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TUTORIALS

The Best Internet Speed Test Sites for 2021

Internet providers or ISPs love to sell to the four winds the maximum speed that their lines can reach… up to 100 Mbps, up to 200 Mbps, up to… But many times we end up getting home much less than promised. Check the real speed of our line we can use the following speed tests.

nPerf

nPerf.com is one of the most comprehensive speed tests.

To get started, you can choose the server you want to test on. There are a lot of locations.

After the test, which is quite fast, you will get the data of download speed, upload speed, latency and jitter (something that very few tests offer).

Finally, you can visit their website and create an account to save the history of your tests, as well as share your results or compare them with the rest of the users.

Of course, the web works perfectly on the mobile, but if we want, we can download the applications they have for iOS , Android and Windows Phone that further expand the functionality by performing tests on specific websites such as Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc.

Fast

Fast.com is a speed test owned by Netflix, so it is very useful if we have slowdowns in the streaming service.

The test can be run on both a computer and a mobile phone, it loads fast and is very fast. It is, without a doubt, the fastest test. However, the results are somewhat less accurate than its rivals (5-10 “megabytes” error). Still, it’s so fast that it pays off.

Another interesting page to see the average speeds of Netflix is IPS Speed ​​Index. Here we can see which are the best internet providers to use with Netflix.

Speed ​​of me

SpeedOf.Me was one of my favorite speed tests (it was one of the first to do without Flash), now I think there are better ones.

It works with HTML5, so it works perfectly in the mobile browser, it is not necessary to install any application and it is designed to replicate real browsing conditions. Although its appearance is not particularly careful, it is very reliable and currently has 88 servers in various geographies.

If you register, you can even track your results against previous tests.

Speedtest.net

Speedtest.net is probably the most popular speed test on the internet. So much so that it has applications for Android , iOS and Windows .

It is very reliable and you can use it on your mobile without having to install the app if you give the option to see the “Version for computer” in the browser.

However, what I like the most about Speedtest is the statistics page where you can see the ranking of countries ordered by the average speed of their connections, both mobile and fixed.

DSL Reports

In DSL Reports we can perform a speed test or a ping test. In addition, it performs the tests on servers in different countries automatically, so we can see the ping that our connection has when we communicate with other countries.

It works on both computer and mobile, although on mobile it is not as accurate (it consumes many resources).

TestMy.net

At TestMy.net you can manually select the server on which you want to test the speed. There aren’t too many, one pair per continent, which is usually enough.

Also, at the end of the test, you can see a graph of your speed compared to others: your ISP, your city, your country and the whole world.

Although it works both on computer and mobile, on mobile the results are usually not good.

The Best Mobile Applications

Although Ookla’s Speedtest.net app is available on both Android and iOS, there are other apps that I like better.

For Android:

For iOS:

How do understand the data that the speed tests give me?

  • Download speed: indicates the speed at which your connection is capable of downloading files from the internet.
  • Upload speed: indicates the speed at which your connection is capable of uploading files to the Internet from your computer.
  • Latency or ping: it is the time it takes to receive a data packet. The lower the latency is better.
  • Jitter: it is the fluctuation or variability of time it takes for packets to be received. Sort of like latency variability. The smaller it is, the more stable the connection is.

What are the recommended values?

  • Most users download much more data from the Internet than upload, so the download speed is usually more limiting than upload speed, although this is not always the case. To watch streaming content in resolutions up to 1080p, it is usually recommended to have a connection of more than 10 Mbps downstream. If we want to enjoy 4K content at 60 fps, it is recommended to have speeds of more than 50 Mbps, to be leftover.
  • Where latency affects the most is in online video games. The latency depends a lot on the server we connect to. If we connect to a server that is in our country, the latency is usually less than 30 ms, but if we connect to one that is in another continent, the latency shoots up to more than 150 ms. Below 60 ms it is usually possible to play without problems, although it is preferable that it is 30 ms or less.
  • The jitter should always be less than 30 ms, although the lower is better. In stable connections, it can be as low as 1 ms.

How does a speed test work?

When starting a speed test, the first thing to do is to determine your location and locate the closest test server.

With the test server set, the test begins by sending a ping signal to the server, and the server responds. This simple test measures the time in milliseconds it takes for a communication to travel (round trip).

