University of Chicago

Is Your WiFi Limiting Your Home Internet Performance?

If you’re frustrated with the speed of your home Internet, what can you do to improve it? Before making the leap to a new provider or absorbing the often difficult-to-swallow costs of a high-speed service plan, you might want to consider another culprit of slow Internet: your WiFi connection. WiFi connection performance is determined by factors independent of your access connection, while the access connection performance is (primarily) determined by the specific service contract you purchase from a service provider (ISP).

A Comparative Analysis of Ookla's Speedtest and Measurement Lab's Network Diagnostic Test

Consumers, regulators, and internet service providers (ISPs) all use client-based "speed tests" to measure network performance, both in single-user settings and in aggregate. Two prevalent speed tests, Ookla's Speedtest and Measurement Lab's Network Diagnostic Test (NDT), are often used for similar purposes, despite having significant differences in both the test design and implementation and in the infrastructure used to conduct measurements. This paper presents a comparative evaluation of Ookla and NDT7 (the latest version of NDT), both in controlled and wide-area settings.

Misinformation During a Pandemic

We study the effects of news coverage of the novel coronavirus by the two most widely-viewed cable news shows in the United States – Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight, both on Fox News – on viewers’ behavior and downstream health outcomes. Carlson warned viewers about the threat posed by the coronavirus from early February, while Hannity originally dismissed the risks associated with the virus before gradually adjusting his position starting late February. We first validate these differences in content with independent coding of show transcripts.

The Internet Will Help Society Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Internet itself is being tested like never before. To understand how these challenges are testing, more than ever, both the Internet’s technical foundation and the society that relies on it, the Center for Data and Computing (CDAC) is launching a new initiative to deploy our expertise and collaborative relationships towards studying how this pandemic has affected the Internet network — how it is responding globally, and how well local communities are able to make use of it.