network detection

As we continue to refine our approach to deliver responsive designs and resources, we’re finding more and more edge cases to cater for, here’s another to throw in the pot.

I’m with Sky Broadband in my little house just about on the edge of civilisation, I get broadband – notionally it’s *up to* 8mb broadband from Sky but the reality is that it’s actually closer to 1mb most of the time and quite often in the evening and weekend it’s capped and it’s not unknown for pages to not load first time and without going into the gory detail, it’s all we can get.

It’s been known for me to run a speed test on my connection and get dial-up speeds.

Yet another tool in the armoury of responsive web design is the possibility of network connection speed detection to deliver fewer, or smaller, assets to low connection devices.

Now, without sensible double checks and counters (perhaps combine screen resolution) there’s a danger (remember this is me being an edge case) you could send my crappy home connection to a mobile version of a site or give me smaller image files when I’m happy to wait a few seconds in the comfort of my chair. Ironically, my Galaxy S is often faster in an evening – probably a factor in my browsing habits changing to favour mobile use these days.

Just another one for you file away at the back of your mind and next time you deliver an asset based on connection speed, spare a thought for me..

[ Update/Clarification ] Just to clear up any possible confusion, this is for the most part, one of my quick “brain dump” posts. I haven’t knowingly come across a site that’s delivered assets based on connection speed yet and as Oliver Ker mentioned it’s not the most reliable tool just yet but I’m guessing someone, somewhere is going to use it and I just wanted to highlight a possible use case based on my own “broadband”.

Feature Image Credit: Wikipedia