International Journal of Video & Image Processing and Network Security IJVIPNS-IJENS Vol: 11 No: 02


Real-Life Evaluation of Computer and Internet Performance
Shahriar Khan, Indpendent University, Bangladesh
 Abstract— The dramatic increases in computer and connectivity speeds, as per Moore’s Law, has not been accompanied by matching improvement in real-life computer performance. There continues to be frustration with performance, and users appear to be unable to experience reallife benefits of the progress in computers and connectivity. Clearly, some needless and non-transparent computer processing are continuing to be barriers to better computer services. The MHz and Kbps values of computer and internet speeds create misleading expectations about what really concern the user, such as actual web-browsing speeds. Webpage viewing is found to be of the order of 1000 times slower than file download speeds. Clearly, some real-life parameters of performance, beyond MHz and Kbps values, are needed to describe performance. In spite of the advances in hardware and software, the susceptibility to viruses appears to be greater than ever. Forced hardware and software upgrades, with mostly few benefits, often cause unforeseen problems. A survey of web-browser speeds was conducted at different locations, and at local cyber-cafes. The proposed quantitative and qualitative analysis of computer performance will help decision-making on hardware and software issues, and give some predictability to the problems that may arise. Index Terms— Computer, internet, speeds, performance, webbrowser, virus

are slowed by malicious softwares, which perform needless computer operations, and communications. A tune-up or cleaning up of a personal computer every few months has become an almost accepted practice. In comparison, the land and the mobile phone networks have had almost no viruses or malicious softwares. Slow performance costs countless man-hours of personal and commercial productivity worldwide. Slower performance often reduces the incentive for general users to work with or acquire computers. New cybercafés are barely keeping pace with cybercafés that are shutting down. Rates of cybercafe web-browsing have generally increased to about 30 Tk / hour in Dhaka, and to 20 tk/hour in other cities. The preliminary study conducted in this paper indicates that the mobile phone, and its convenient Short Messaging System (SMS) have become major competitions to the spread of the internet. The slowing growth of computers and the internet have been a topic of much of the recent literature [6-14]. Some universities are forming alternative connectivities, forming their own versions of the internet. Their justification is that the commercialization of today’s internet is not compatible with the needs of educational institutions. II. EFFECT OF COMMERCIAL FORCES ON THE INTERNET The present microprocessor speeds of 3 GHz or more are far more than sufficient for most activity of average users such as web-browsing, checking email, and word-processing. High microprocessor speeds are more useful for activity such as the exotic games, mostly of interest to the younger generation. In this backdrop, the computer and software industries are continually seeking new sources of revenue from the market [7]. It is to their benefit to create the impression, that existing computers are becoming slow, and need upgrades. Faster webbrowsing and email checking, although contributing greatly to individual and commercial productivity, create little financial incentive for hardware and software companies seeking larger market shares for their products. The internet was initially visualized by large companies as a IJENS

I. INTRODUCTION Although microprocessor speeds and internet connectivity speeds have been increasing exponentially in the last few decades, as per Moore’s Law [1,2,3], these dramatic growths have not translated into corresponding improvements in factors which really concern the user, such as web-page viewing and email checking speeds. CPU speeds (in GHz) have doubled about every 2 years, flash memories have doubled every year, and internet connectivity speeds (Mbps) have shown comparable growth. However, webpage viewing times have shown very little actual improvement, if at all, over the last decade or two. The susceptibility to viruses, forced upgrading, and incompatibility of softwares and hardwares has also shown little improvement. The majority of computers
Manuscript received March 9, 2011 Shahriar Khan is with the School of Engineering and Computer Science, Independent University, Bangladesh. (e-mail:

