Connection speeds

Measuring connection speed

To measure your connection speed, you can use Ookla Speedtest at speedtest.net. If you are using a mobile device, you may find their mobile apps more convenient.

Expected connection speeds

University Housing, in partnership with Technology Services at Illinois, provides wired and wireless Internet connections sufficient for work and play throughout the residence halls. For reference, below is a list of common tasks and the approximate bandwidth required.

Stream 4K video 68 Mbps
Stream HD video 12 Mbps
Stream music 0.5 Mbps
Video calls 1.5 Mbps per person
Voice calls 0.3 Mbps per person
Online gaming 25 Mbps <100 ping
Web browsing 3 Mbps

Though network speeds will vary based on usage volume and signal strength (for wireless connections), your connection will generally be fast enough to use the Internet in multiple ways simultaneously. Below is a list of expected speeds of network connections in the residence halls.

Wireless connections ~20 Mbps
Wired connections ~8 Mbps

Slow connections

A slow connection may arise from several situations.

Background processes

Sometimes, a connection may seem slow because a background process or application is using bandwidth that could have been used in your active application. For example, a high-quality video you are watching may play intermittently while you download lecture slides in the background. Some processes such as cloud backup services or software updates may also take up bandwidth even though you did not actively initiate the process. To find out more about what applications are using the bandwidth of your Internet connection, follow the steps for your operating system below. If you need further assistance in troubleshooting your slow network connection, submit a help request.

Windows

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager
  2. Select the Performance tab at the top of the Task Manager window
  3. Select Open Resource Monitor at the bottom of the Task Manager window
  4. Select Network to expand a list of processes that are currently using bandwidth
  5. You can sort by Send (B/sec) and Receive (B/sec) to find the most bandwidth-heavy applications for uploading and downloading, respectively

OS X

  1. Press Cmd + Space to open Spotlight
  2. Type Activity Monitor and press Return to launch Activity Monitor
  3. Select the Network tab at the top of the Activity Monitor window
  4. You can sort by Sent Bytes and Rcvd Bytes to find the most bandwidth-heavy applications for uploading and download, respectively