After the ping is complete, the download test begins. The client opens multiple connections to the server and tries to download a small chunk of data. At this point, two things are measured: the download time and the number of network resources that have been needed.

If the code detects that the client, your connection, still has more network resources available, it opens more connections to the server and downloads more data. By having more connections open, the download is accelerated.

It is like a highway with speed limits. By opening more lanes (connections) more cars can circulate (data).

The idea is to open the necessary connections to saturate the client’s connection. For this reason, when we do a speed test we see how the speed increases little by little and not suddenly.

Once it is determined that the client has the correct connections open to testing their Internet connection, the last tests are done in which more additional data packets are downloaded. At that moment the time it took is measured and the maximum download speed is calculated.

Finally, it only remains to perform the reverse process to determine the upload or upload speed.

Accuracy of speed tests

In general, speed tests themselves are straightforward, but there are many variables to consider that can affect their accuracy:

  • The factor that most often misrepresents the results is the Wi-Fi connection. For this reason, it is advisable, whenever possible, to do the test with a device connected by ethernet cable to a port on the router. Today, many fiber optic connections are much faster than Wi-Fi connections, so in those cases, the speed will be limited to the speed of the latter.
  • It is also important to take into account that the modem or router is able to take advantage of the full speed of the connection. Many times we have an old router that the operator has given us that has a modem that is already working at maximum capacity. Then the operator doubles our speed and the modem can’t give us more speed.
  • The choice of the test server can also pose precision issues. The closer the better. This is because, if we have to connect with a distant place, we will have to use many more connections (“roads”) along the way, with which the probability of finding a connection that is not in good condition increases. Ultimately, the maximum speed will be limited by the slowest connection the data is going through.
  • Another factor to take into account is that if we are using the connection for demanding tasks (watching Netflix at 4k, downloading games from Steam, sharing via torrent, etc.) when the code tries to open more connections, it will realize that it is already ready. maximum of its capacity and will give us speed results lower than the real ones.
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TUTORIALS

OLED Monitors: Can an OLED TV Be Used as a Pc Monitor?

At CES 2019, Dell already showed us the promise of an exciting new future for Alienware gaming monitors with OLED displays for gaming.

Technically it was amazing. 55-inch screen, 4K resolution, 120 Hz refresh rate, HDR, color gamut up to 95% of DCI-P3 and support for variable refresh rates. These features fueled many enthusiasts for an OLED monitor, but it looks like it will still take a few years to become a reality.

Disadvantages of OLED panels

According to some sources, the purchase cost for a wholesaler of a 55-inch Samsung OLED panel is estimated at about $ 800. And Samsung, which is the world leader in the production of OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode), continues to have losses in all panels. And we are talking about 60 Hz panels, 120 Hz panels are much more expensive. So Samsung has shifted its focus to smaller and more cost-effective OLED panels for smartphones. Therefore, it is estimated that a 55-inch gaming monitor could go on the market for more than 3,000 euros, a price difficult to justify.

Also, keep in mind that such a large monitor is impractical for most people’s normal desktop use, even the smallest OLED options like the 48 ”LG CX48 are too big. Even 40- to 43-inch “monitors” aren’t comfortable and you end up with a sore neck and constantly having to move your head to view different areas of the screen.

Also, a 55-inch 3840 x 2160 pixel (UHD 4K) monitor has a density of 80.11 pixels per inch (a pixel density very close to that of a 27 ”1920 x 1080 monitor). This density may be suitable for games and multimedia, but not for general use for text documents, web browsing, photo editing, etc.

Another of the weaknesses that will worry the most about OLED panels is their tendency to produce burns when there are still images (the fly of television networks, HUDs in video games, etc.). This means that if we play a video game or the same program for many hours, the part of the screen that shows fixed information can be permanently marked on the screen. For example, the operating system’s taskbar will appear lightly when we are playing a game… Fortunately, OLED panels have been improving a lot and also have refresh technologies that prevent these problems.

OLED panels have a shorter lifespan of around 14,000 hours, slightly lower than their rivals. This shorter shelf life also affects color degradation over time. Although it is not such a serious problem for games and multimedia, it can be very problematic when editing photos. Therefore, you will need a reliable way to calibrate your screen over time to ensure consistent color consistency.