116002-0505 IJVIPNS-IJENS © April 2011 IJENS

It was found that web-pages are unnecessarily burdened with graphics. and administrators. it started to lose much of its appeal to commercial forces. WEB – BROWSING DELAYS Downloading web-pages and reading web-based email are the most popular internet activity. and what to expect after such an upgrade. It may help to choose between Internet Service Providers. It will give more predictability to problems that may arise. the extremely high microprocessor and connectivity speeds (MHz and kbps) are not translating into reduced web-browsing delays. 10:30 AM. and other real-life parameters are needed. traditional methods of specifying computer and connectivity speeds (GHz and Mbps) are not sufficient for addressing real-life problems. the commercial forces have found other entrances into the internet. or may actually have become worse in the last two decades [9]. Where a file download speeds is seen to be 10 Kbps. 3. and hardware and software related costs. software. They are described in Tables 1-9 below. networking. decisions on computer hardwares. According to all indications. BANGLADESH.) than for online sales. REAL-LIFE APPROACH TO COMPUTERS AND CONNECTIVITY Clearly.1 Survey of Local Computers and Connectivity A study was conducted.1 Decision Makers for Computer Upgrades and Softwares At this time. The methods proposed in this paper seek to bring hardware. In this backdrop of the commercialization of the internet. Firefox. and it may give some advance knowledge of the problems that may arise from the upgrade. Clearly.International Journal of Video & Image Processing and Network Security IJVIPNS-IJENS Vol: 11 No: 02 global mall. that will help users decide on issues such as choice of hardware and software. are lost to these needless delays. As the internet became used more for noncommercial purposes (web-browsing. A quantitative and qualitative approach to performance is proposed here. Various reasons are normally cited for slow web-browsing speeds. or guide when to upgrade internet services.. possibly generating huge revenue in online purchase orders. email. ultimately minimizing computer delays. III. TABLE 1. TIME TO DOWNLOAD WEB-PAGES WITH INTERNET EXPLORER. Most delays in internet activity are due to non-transparent activity of operating systems and web-browsers. and other memory-intensive coding. web-browsing delays. 2. Navigator. and the solutions that are available. and an indicator of the questionable non-transparent behavior of operating systems and web-browsers. These issues affect both individual and corporate users. or between anti-virus softwares. may have improved only marginally. where web-page downloading times was taken at locations Mymensingh. the time to download a single 1 KB webpage is about a 100 116002-0505 IJVIPNS-IJENS © April 2011 IJENS 12 1000 times greater than the expected 0. translating into low web-browsing speeds. 4. LOCATION: MYMENSINGH. 22/JULY/08. managers. and internet connectivity are made largely upon the recommendations of computer specialists. who lose countless man hours and productivity every year because of computer problems. That web-download speed is much slower than file download speed is justifiably a cause of concern. the reasons for these delays include that web-browsers (a) do various unnecessary microprocessor computations (b) needlessly contact and download from various internet sources (c) do not act in a transparent manner to users IV. this study attempts to help users quantify such non-transparent behavior. Opera).1 Web-browsing and File downloading speeds In many instances. much more than they need to be. This real-life approach proposed here attempts to give advance information about these delays to the user. and Baridhara in Bangladesh. etc. the study conducted by this paper. and connectivity decisions to the actual users. and yet an informal survey found them to be by far the greatest source of delay for the vast majority of users. SPEED: 1 MBPS IJENS .1 second. and other inconveniences to general users. Motijheel. It may clarify the performance differences in web-page browsers (Internet Explorer. Countless man-hours in personal and commercial productivity. such as routing problems. CONNECTION: BROAD-BAND. Popular web-pages are very large. causing even larger download times. However. It will assist determination of when a hardware or software upgrade is the best option. However. on whom managers and administrators must depend. Advertising graphics are normally displayed before the information requested by the viewer. etc [10-16]. found that direct file download speeds on Windows operating systems are faster by factors in the order of 1001000. softwares.


