I use my iPhone for more and more all the time. When I have a good wifi signal, life is perfect. A strong 3G signal is ofen better for me than a crappy wifi signal. I fear an edge connection, or the worst of all “Searching…”
So what’s the difference between these 3 connection speeds?
I did this test while sitting on my living room couch tonight:
The first test was while connected to my home network. I have Time Warner Cable as my ISP and generally have pretty good speeds.
I used the iPhone app from Speedtest.net to do the test.
Connected to my home wireless network, which in turn is connected to TWC’s cable network I recoded a download speed of almost 3Mbs/second and upload speeds of roughly 350 kb/second.
The ping test (which is shown in the middle circle of the gauge) was 145 ms which is pretty good.
In a perfect world, this would be the baseline for all data transference.
Switching off the wifi let me re-run the test, this time making use of the AT&T 3G network.
I know that the connection speed will be affected by the strength of the connection to a certain degree, but again, this is just to give you an idea.
3G upload speed was still impressive although it was less than half the speed of my wifi. Interestingly, the upload speed was twice as fast.
The ping test was twice as slow which makes me think that in general 3G speed will be about half of a good wifi connection.
There has been more than once where I’ve been connected to a public wifi network that was either overloaded or just plain bad and have ended up switching over to 3G.
AT&T’s Edge Network Speed
Back in the old days, pre-iPhone anyway, the edge network was state-of-the-art. Now it’s a dinosaur.
When I went to buy my iPhone a couple years ago, the day I walked in and asked to see a 3GS, the guy said that they didn’t have any in stock, but they did have a 3G and “that there is really no difference”.
That statement caught me off-guard so I called my buddy who told me that an iPhone without 3G was so frustrating it wasn’t worth buying. I told the guy at the AT&T store that I would get my 3GS at another store.
I called around and found one in the next town over, and I’m glad I did.
The speed of the Edge Network was basically pathetic.
The ping was an astonishing 1120ms!
The download speed of sub-100kbps means that tasks like checking in become painfully slow. Walking from the car to the front door probably won’t be enough time to call up Foursquare or TriOut.
The upload speed might as well have said unavailable.
What kind of speeds are you seeing?
How about you guys on other networks?
I’d love to get more numbers in the comments.