Lastly, OLED panels usually offer a slightly lower maximum brightness than their rivals.

Advantages of OLED panels

OLED panels work in a different way than other panels since each pixel lights up independently. In a normal screen, we have a matrix of white LED lights that through filters produce different colors. This design has the drawback that, by producing black pixels, some light is filtered out and makes the blacks not pure (they are dark grey).

On the contrary, OLED panels are capable of producing pure blacks since the one-pixel black LED does not turn on. For this reason, OLED panels have a much higher level of contrast. Thanks to this they achieve impressive image quality.

This way of operating, without backlighting or backlighting, has a couple of immediate benefits. The first is that OLED displays can be thinner. The second is that they have lower energy consumption.

Characteristics Between OLED and Other Technologies

As we already know, what we see on a screen are a succession of still images that change many times per second. Gaming monitors should have a refresh rate of 144 Hz and above and luckily there are already OLED monitors that reach that figure. Of course, there are monitors with TN and IPS panels that far exceed that number. Even so, 144 Hz should be valid for the vast majority of users.

The response time is the milliseconds it takes for a pixel to change from white to black and vice versa color. Long response time causes fast movements to trail and ghosting which makes the image less sharp. OLED panels have very fast response times, even better than gaming monitors with TN technology.

Variable vertical sync technologies (Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync) are extremely important because they eliminate tearing, stuttering, and decrease input lag. Many OLED televisions are already beginning to be compatible with these two technologies so that users can better enjoy their video games.

Conclusions

OLED panels can be used as gaming monitors, however, I think that to this day they still do not have enough value for money to be worth it.

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TUTORIALS

Display Resolution: What Are They and What Do You Need

One of the most important features when buying a computer monitor or television is screen resolution. And, although it is a simple aspect to understand, unfortunately, the acronyms and the marketing make it quite confusing … For example, the immense of the 4K monitors that are sold, are not 4K, they are UHD.

What is the resolution of a screen?

The resolution refers to the number of pixels that make up the image of a screen. A pixel is at a small point on the screen.

Resolution is usually specified as the number of horizontal and vertical pixels that make up the image, for example, 1920 x 1080 pixels. That means the screen has 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels.

The total number of pixels will be the multiplication of both numbers. Older displays had less than one million total pixels, 1080p (1920 x 1080) displays have just over 2 million pixels, 4K displays have over 8 million pixels, and 8K displays have over 33 million pixels. pixels.

What is the aspect ratio of a monitor?

The aspect ratio of a monitor is the proportional representation that describes the correlation between the width and height of the screen.

Modern Resolutions

720p or WXGA

A 720p screen typically has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, just under 1 million total pixels (megapixels). They are sometimes also called HD or HD Ready displays, although in reality those usually have a resolution of 1366 x 768. It doesn’t matter much either. Today, they are quite low resolutions and practically all computer monitors and all televisions have higher resolutions.

1080p or FullHD (FHD)

The FullHD displays have a horizontal resolution of 1,920 pixels and 1,080 pixels of vertical resolution. There are still many monitors and televisions that use this resolution. Of course, I would not recommend buying a monitor larger than 24 or 27 inches with this resolution. The pixels are quite large and, although they do not bother in games, in office automation they can be noticed.

QHD 1440p, the misnamed 2K

1440p displays contain 2560 x 1440 pixels, and as monitors increase in size, the resolution is becoming more common. This resolution is also known as QHD or Quad HD as it has 4 times the resolution (twice the pixels in height and twice the pixels in width) than 720p HD displays.

As you can see, until now the normal screens were named with the vertical resolution (720p, 1080p, 1440p…), however, from that moment on the name of the resolution will be the horizontal resolution.

Because this format has been caught in the middle of the transition, it is sometimes incorrectly called 2K. And I say incorrectly because the 2K resolution (referring to the new fashion, horizontal) would be the 2048 x 1080 resolution that was used in the world of cinema before 4K.

UHD Vs. 4K Resolution

Although they are often confused, UHD and 4K resolutions are not the same . As we have seen in the table, the UHD resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels, while the 4K resolution is 4096 x 2160 pixels. It is a bit wider.

4K is a professional cinema standard, while UHD is a consumer standard.

The term “4K” was originally derived from the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), a consortium of film studios that standardized a specification for the digital production and projection of 4K content. In this case, 4K is 4,096 by 2,160, and it’s exactly four times the previous standard for digital editing and projection (2K, or 2,048 x 1,080).

4K resolution referring to the number of vertical lines as 2160p

The UHD or Ultra High Definition (ultra high definition) is the next step of what is called Full HD, the official name for the screen resolution of 1,920 by 1,080. UHD quadruples that resolution to 3,840 by 2,160. And while it is not the same as the 4K resolution we just saw, almost all televisions and monitors that are advertised as 4K are actually UHD.

8K Resolution

The 8K resolution is the highest resolution currently available and is 7680 × 4320 pixels. There are still very few monitors and televisions with this resolution, and the ones that are there are extremely expensive.

Summary

Resolution is one of the most common specifications used to sell televisions and computer monitors, partly because “4K” and “8K” are easy to remember and claim to represent the latest of the latest in high technology.

However, the resolution is not the most important ingredient in image quality. Just because one monitor has a higher resolution than another doesn’t always mean it looks better. It can be, but not always, and for reasons that have little to do with resolution. When buying a monitor, you also have to take into account contrast, dynamic range, color representation, etc.

  • What does 4K mean? It should mean that a screen is 4096 x 2160 pixels, but typically 3840 x 2160 pixels.
  • What does UHD mean? It stands for “Ultra High Definition” and, although incorrectly, it is often synonymous with 4K.
  • Do you need a 4K monitor? No, unless you are buying a monitor larger than 30 inches.
  • Is 8K worth worrying about? Do not.
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TUTORIALS

TN vs IPS vs VA Panels: Advantages and Disadvantages

There are many different types of LCD panel technologies (Liquid-crystal displays). Of course, each technology has its advantages and disadvantages. Next, we are going to see each technology in detail, but here is a summary:

  • TN: shorter response time (up to 1 ms), but poor colors.
  • IPS: the best colors, but worse response time. Even so, the improvements to the IPS panels have practically solved this problem and there are already IPS monitors with 1ms of response and 280 Hz.
  • VA: They are not as fast as TN panels and they do not look as good as IPS panels. Of course, they have the advantage of having the best contrast. In addition, they are usually cheaper than IPS.

TN panels

TN (Twisted Nematic) is the oldest technology in the world of LCDs (liquid crystal displays). Its operation uses the nematic effect that allows liquid crystal molecules to be controlled with voltage.

Twisted nematic technology was invented in 1970 and developed in the Hoffmann-Roche laboratories. It was a revolution and allowed the creation of flat screens.

Basically, the TN effect is used to change the alignment of liquid crystals when a voltage is applied. This, along with different polarization layers to filter the colors, allows the panel to show light or not.

TN panels are inexpensive and offer excellent response times (between 1 and 5 ms), making them perfect for gaming. Unfortunately, the color reproduction, viewing angles, and contrast of TN panels are worse than current LCD panel technologies.

Unlike most 8-bit IPS / VA-based panels, TN is 6-bit only and cannot display the 16.7 million colors available in 24-bit true color. They can mimic the 16.7 million colors of 8-bit panels using a technique called dithering, but the results are not impressive.

IPS panels

IPS is perhaps the most famous technology in the world of PC monitors because it tends to meet the most common uses of users very well.

IPS stands for “in-plane switching” and, like all LCDs, it also uses voltage to control the alignment of the liquid crystals. However, unlike TN, IPS monitors use a different orientation of the crystals, one in which the crystals are parallel to the glass substrates, hence the term “in-plane” in their name.

Rather than “spin” the crystals to change the amount of light that is allowed to pass through, the IPS crystals are already rotated, which has a number of benefits. However, you also need a more powerful backlight, which can lead to light leakage or bleeding on the screen.

What is the Super PLS?

It is a technology developed by Samsung that is very similar to IPS technology. According to Samsung, Super PLS (Plane to Line Switching) panels have wider viewing angles, produce 10% more brightness, and are cheaper to produce. In real life … they are just another IPS monitor.

What is AHVA?

Another type of patented panel similar to IPS and that also has the advantages announced by Samsung. Developed by AUO, AHVA is short for Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle. It is important to know it so as not to confuse it with VA technology.

VA panels

VA stands for Vertical Alignment or vertical alignment. As the name suggests, this technology uses vertically aligned liquid crystals that tilt when a voltage is applied to let light through.

