Checking Your Real Bandwidth

One aspect of SL that is often underestimated is the importance of your network bandwidth setting. Having this too high or too low can lead to all kinds of problems, from simple TP failure to being disconnected - among other things. So it is advisable to not rely on the bandwidth stated by your provider, but to check for yourself.

  • Log out of Firestorm if you are currently logged in
  • Measure your download speed to the city where SL has servers5), by clicking this link, then select YOUR PREFERRED SERVER; make note of the download speed they indicate at the end of the test:
    Tucson, AZ. 6) 7)
  • The speeds are given in Mbps; multiply the speed you get by 800
  • Set your Firestorm bandwidth to 1500, or the result you got above - whichever is smaller: in Firestorm, go to PreferencesNetwork & Files -> Connection; Maximum Bandwidth is at the top.


Based on our experience, we strongly recommend the following maximum settings for bandwidth - unless the calculations above suggest lower values:

  • Any type of wireless connection, including home wireless: 500
  • Hardwired DSL: 1000
  • Hardwired cable or better: 1500.

Checking The Quality of Your Connection

SpeedTest will give some indication of the quality of your connection. But another very useful indication is ping and packet loss.

You can determine these from within the viewer by accessing the statistics bar (press Shift-Ctrl-1). Look for Packet Loss and Ping SIM. Ideally, these should be 0.0% and under 150ms, respectively. The stats bar gives data based on your present location in the SL grid.

Why the location matters. Second Life has data centers in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. This is why you need to select that city when measuring your bandwidth. If you live far away and do the default test, it will be to a city close to you, which will not give a good indication of your connection to Second Life servers.
NOTE: The city recommended is not exactly where SL has servers, but is close enough to serve as a guide in determining a good value for bandwidth.
If Flash is not installed for your browser you are redirected to Please click on 'Change Host' and type in 'Tucson' in the search bar, then choose one of the Tucson results shown. And then just click on 'GO' to perform the test.
  • fs_speedtest.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/05/25 22:26
  • by miro.collas