How does internet speed differs from one app to another?



Very often I can watch videos in Full HD on YT, browse Instagram without any problem but can’t browse some apps or play some games, even though when I test the internet speed it says that it’s very fast.

In: Technology

Lots of things contribute to speed or perceived speed.

For example, what protocol is used, TCP vs UDP, tcp requires handshakes to ensure smooth packet delivery while UDP is more flexible towards lost packets. Thus it takes the same data on average longer to go through TCP than UDP.

Also depends on content, a 4K video is going take more bandwidth than a photo on Instagram because more data is being transmitted. This compounded with multiple people on the network decreases the availed bandwidth required to send information to and from other servers.

Moreover different games/apps etc all use varying algorithms which may speed up or slow down your perceived experience on that app or streaming platform.

Your overall connection to a service is only as fast as the slowest lane that gets you there.

When using an app, the information from your end has to go from your device, over the internet through many other devices, to the servers of the app.

Even if you have a good connection, if the connections in the middle or the speed to the servers on the end are slow, your overall connection will be slow.

It’s like traveling. If you’re trying to get from your house to work, if the only paths to work have a lot of traffic, you’re gona get there slower.

There’s a lot of possible factors. Protocol (TCP vs UDP), network congestion, location of nearest server(s), ISP, ISP throttling, bandwidth (sending video takes more bandwidth than sending text) are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Different apps contact different destinations. Just because you have a good connection to Los Angeles doesn’t mean you have a good connection to Boston

* Everything the uses the internet is based on a server device somewhere that sends you the information you request from it.
* The pathway between your device and that server is different for each server you need to contact and thus the speed with which you can get data from that server will be different.
* Also the load on that server at the time you are trying to use it can slow things down.
* Again each server is different and each app likely uses different servers.
* Lastly a speed test only tells you the speed between your device and the speed test server.
* The reason they are useful is because it can tell you the theoretical max speed your internet service provider is *allowing* you to connect to the internet at.
* Speed test servers are also designed to be super fast and don’t do anything other than speed tests so they have very good performance.