This is the key difference between IPS and VA: with VA, the crystals are perpendicular to the substrates, while with IPS they are parallel.

As in IPS technology, the VA also has important variants such as Samsung’s S-PVA or AU Optronics’ AMVA.

VA technology has the advantage of offering better color reproduction and wider viewing angles than TN panels, although they do not reach the level of IPS panels.

VA panels also have the advantage of having higher contrasts compared to TN and IPS, so their blacks are much better.

There are VA monitors with high refresh rates, but they have high latency that can cause ghosting and motion blur. For this reason, competitive players should avoid VA panels.

The biggest disadvantage of VA panels is the color change. The change in color can cause the brightness levels to be uneven across the screen. It is subtle and there are people who do not even notice it, however, there are others who cannot live with it. Color changes also cause a loss of shadow detail in dark scenes when viewed directly from the center.

Differences

Viewing angles

TN panels have the poorest viewing angles. The color and contrast change as you move your head both horizontally and vertically.

The VA panels are significantly better, but the best is the IPS.

Contrast

Both TN and IPS panels tend to have a contrast ratio of around 1000: 1, although some good IPS monitors go as high as 1500: 1.

The best by far is the VAs that easily reach 4500: 1, although 3000: 1 is a more normal figure for cheap monitors.

Many televisions use VA panels and achieve 6000: 1 contrasts, achieving much deeper blacks. Ideal for watching movies.

Color

Color quality can be divided into color depth (bit depth) and color range.

Color depth

In both cases, TN panels are the worst. Many TN displays, particularly the cheaper models, only have native 6-bit and use frame rate control, also called FRC or dithering, to achieve standard 8-bit output. 6-bit panels are prone to color banding, while native 8-bit panels have smoother color gradients and therefore better color output.

Not all TN panels are 6-bit. High-end TNs are native 8-bit, but there are very few, even today.

Color range

VA panels achieve full coverage of the sRGB color space. However, VA panels can go higher-achieving about 125% sRGB or 90% of the DCI-P3 mark.

With IPS panels, there is more variation. Cheap IPS displays tend to offer sRGB coverage of 95% or less. On high-end displays, usually for professionals, it is not unusual to see full coverage of DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB.

Response times

At the gaming level, a very important aspect is the response time. A low time will ensure that we have an image without ghosting, without spots, and with a better level of general clarity.

The early IPS and VA panels were very slow, however, this has improved a lot with modern panels, so the differences between the three technologies are not as pronounced as before. That said, TN is still the best with panels with nominal 1ms (or even less) transition and 2-3ms true gray-to-gray averages.

IPS panels are next in terms of speed, although as is often the case with IPS, there is a wide variation between the best and the worst. High-end IPS monitors can have a transition time as fast as 4 ms. However, entry-level IPS panels sit closer to the 10ms range.

VA panels are consistently the slowest of the three. The fastest monitors have a response time of between 5 and 6 ms.

Refreshment rates

Currently, both TN and IPS monitors are capable of reaching refresh rates above 200 Hz, more than enough for any gamer.

  • 60 Hz = 16.67 ms
  • 75 Hz = 13.33 ms
  • 100 Hz = 10.00 ms
  • 120 Hz = 8.33 ms
  • 144 Hz = 6.94 ms
  • 165 Hz = 6.06 ms
  • 240 Hz = 4.17 ms

Conclusion!

A few years ago the most popular monitors were TNs. However, as the technology has matured, the best-selling monitors use IPS technology.

A typical IPS screen offers viewing angles of 178 degrees horizontal and 178 degrees vertical. Also, IPS panels are often more color accurate and capable of displaying more colors.

Over time manufacturers have managed to reduce response times reaching the performance of TN panels, yes, they are not so cheap.

Really, its only improvement, today, is the contrast and the depth of the blacks which is much better in the VA panels.

VAs have the advantage of being cheaper than IPS panels, they have better contrast, and the colors are much better than TNs. From my point of view, VA monitors are also a very good option, especially if you use the monitor a lot to watch movies or to play scary games since deep blacks are much better. Still, keep in mind that some VA monitors are ghosted and their viewing angles are more limited than IPS and can look very saturated (and weird) when viewed from the side.

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