Project Overview

Student Learning Objectives


Content Material


Links to Course Competencies

Supplementary Resources




Real World Learning Objects: Science

Measure Internet Transmission Speed Using ping

Supplementary Resources


1.               Internet – General Reference

Wikipedia is a marvelous place to browse.  Here’s a promising link students can be sent to if questions get asked that need some research:



2.               Size of the Internet



        The graph reflects 1,134,634 IP addresses and 2,434,073 IP links (immediately adjacent addresses in a traceroute-like path) of topology data gathered from 25 monitors probing approximately 865,000 destinations spread across 76,000 (62% of the total) globally routable network prefixes.  


      Note the link on above to an animated gif  that shows expansion of network over18 months:




3.               Internet protocol references


    a) Here’s a “friendly” online network reference text:  and  links to


·        TCP/IP general:


·        IP Packet Structure:


·        Ping:



b) Here’s the ultimate technical reference:

probably too “techie” for most students and instructors, but here it is.  The “RFC’s” (“Request for Comment”) are the official reference documents for all internet protocols.




4.           (OPTIONAL) Follow-Up Assignment and Activity    


  Activity Handout #2 may be printed and distributed as an assignment if a follow-up session is desired. 



a.      Group students into teams of 3-4 each.

·         As a preliminary step (skip if no session #2 planned), survey class for off-campus Internet access and type of Operating System/platform.  Typically, about 70% of students will have off-campus access and Windows.   Instructor should ensure that students with no off-campus Internet access are “seeded” into teams so that (ideally) all teams will have at least one member with off-campus access to the Internet to ensure some variety in connectivity modes.


b.     All students will perform research outside of class – using home or computer lab to gather additional data.   Follow directions in Activity Handout #2.


At Classroom Session #2


c.      Teams collate results.


d.     Teams summarize results:  slowest connection, fastest; most hops and speed, least hops and speed.  Where different, cite type of internet connection (e.g., cable modem, DSL, dial-up).


e.      Teams should prepare a written LAB REPORT of their findings to hand in.


f.        Students follow lab activity to see if any connections or ISP services researched appear on Internet Weather Report. 


g.     Demonstrate and discuss speed tests that students were assigned in Activity Handout #2.

·     ç easiest to use, note link

to list of “fastest ISP’s” after test.





h.      Discussion.  Have class brainstorm factors that affect connection speed. Some ideas that should arise:

·        Type of access (i.e., bandwidth): cable, DSL, dial-up

·        Proximity of ISP to internet backbone (# hops)

·        Volume of data sent

·        Congestion on net due to other traffic (varies with time)

·        Individual router/server very busy

·        Size of target computer + volume of other traffic


i.        Short oral team presentations can be scheduled to review results and conclusions.  A key issue will be the ability to provide visual aids: e.g., teams could actually prepare their spreadsheet on lab computers with consolidated results, and then use a classroom pc/projector to display for in-class presentation.