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WWW.WORTH IT
October 31, 1997

Want to know exactly how bad your Internet service provider is? A few Web sites can help by showing how fast or slow things are running. For instance, OnLive! Technologies, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based software developer, has a page that measures how long it takes for data to travel from OnLive to your computer and back, how many "packets" of data get lost en route and the averages for the last 500 such tests. It told me that data takes 595.4 milliseconds to zap to and from OnLive's server from my computer, against an average of 760 milliseconds for the last 500 tests -- no wonder I've been getting more work done lately. And the Internet Weather Report shows packet loss and round-trip times to over 70 major Internet providers from the IWR site in Walnut Creek, Calif. (But this may not mean much; as the page explains, things can differ greatly at different points in the Net.) Esoteric? Well, yes -- one of the best such sites, Netstat.Net , closed last month, citing poor ad sales.

Rob Pegoraro (rob@twp.com)

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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