our Macs to blame for the slower speed and performance. Our impulse drives us to start shopping for upgrading the RAM or upgrading the machine with an SSD. Although both of these measures would definitely speed up your Mac, sometimes the problems related to the poor performance may reside beyond your Mac.
One of the main reasons around poor performance could be Packet Loss while you are sending and receiving data through your ISP. It is not uncommon for some ISP providers to promise you one bandwidth and deliver another bandwidth.
If you have checked your Activity Monitor for the stats associated with your Mac and have not found anything strikingly weird, you may want to use this free service to check out the quality of service associated with your broadband and make sure that you are not experiencing any Packet Loss.
We have used Pingtest.net to verify this in the past. Its easy and convenient. Open a session on your Safari and go to Pingtest.net.
Pingtest.net is a free broadband quality analyzer designed to complement Speedtest.net. This troubleshooting tool grades your connection on how well it is likely to handle things like voice services (VoIP), streaming music or video and telecommuting.
Once you are in Pingtest.net, Just click on Begin Test. The software will automatically identify your connection and conduct the test. The test takes about 10 seconds or so and it will provide a grading for your ISP service quality. The best grading is A and the worst is F.
More importantly, you should be looking for the results of the metric Packet Loss. Much as it sounds, if you have anything less than complete success in transmitting and receiving “packets” of data then you are experiencing this problem with your Internet connection.
It can mean much slower download and upload speeds, poor quality VoIP audio, pauses with streaming media. Packet loss is a metric where anything greater than 0% should cause concern. Even little packet loss can cause tones of issues on your end.
The best thing to do in this case is to explore getting a better router and testing it out. If you have an old router, you may want to get a few new ones from Amazon and test them out to see if it makes a difference to your Pingtest results. If that did not solve your problem, then you may want to call your ISP especially if you see a difference in speed they promised vs what you are getting on your end.
The tool is absolutely free. Go ahead and give it a try in any case!