An Internet speed test is used to determine how fast your connection is. You measure speed using megabits per second, or Mbps. Typically, the more you spend on your data plan, the faster your speed should be. If you feel that the sites are loading too slow, there may be an issue with your Internet connection.
These are the top reasons why you should regularly conduct an Internet speed test:
- You Can Do It Easily
In this day and age, you should be able to conduct this basic assessment so you’ll have an idea of what your data plan is. You just need to go to websites that provide this type of service and click a button to start the assessment. Depending on your connection, you can get the results within seconds or after a few minutes.
Some of the most popular speed test sites and apps are:
- Ookla Speedtest – It has a website and an app for your smartphone.
- SpeedCheck.org – This popular speedtest site provides a clean, sleek feel with a crisp “Start Test” button once it loads.
- Speedspot.org – Speed Check by SpeedSpot allows you to save your test results so you can check them later.
- SpeedSmart.net – This app runs on HTML5 and doesn’t rely on Flash, so it’s ideal for all devices.
- You Get an In-Depth Look at Your Internet Speed
There are several factors involved with your Internet connection such as the download, upload, and ping rates. These variables work together to give you the speed that you’re paying your Internet service provider, or ISP, for. A minimum download rate of 25 Mbps and an upload of 2 Mbps are enough for a single person’s streaming needs. If more people are connected to your router, like in a shared apartment or office space, you should get a plan with higher speed rates.
Here’s the difference between download, upload, and ping rates:
- Download – This rate shows you how fast you can get data from the server to your device. Download speeds are usually more significant than the upload rate because most customers use the Internet to browse pages online or stream videos which require pulling packets of data from the site’s server to your computer.
- Upload – Your upload speed pertains to how fast you can send information from your device to other computers or servers. Offices need a higher rate especially for sending big files through email or saving critical data on the cloud. Those who work as graphic designers and video editors must also have a more considerable upload speed because they’re dealing with huge chunks of data from high-resolution photos and high-definition videos.
- Ping – You can think of ping rates as the reaction time of your Internet speed. It shows you how fast you get a response after you sent the request. A faster ping is vital especially in online games like Fortnite and Dota 2 where timing is crucial. This speed is measured in milliseconds or ms.
- You Can Identify What’s Slowing Down Your Connection
Whether you’re streaming a video or playing an online game, it can be frustrating when the screen gets frozen on a particular frame especially right before an exciting moment. By conducting regular Internet speed tests, you can assess what factors are contributing to the lag like the times of the day where more people connect to the Wi-Fi.
Aside from testing the download, upload, and ping, here are other things you can do to boost your speed:
- Check Other Websites – Sometimes, the problem only lies with one site so it’s best to connect with other web pages and make sure that your Internet connection is the source of the lag.
- Try Using Another Device – Similar above, your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone may have a slow time responding to you because of a full cache or there are too many programs or apps open. If you’re on your PC, try accessing the same website through your mobile phone and see if it still can’t connect.
- Restart Your Modem or Router – Your modem is the one that allows you access to the Internet while your router is a device that enables multiple computers or phones to join the same network. These peripherals can get overloaded so you should reboot them every once in a while so they can clear temporary junk from their memories.
- Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal – If you find that your wired connection through your PC is excellent, but your laptop or smartphone can’t establish a connection, the culprit is most likely your Wi-Fi signal. One possible cause of this is that there may be too many devices nearby that interfere with the airwaves of your router.
- Check Your Router’s Location – Walls obstruct airwaves from reaching your devices especially if your room is far from where the router is located. It can be particularly tricky for large households with a big home and multiple users. Invest in a sturdy device that is powerful enough to send Wi-Fi signals to each corner of your residence.
- You Can Check If You’re Getting Your Money’s Worth
You should know how much actual speed you’re getting for the price you’re paying your service provider. With regular tests, you can gauge if they’re giving you the service that you bought from them. Your connection should be able to reach about 80 percent of the maximum bandwidth, which is the advertised speed for your data plan. Otherwise, you must contact your ISP.
Conducting Internet speed tests regularly can help you determine the accurate speed given to you by your Internet service provider. With this data, you can gauge if the connection is the same throughout various devices and at different times of the day. If you notice a sudden drop, there may be an issue and you must contact your ISP.