What is an Internet Diagnostic?

S. Gonzales

An Internet diagnostic is a test or a series of tests that help a user gauge the functionality of his computer. They are usually performed when a user experiences Internet connection trouble or wants to engage in computer troubleshooting. Specific tests performed will largely rely on the Internet diagnostic tool or tools selected.

An Internet diagnostic test can also help network administrators optimize network security.
An Internet diagnostic test can also help network administrators optimize network security.

A number of computer diagnostics companies have set up websites to offer online diagnostics. Internet diagnostic tests provided by these companies may include Internet speed tests, ping tests, settings tests, line quality tests and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) bandwidth tests. More complex Internet diagnostic tests may be available, as well as basic tests that help identify computers like Internet Protocol (IP) address tools.

Each test serves a different function. For example, bandwidth tests are useful to computer owners who want to measure how fast their machine can receive and transmit data to the Internet. Ping tests can help users determine if low computer performance can be attributed to a computer, its Internet connection or Internet traffic. Settings tests may aid users in optimizing their network settings to facilitate stable connections. Similarly, an Internet diagnostic test can also help network administrators optimize network security.

The type of Internet diagnostic tool that a user chooses will determine what types of tests are at his disposal. While basic functions are included in the average Internet diagnostic tool, more complex tools may be offered as part of a package. It's not uncommon to find features that allow a user to see the information of other users logged onto a particular server. Determining host names and locations of IP addresses within a specific range and displaying network services for a queried host can also be realized through the use of these tools.

Many Internet diagnostic functions can be performed with the help of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) customer service representative. Typically, customers who experience Internet connection trouble will call their ISP's customer service department and speak with someone in technical support for help with computer troubleshooting. While these representatives may be able fix the problem, most problems are easy to identify and repair by a computer user with the appropriate software.

Internet diagnostics companies that allow users to create personal accounts may be able to log diagnostic tests and their results. This can be beneficial to users who want to keep track of their computers' functionality. It may also come in handy when talking to a technical support representative who requests detailed information about the problems that users are encountering.

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