followed by the Canadian government website www. and in Mymensingh. The approach of this paper proposes to identify websites and softwares that are responsible. Attempts to access the data after 2002 resulted in damaging of the disks.International Journal of Video & Image Processing and Network Security IJVIPNS-IJENS Vol: 11 No: 02 14 TABLE 10. allowing him to make an appropriate decision on the upgrade. Individual and corporate users are affected. 5. It is proposed here that a software's performance be evaluated by whether it is compatible with older software and hardware. VII. However. and Opera. After an expensive and time-consuming upgrade. as it can recognize recent viruses. it is valid for 29 days. webpage browsing speeds were about 100-1000 times slower than direct file downloading speeds. One antivirus software was found to take up about 14 GB of a 16 GB hard drive (!). The performance of a software is normally specified by the manufacturer in terms of all its features. Prospective users should have advance information of all the problems that may arise from installing an anti-virus software on their computer. of the four web-browsers. TIME TAKEN TO DOWNLOAD A WEB-PAGE USING INTERNET EXPLORER. adversely affecting productivity and quality of life worldwide. SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE Consumers frequently face the dilemma of choices for hardware and software. and parameters of 1 to 5. very important to the consumer. if . DHAKA. it is frequently not possible to login to email accounts (Yahoo. Firefox. A user known to the author. and if . They are almost forced to periodically update hardware and software. They were in Hatkhola and Bailey Road of Dhaka.2 Unsuccessful Attempts Unsuccessful attempts at viewing web-pages was found to be a frequent problem. For example. 4. BARIDHARA. If downloaded from the internet. rather than expanding in Bangladesh. 6.doc files are superseded by . Running into web-applications which do not work was found to be another common problem. LOCATION: IUB. the user may discover completely unexpected incompatibilities. computer. ACCESSIBILITY OF DATA AND FILES AFTER YEARS `With these updating of softwares. especially with certain web-browsers. and a proposed parameter of this paper.docx files. Running into unpredictable problems has become widely accepted to be part of using a 116002-0505 IJVIPNS-IJENS © April 2011 IJENS .0 GBPS. 20/JULY/2008. Google. whereas Kaspersky internet security is 1100 tk/computer. Generally. software upgrading is not popular among users because: (a) advertised new features are normally of little real value (b) upgrades take up much greater memory and CPU time (c) upgrades affect the computer in unpredictable ways Hardware upgrades are the source of much expense to the user. Kaspersky). such as adding a card. what is to happen to the large number of . VIRUSES AND ANTI-VIRUSES In spite of tremendous advances in computer hardware and software. AVG. The proposed integrated approach will provide useful data in advance to the user. Upgrading of Software and Hardware A common problem of users is forced upgrading of softwares.1. the question arises how much longer can we access important datas and files from today. 4. This raises the question of how much of the data and files in existence today will be accessible in 510 years. had much data stored from the 1990s in 3" floppy disks. the susceptibility to viruses appears to be as great as ever. website may receive 2. Even the anti-virus softwares are known to greatly slow a computer.4 Web-applications which do not work.gc. CONNECTION: Survey of Local Cyber-cafes Three Cyber cafes were surveyed as part of this study. Kaspersky computer security is popular at 800 tk/computer. Hotmail. Viruses have resulted in the loss of countless man hours of productivity both to individuals and corporations. none was found to have a clear superiority in downloading times. should provide a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the performance of the various anti-virus softwares. SPEED: 1. Navigator. and a common source of frustration to users. are additional data such as whether the computer would slow other programs on the computer. with little advance knowledge of the problems that may arise from the upgrade. It is accepted that almost no computer can survive beyond days or weeks. McAfee. and their incompatibilities. One finding was that Kaspersky was the preferred anti-virus software. and Google). and by the amount of memory it occupies.doc become difficult to read.doc files in existence today? What if data IJENS As seen above. VI. V. Parameters ranging from 1-5 can be used to describe these somewhat subjective behavior of was found to be fastest website. whereas the Canadian govt. As described earlier. The proposed approach. For example. without an automatically updating anti-virus software (Norton. The general finding was that cybercafe penetration might even be contracting. Explorer. In the 1-5 scale proposed. google may receive 1. Parameters ranging from 1 to 5 may be used to describe these subjective behaviors of software and hardware. 4:00 PM.

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