Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Vodafone Speed Test (VST)?
Vodafone customers can use VST to check the speed of their Internet connection.

What is an IP address?
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical identification that is assigned to devices participating in a computer network utilizing the Internet Protocol for communication between nodes. A node can be any device connected to a computer network. On the Internet, many network nodes are host computers, identified by an IP address.

What is Latency?
This is a measure of the time, in milliseconds, for a packet of data to make a round-trip from source to destination and back again. The VST includes a test to measure the time chunks of data take to travel from your computer to the VST server and back. The result depends on the quality and speed of your connection as well as the distance between your computer and the host being used for the round-trip measurement.

What does 'kbps' mean?
'kbps' is an abbreviation for kilo bits per second and is a measure of how fast bits of data flow through a network. Internet bandwidth is measured in bits per seconds e.g. 10kbps is ten thousand (well actually it's 1024 x 10) bits per second, while 10Mbps is 10 million bits per second. While bandwidth speed is usually calculated in bps, data transfer speeds are sometimes also quoted in KB/s or KBytes/s. That's kilo Bytes per second. A Byte has 8 bits. So 1024 kbps is equivalent to 128KB/s or 128Kbytes/s. File size is also measured in KB or MB. So it would take approximately one second to transfer an 80KB picture if your broadband connection can sustain speeds of 80KB/s.

How does the Internet work?
The Internet is a huge network of computer networks all connected together. Computers are given an IP address so that they are individually addressable and reachable from anywhere on the globe. An Internet modem/key connects you to your ISP's network. The ISP's network is connected to other networks locally and internationally through one or more connections. Vodafone is a wireless operator and nationwide coverage is achieved through numerous base stations around Malta and Gozo. An aggregation point (the base station) acts as a concentration point for all the user connections in a given area. Vodafone connects all these base stations and subscribers' computers together to form a network and connects its network to the rest of the Internet through its own international gateway.

What does VST actually test?
When carrying out the VST, you are testing the speed of the connection from your computer to the VST server on the Internet which is physically located in Malta. The VST server is located on the International leg of Vodafone's network. When using the VST, local Vodafone customers can get a pretty good idea of the broadband speeds they are likely to achieve while browsing foreign and local web sites.

Why do I get different results when I try different speed tests found on the Web?
The Internet is a network of networks. The capacity of the links that interconnect different networks varies across the globe. These links are normally over-subscribed based on the fact that not every Internet user is using the Internet at the same time. The available capacity of these links at any point depends on current usage and the average speed/quality the service provider is committed to provide to his customers, and the number of networks that chunks of data need to traverse to reach your computer. Furthermore, speed tests are also affected by the performance of your computer, your router (if applicable) or both.

What should I do before running the VST?
Before running a speed test, make sure that you do not have any other applications running, because this will affect negatively the test result. You need to have Flash player 8 or higher installed in your browser and Javascript must be enabled. The speed test, once complete, will show you the current download and upload speeds achievable through your broadband connection.

The packet loss and Firewall tests are skipped by VST. Why is this?
Make sure you have Java installed on your computer and that Java applications launched from are allowed to run (check the Java security settings in control panel and add as an allowed site). Java can be downloaded from here: