The need for speed

Is your Internet connection slow? How do you know?

And, I found a new way to get files from one computer to another. But you need a good connection.

Why is the Internet so slow?

There are lots of reasons for this, but you have to start somewhere. Start with understanding what speed you’re getting vs what speed you’re paying for.

It is ridiculously easy to determine what speed you’re getting. You don’t need to download any programs to do this. (In fact, you shouldn't download any programs to do this. They’re probably crapware at best and malware at worst.)

Here are the three easiest way to check your speed.

  • Open Google search, and type in speed test. Click on Run test. You’ll see the results presented clearly in text.
  • Browse to Fast.com/. You don’t have to click on anything else. You’ll see the results of the download speed test.
  • Browse to the Internet Speed Test. Click on Test now and watch a beautifully presented set of test results come back to you. You can scroll down the page to learn how to interpret those results.

Now that you know what speed you’re getting, you can compare it with what you’re paying for.

Check your Internet Service Provider’s bill or call your provider to get this information. “High Speed” and “High Speed Lite” are not speeds, they are names of products.

You are looking for a number to compare with the number for download speed in the speed test.

Why is this important?

Well, because if your test results show you’re getting six mbps and you’re paying for 30, someone needs to fix something.

If you’re getting six and you're paying for six, then you might want to pay for faster Internet.

Transfer files from one computer to another … with your browser

When you want to send a lot of files (like pictures) or a large file (like a video or spreadsheet-from-hell) to someone, email is an extremely inefficient and insecure way to do that.

There are so many alternatives. But most of them either insist you create an account or limit the amount of data you can transfer, or store your files on their servers. Sometimes that’s not what you want.

If you can’t be bothered creating accounts and dreaming up passwords or you simply don’t want your stuff “in the cloud” try Take A File.

It’s dead easy.

  • Open your Firefox or Chrome browser.
  • Browse to https://takeafile.com/.
  • Drag and drop your file(s) into the box on that page. Take A File generates a link to that file. It’s still on your computer; you’ve never uploaded it the way you do for WeTransfer, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Facebook and so on.
  • Send the link to someone (or send it to yourself to download on another computer or your smartphone) and keep that tab open in your browser until your recipient downloads the file.

No one has to create and account or login. The file is encrypted during transfer. Only someone with the link to the file can get the file. When the sender closes his/her browser, the link won’t work.

I still love Dropbox, and I still use OneDrive and Google Drive to store files that I want to share. But when I just need to get something quickly from one place to another, Take A File looks like a good solution.


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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