A Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting and Understanding Speed Tests
Conducting a speed test is one of the quickest ways to get insight into your Internet connection. But the results on internet speed tests can be confusing if you need to learn how to interpret them. Your Internet speed determines how quickly files download and how well video streams. It can also help you decide whether to upgrade your router.
How to Conduct Internet Speed Tests
Step 1: Choose a Reliable Speed Test Website or App
- You can just open your web browser or download a reputable speed test app. Some popular websites include Speedtest by Ookla (speedtest.net), Fast.com, and Google’s speed test (search “speed test” in Google).
Step 2: Close Unnecessary Applications and Devices
- Before you start the test, please close any unnecessary applications on your computer or device and ask others in your household to pause bandwidth-intensive activities.
Step 3: Connect to a Stable Network
- Ensure your device is connected to the network you want to test, whether Wi-Fi or a wired connection. For accurate results, use a wired connection if possible.
Step 4: Start the Speed Test
- Click the “Begin Test” or equivalent button on the chosen speed test website or app. The test will measure your download speed, upload speed, and ping.
Step 5: Analyse the Results
- Once the test is complete, review the results:
- Download Speed: This represents how quickly data is transferred from the internet to your device.
- Upload Speed: This indicates the speed at which data is sent from your device to the internet.
- Ping or Latency: This measures the time a data packet travels from your device to the server and back. Lower values are better.
Step 6: Repeat the Test
- For a more accurate assessment, repeat the test at different times of the day. Internet speeds can vary based on network congestion.
Step 7: Compare with Your Internet Plan
- Compare the results with the internet speed promised by your service provider. If the actual speeds consistently fall below advertised, you should contact your provider for assistance.
Step 8: Troubleshoot if Necessary
- If the results are lower than expected, you can troubleshoot by restarting your router, checking for interference, or contacting your internet service provider for support.
Step 9: Consider Different Devices
- Conduct speed tests on different devices to ensure the issue is familiar to multiple devices.
Step 10: Record Results for Reference
- Keep a record of your speed test results. This documentation can be helpful when communicating with your internet service provider about any issues.
|Internet Speed Tests
||Speed in Mb/s
||1.5 – 4.0
||3 – 6
||6 – 13
||13 – 34
Understanding Speed Tests: Getting Started
Taking a speed test is one of the best things you can do to see your internet speeds at any given time. It takes less than a minute and gives you current stats on your connection, including download and upload speeds, ping time and your IP address. Speed tests also gauge how well your service performs and confirm that the advertised speeds you’re paying for hold up.
Start by turning off any other devices on your network that might be using the internet, like smart home hubs or gaming systems. Also, it’s a good idea to restart your modem and router before running the test. This might seem counterintuitive since the test is about your internet speeds, but parts of the test rely on the hardware to work correctly.
You’ll also want to log the results of your speed test. Most web-based tests let you save a screenshot or provide a link to the results page that you can use to reference later. Ideally, you can run the test several times at different times of day and compare the results.
If you find that your speeds are lower than expected even after trying all of the above suggestions – rebooting your equipment, repositioning your router, deleting device settings, disconnecting other devices, limiting Wi-Fi usage during off-peak hours – it might be time to call your internet provider. Document your results, ask about bandwidth throttling or capacity issues and negotiate an upgrade to the speeds you were promised.
Understanding Speed Tests: Enabling Location Services
If you enable location services, your phone will use the GPS function to determine your current (approximate) location. This helps the test accurately measure your connection speed to nearby testing servers. Once you’ve enabled location services, the app will automatically choose a server closest to your current location. You can also select a different server from the menu if desired.
Depending on your device, you might get a slightly different result than another user of the same device with a different service provider. This is because devices have very different Wi-Fi and cellular radio capabilities that can impact your speed results. The test measures how quickly your device can download and upload content to a testing server. It also measures latency, or the time it takes to receive a response from the testing server.
The best way to ensure accurate results is to run the test using a wired Internet connection, such as through a wired modem or gateway with an Ethernet port. It’s also helpful to turn off programs running in the background or other electronic devices causing interference, like cordless phones and home security systems. You can also try running the test from a laptop or desktop computer connected to your wireless router via an Ethernet cable. Some wireless routers (like Google’s Nest, Asus ZenWifi and Eero) include the capability to run a wireless speed test in their dedicated apps.
Understanding Speed Tests: Taking the Test
Once your connection has been tested, you’ll be provided with several stats that provide insight into the quality of your current Internet service. These include your download speed, upload speed, ping time and IP address. These numbers help determine if you’re getting the full Gigabit speeds your provider advertises.
The test is simple to run on any device with a web browser. To get the most accurate results, it’s recommended to shut off other Internet-enabled devices like cordless phones and tablets and to connect your device (usually a computer) directly to your modem with an ethernet cable. It’s also essential to avoid interruptions while performing a speed test, as they can affect the outcome.
To measure your download speed, the test opens multiple connections to a server and simultaneously starts downloading large data files over each one. This data throughput is then recorded against measurement time to yield the results you see for your Internet speed. Your upload and ping speeds are measured similarly, but you’ll only be able to see your own upload and download speeds, not those of the router’s Wi-Fi network used to perform the test.
If your test results show you need to receive the Internet speeds you’re paying for, contact your provider for assistance. They may offer discounts, reduced rates or same-day technician support to resolve your issues.
Understanding Speed Tests: Viewing Real-Time Speed
Internet service providers can limit upload and download speeds depending on your chosen plan, local congestion, throttling rules, and peak hours. If files are downloading suspiciously slowly or your provider isn’t delivering the speeds they promised, a quick speed test can tell you how fast your connection is.
Speed tests measure your current Internet connection’s maximum potential by accessing nearby testing servers. This data is then compared with your actual speed to help identify possible problems. While these tests can be inaccurate, they are an excellent way to gauge the performance of your Internet service.
To get the most accurate results, it’s a good idea to shut off all other devices on your home network and connect to the router using an Ethernet cable. Also, it’s best to perform the test at different times of the day since peak usage can cause a significant slowdown. Finally, note that Wi-Fi connections are usually slower than wired connections.
Speed Tests – Other useful links from our Knowledge Centre:
How to Manage Business Finances Correctly and Efficiently
Unlocking Business Potential: Strategies for Long-term Success
The Impact of Sustainability on Ecommerce Businesses
Remember to Compare Your Business Costs is here to help your business every step of the way from business advice, or saving you time and money on your business purchases such as: