How to test your internet speed

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Few issues are extra irritating than Wi-Fi lagging throughout a video name or the buffering wheel spinning whereas streaming the climax of a favourite present. Even just a few moments’ delay in internet speed can test our persistence.

If your internet has been slowing you down, use the steps on this complete information to test your internet speed. If you discover the speed is lower than what you’re paying your internet service supplier (ISP) for, observe our suggestions to troubleshoot your connection.

What is internet speed?

Internet speed refers to how briskly information travels from the World Wide Web to your gadget. The speed of this information is measured in megabits per second (Mbps) and can depend upon your internet sort.

  • Fiber is the quickest and able to hastens to 10,000 Mbps. This internet sort makes use of fiber optic cables — traces manufactured from tiny glass fibers — to switch information on the speed of sunshine.

  • Cable internet is the second quickest, with a max speed of 1,200 Mbps. It makes use of coaxial copper wires to transmit internet and cable TV companies.

  • Fixed wi-fi internet varies in speed. It makes use of a cellular-based internet connection that delivers wi-fi companies. Your internet speed will depend upon the mobile community it’s linked to.

  • DSL (digital subscriber line) is among the many slowest varieties of internet, reaching speeds of solely 140 Mbps. It makes use of your landline phone community to join to the internet and switch information.

  • Satellite internet is the slowest sort of internet, able to hastens to 100 Mbps. However, it’s an ideal choice for individuals who live in rural areas and others who don’t have entry to fiber, cable or DSL networks.

What to do earlier than testing your internet speed

Before testing your internet speed, be certain that points exterior of your community aren’t affecting it.

Christina Davignon, an impartial community administrator based mostly in New York City with 5 years of expertise troubleshooting internet connections and putting in Wi-Fi networks for companies and people, suggests answering these questions earlier than you test your internet speed:

  • What speed does my internet plan provide? This info will help you when evaluating the speed test.

  • Am I solely experiencing delays on explicit web sites, reminiscent of YouTube or Facebook? Sometimes, delays don’t have anything to do with your internet speed however with the technical problems with a selected web site.

  • Is my internet speed quicker on one internet browser than the opposite? If that’s the case, clear up your browser by closing open home windows and tabs.

In addition, earlier than you run an internet speed test, be certain to:

  • Turn off any downloads or uploads on your system, together with streaming media or live video conferences, and reboot the system.

  • Disconnect your VPN software program, when you have it, to get rid of further overhead on your connection.

How to test your internet speed

Now that you simply’ve adopted the steps above, you may test your internet speed. Here’s how to do it.

1. Run a speed test on your pc

Multiple web sites provide free Wi-Fi speed exams. You can attempt (by Ookla), and CloudFlare. Click on the “Go” or “Start” button on the web site to start the test. Each test ought to take 60 seconds or much less, providing insights into obtain and add speeds.

2. Test your cellphone or pill

Turn off mobile information and join to Wi-Fi. Open your browser and go to Speedtest.internet, or CloudFare.

Or, obtain a speed test app from your gadget.

Search “speed test” within the app retailer. Some of the favored ones embody Ookla and Open the app and observe the on-screen directions to begin the test.

3. Check your Wi-Fi router’s app for a speed test

Your Wi-Fi router could have a devoted app for speed exams. Search for the app related to your router’s model or mannequin and obtain and set up the app on your smartphone or pill. Google’s Nest Wi-Fi, Eero, Linksys and Asus ZenWiFi routers all provide apps that enable you to conduct speed exams. Follow the directions within the app to run the test.

Understanding your internet speed test

Interpreting the outcomes of an internet speed test is crucial. Compare the obtained speeds with your internet service plan to be certain that your precise speeds align with what your ISP guarantees in your subscription.


Internet speeds are measured in ‘megabits per second,’ generally known as Mbps. Bits are tiny information models, with a megabit representing 1,000,000 of them. The increased your Mbps, the quicker your on-line exercise ought to be.

Download speed

Download speed, also referred to as bandwidth, refers to how shortly info travels from the internet to your gadget. This information contains texts, photographs, music and movies. It’s important when streaming a present, downloading a file or performing different on-line actions.

Upload speed

Upload speed refers to how shortly you may ship information from your gadget to the internet. A quick add speed is useful when sharing massive recordsdata through e-mail, importing photographs to social media or making video calls.


Latency measures the interval it takes for a sign to be despatched from your gadget to your ISP and returned. This round-trip time known as a “ping” and is measured in milliseconds (ms). Latency is an important metric for on-line players since a protracted latency can imply irritating lags in gameplay.

Tips for administering an correct internet speed test

Numerous elements can affect the outcomes of your internet speed test. Consider the following tips to guarantee a extra correct evaluation.

1. Test with an Ethernet cable

Ethernet cables present a quicker and extra steady connection than Wi-Fi and can lead to extra correct test outcomes. Plug one finish of the cable into the Ethernet port on your gadget and the opposite finish into one of many LAN ports on the router or modem. Disable Wi-Fi on your gadget to make sure the test is carried out solely via the wired connection. Open your internet browser and select an internet speed test service.

If your internet speed is slower than anticipated based mostly on your plan, take into consideration upgrading your router.

ISPs not often improve or introduce new routers due to the big variety of prospects they serve. By sticking to your previous router, you’re lacking out on the newest Wi-FI know-how and different options, reminiscent of enhanced safety.

When buying a brand new router, think about its throughput quantity. This is the quantity of knowledge a router can course of in a second. A better throughput quantity means elevated speed and decreased congestion on your native residence community.

2. Test at totally different distances from your router

For the perfect Wi-Fi protection, place your router on the heart of your residence to attain as many rooms as doable. Keep it in an open space, like on a shelf, and keep away from hiding it inside cupboards or underneath a desk. Also, keep away from placing the router close to issues that may trigger interference, reminiscent of massive fish tanks and metallic objects.

Davignon shares that one in all her company shoppers used to expertise a every day noon internet outage. The perpetrator? The router’s proximity to the workplace microwave. “Their internet connection took a ‘lunch break’ quite literally,” she says.

Run a number of speed exams at totally different distances from your router. If distance is what’s slowing down your connection, think about buying a Wi-Fi sign booster.

“Boosters work if they have a good line of sight to the original connection,” says Davignon. But they’re not meant for top utilization — if you happen to live in a big residence with a household of six and everyone seems to be streaming and gaming, or if you happen to work in a giant workplace, a mesh community system is perhaps the perfect answer. A mesh community is made up of a number of wi-fi entry factors known as mesh nodes, the place every node acts like a Wi-Fi router.

3. Test all your gadgets

It’s important to test the internet speed on all of your gadgets since a few of them might be slowing down your connection. For instance, the iPhone 5 from 2012 makes use of an older-generation Wi-Fi customary. Newer iPhones, from 2014 and later, use a quicker wi-fi customary.

Modern Wi-Fi routers usually present options that enable you to prioritize particular gadgets for quicker speeds. Refer to your router’s instruction guide for steerage. In this situation, it’s possible you’ll give your new iPhone the best precedence and assign your older iPhone a decrease precedence.

4. Test at totally different instances of day

Davignon suggests testing your internet speed at totally different instances of day to consider native and ISP community visitors. If you live in a densely populated New York City house constructing stuffed with numerous devices, your gadget alerts could also be competing for area.

If your internet speed is slower due to congestion, Davignon recommends utilizing an app like WiFiMan or WiFi Analyzer. These apps can show probably the most crowded channels utilized by your neighbors. Refer to your router’s instruction guide for choosing a clearer channel.

What is an efficient internet speed?

A “good” internet speed is dependent upon many elements, together with the variety of individuals utilizing the internet in your family and the particular functions for which you utilize the internet, reminiscent of working from residence, streaming Netflix or gaming.

In easy phrases, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suggests {that a} primary internet speed ought to be at the very least 25 Mbps for downloading and three Mbps for importing. But for a greater expertise, goal for at the very least 100 Mbps for downloading and 10 Mbps for importing.

To take pleasure in high-definition streaming video, Netflix suggests a minimal obtain speed of 5 Mbps, whereas 4K Ultra HD requires 25 Mbps. Zoom recommends 2 to 3 Mbps speeds for easy participation in video calls. Xfinity recommends a minimal of 300 Mbps for on-line gaming fanatics to guarantee ultimate efficiency in fast-paced video games with immersive graphics, reminiscent of Overwatch or Fortnite.

What to do if your internet speed is slower than it ought to be

If you adopted the steps above and nonetheless haven’t found out the foundation reason for your subpar internet speed, it is perhaps time to name your ISP.

When you name, ask a assist agent these questions:

  • What is slowing down my internet? Sometimes, a assist agent can assess your internet efficiency and implement changes to enhance your connection speed. More usually, nevertheless, a technician will want to go to you.

  • How previous is my modem? The modem, a field linking your residence to the internet supplier’s service, could also be outdated. If the agent verifies that your modem is outdated, you may schedule an appointment with a technician to set up a brand new one. Or, you should purchase your personal modem and get in touch with the internet supplier for activation.

  • Can I purchase a quicker plan? Your present package deal will not be adequate for your family’s present wants. If so, a brand new plan could also be so as.

If all else fails, it is perhaps as a result of your ISP is deliberately slowing down your internet speed by bandwidth throttling. Due to a 2019 Supreme Court determination, ISPs can cut back your internet speed if you happen to stream extra TV than they like or if you happen to go to web sites owned by their opponents. Although the FCC has just lately taken steps to reinstate net neutrality rules prohibiting throttling, it stays authorized for now.

Bottom line

A gradual or lagging internet connection is an inconvenience nobody desires to cope with frequently. If the options above haven’t mounted your connection, it might be time to improve your internet sort or change to a brand new ISP.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Note: The costs above replicate the retailers’ listed value on the time of publication.

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