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zoomready

First release of free Windows app to determine and track the quality of your internet connection on a continuous basis, especially the connection's suitability for teleconferencing.

Much more information available on freecheckip.com.

Uses

  1. determine whether it is your connection or someone else's which is causing freezes and disconnects
  2. measure whether your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is delivering the level of service you were promised including during peak periods
  3. find which rooms in your house have the best WiFi connections
  4. determine whether a hotel connection or other temporary connection is good enough for teleconferencing

Description

A desktop app designed to be run continuously to monitor the quality of your Internet connection. Tracks current and average latency, jitter, and speed up and down. Indicator lights show suitability for teleconferencing. Latency must be less than 75 ms (milliseconds), jitter less than 15 ms, download speed more than 5Mbps (megabits per second), and upload more than 3Mbps to be considered fully zoomready (green). If these criteria are not met but latency is less 100ms, jitter less than 25ms, download faster than 2Mbps, and upload more than 1Mbps, the zoomready status is "iffy" (yellow). Anything else short of no connection including is status orange - not zoomready. You will usually find yourself freezing on Zoom and other teleconferencing platforms if your zoomready status is orange. Status red means that there is no internet connection at all.

Installation

Windows

To download the Windows installer, click here. You may have to contend with virus blockers or Windows itself warning that the software is from an unknown publisher (me). The software has so far only been tested on Windows 10.

Mac and Linux

There are currently no Linux or Mac versions.

Python source

The Python source is available from this Github repository. It is not yet on PyPi.

Use - Windows only

Startup

Use File Explorer to navigate to whereever you saved zoomreadysetup.exe during download and double click the installer or right click its name and select open. There is no need to run the installer as administrator. Note that zoomready is currently very slow to start running; be patient. If you don't see its window after a while, look for its red and green icon in the taskbar and click it to bring the window to the front. It will be running and monitoring whether it is the front window or not. You can also minimize zoomready and it will continue monitoring,

Bring the window to the front by clicking on the icon whenever you want to see the current state of your connection.

***Caution: zoomready sends test packets. It shoud NOT be run continuously on a metered connection.

Pause/Resume

The Pause button causes zoomready to stop testing your connection. If your connection is iffy but you want to continue your teleconference, you may want to pause zoomready so that its test packets don't compete with your conference for bandwidth which is in short supply. Click Resume to restart monitoring.

Quit

Click the Quit button.

Cheat sheet showing display

Get it here.

How it works

Tests for latency are done by sending ping packets to Google, Cloudflare, and OpenDNS. This is a good selection for testing in the US but may not be in other countries. Currently this selection cannot be changed. Eventually there will be an opportunity to set preferences. Zoomready makes Python requests to various subaddresses of speed.cloudflare.com. Their API is not documented, as far as I know; and so that is a vulnerability for this code. There is also a request to ipdatabase.com and the return is screen-scraped for your actual ISP name.

Mirroring the performance of the Cloudflare webpage, the CLI does multiple uploads and downloads with different block sizes and the 90th percentile of all these tests is used for calculating up and download times. Results are similar to those obtained from the webpage.

Unlike Ookla's speedtest CLI, Cloudflare does not require downloading a licensed exe. Cloudflare uses test sites from its own network of caching and hosting centers. This is useful because much of the content users would be retrieving is actually coming from these centers. On the other hand, coverage may be thin in some parts of the world.

Bug reports and suggestions for improvement

Please click here and leave your feedback on Github.

Privacy

No identifying information is sent to any website other than the IP address which servers can see in an HTTP request. Cloudflare can probably deduce something from the tests it runs and Google, Cloudflare, and OpenDNS will know from where (but not from whom) they are being pinged. No results are sent anywhere. Because this is an application and not running in a browser, there are no cookies.

Background

Teleconferencing, as with Zoom, is an essential part of modern American life. It's needed not only for work from home but also for remote schooling and telemedicine. We have a need to know which connections we can use for teleconferencing. Moreover, billions of US federal dollars are being disbursed to improve broadband availability and quality, especially in rural areas. Tools are needed to assure that ISPs deliver the quality they promise. This software is a pro bono contribution to getting those tools written.

Disclaimers

No claims of any sort are made for this software. It has been lightly tested on Windows 10. Use and/or redistribute solely at your own risk. No commitment is made to maintain this software. As noted above, changes made by Cloudflare or ipdatabase.com might breeak the functionality.

**note: zoomready used to be zoombuddy but there is another app by that name.

I have no affiliation with Cloudflare, Zoom, any teleconferencing or hosting service, or any ISP (except as a customer).

About

deprecated - App to continuously monitor and report status of internet connection and especially suitability for teleconferencing

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