For several years now all of us have been immersed in virtual communities. We wake up, go about our day and fall asleep using some technological device that allows us to belong and stay connected to those communities.
It seems absurd to spend more than a few hours without checking our social networks, tweeting, liking, even receiving or sending contact requests on Linkedin. Not to mention getting home after a long day of work or spending a rainy weekend without connecting to Netflix to watch our favorite show. If we all had the opportunity to observe the use of data in any typical 21st century home we would easily recognize the simultaneity with which we connect to the internet: teenagers interact with their friends through Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, as well as following their favorite Youtubers. A father checks a major automobile company’s website to go over the specs of the next car he will purchase and, at the same time orders the monthly groceries. Meanwhile, a mother gets an update on her kid’s school news thanks to the “Mommies” Whatsapp group.
All of this is possible thanks to the access we have to the net which allows us to use – and abuse – of these platforms to spend our days and live our lives. The statistics regarding data consumption around the world are astonishing*:
- Adults in the US spend an average of 1 hour and 16 minutes a day watching videos on digital devices.
- On an average day, 80 million pictures are shared on Instagram.
- WordPress alone publishes 56 million blog posts every month.
- Facebook registers 8 billion video views from 500 million users.
- Snapchat users watch 6 billion videos every day.
- Google processes 40 thousand searches per second.
- 300 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute.
- 3.25 billion hours of video are viewed every month
So with all these numbers in mind, the frustration we feel when our internet connection isn’t working properly is obvious, which is why internet providers are concerned and/or occupied in measuring the quality of the service their users receive. This is where one of Intraway’s products becomes important, allowing internet providers to have the necessary tools to implement these measurements.
QX Probes are in a nutshell, small devices that contain a software owned by Intraway that allow ISPs to perform tests and obtain measurements from different providers – such as Netflix – trying out the connections to different servers through speed tests to corroborate the quality of the service that end users receive. This allows the companies to reach an instance after the measurements where they can implement upgrades to their services which will solve connection issues so that end users can enjoy their experience.
The probes offer ISPs access to a command panel where they can perform a quick review of the situation, comparing different geographical areas or CMTS’s, and identifying specific network issues for a preliminary analysis or troubleshooting.
The most important benefits are:
- Measuring user experience without involving technical factors.
- Measure the frequency of issues reported by users.
- Moving the probes to perform measurements on affected areas.
- Compare the best practices of a company that offers the same service.
- Reduce costs implied with a measurement tool that offers these same results.
- Probe Plug & Play.
- In regards to the different information that can be analyzed, the probes offer:
- Video Streaming: Netflix, Amazon Videos, Youtube, etc.
- Web Browsing.
- UDP Performance.
- File Download / Upload.
- Packet Capture / Sniffer.
In conclusion, the final purpose of probes is to understand and measure the end user’s quality of experience of any internet service provided. It is a practical tool for easy installation and implementation that allows ISPs to improve their service to clients at a reduced cost.
End users will be attentive when choosing an internet service provider and will greatly consider as an option those that offer the best network connection experience; a service that will facilitate their day to day contact with the virtual communities they belong to. In short, the probes are a product that guarantees this possibility and allows one company to stand above the rest.