GENERIC // General

How to Check Your Internet Speed?

January 10, 2023

Don't take your ISP's word for it. It is very easy to do your internet speed test online on your own, as there are plenty of sources for testing. So you can be sure whether you are getting what you paid for or not.

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Is your ISP delivering the data speeds it promised? Is there a way to find out? Should we take our word for it? The answers to these questions are "I understand", "Yes!" and "ABSOLUTELY NO!" respectively. That's because you have access to free tools that will do your ISP's internet speed test.

 Most ISPs also offer free internet speed tests too. It is usually a variation of what is shown below, and it is better to avoid them and stick to third party tools. Because you can't be sure whether the connection between you and your ISP servers is optimized or not for better speeds, please use a third-party testing tool.

Before running internet speed tests, make sure to check these in advance:

 1.     Disable any downloads or uploads on your system. This includes streaming media and live video conferencing. It is better to do a system reboot as the first step. 

2.     Log out of the VPN software, if any, during the test. It adds a lot of overhead to your connection.

3.     For true accuracy, connect your PC directly to your router via Ethernet, as there would be much lesser network overhead than a Wi-Fi connection. 

4.     Skip tests during busy hours, when everyone is at home using the internet or maybe your whole neighbourhood is streaming music or movies.

Run the test multiple times for better internet speed test accuracy. Internet connectivity can vary highly depending on the time of day; the more data it is, the better it will be. 

The fix is ​​as simple as rebooting the modem and router (which should always be your first step). Alternatively, you can upgrade to a mesh network as the very last resort. Here's how to do an internet speed test on your own, along with some troubleshooting pointers for poor internet connection.

Start with a speed test on your phone or tablet or on your computer

There are many apps and websites to test your connection speed. Some of the most popular speed test services are Speedtest.net, Fast.com, CloudFlare etc.

Whether you're installing an app or using a website, you should always run a few tests to get an idea of ​​how your connection is performing. Each test takes less than a minute and provides download and upload speed results.

The Federal Communications Commission has issued home broadband speed guidelines based on the no. of devices & people connected to the same network. Essential services range from 3 megabits to 8 Mbps, which is sufficient for light usage (browsing, email, video calls, HD video streaming, etc.). Medium service is categorized as 12-25 Mbps, ideal for up to 3 users or devices simultaneously, with moderate to high usage depending on activity. Finally, connection speeds that are above 25 Mbps are an enhanced service, ideal for 4 or more simultaneous users or devices.

In case you are a tech-savvy reader, then you can use your Raspberry Pi to run internet speed tests on a set schedule, upload the results to Google Drive, and follow this handy guide to monitor your internet speed test.

Ideally, you'd run a speed test by connecting your computer directly to your ISP's modem using an ethernet cable, but this isn't always possible. However, there is another way to run internet speed tests. You can use your WiFi router's app to check for internet speed. 

Run a speed test on your WiFi router

Depending on your wireless router, you may be able to run a speed test via the associated app. For example, Google's Nest Wi-Fi lets you run an in-app speed test or ask your Google Assistant how fast your internet connection is.

Linksys, Eero, and Asus ZenWifi routers have the same feature, but not all support prompting smart speakers to run tests. So, it is best here to start with a dedicated app.

Using your ISP's wireless router speed test may prove more accurate, at least in theory, since the router is directly connected to the modem. If your speed test results are lower than you expected or less than you paid for, don't panic and buy a new router. But that can happen with age. Router technology, like any other technology, changes frequently and can experience performance issues. If your internet router was purchased in the last few years, it's probably fine, and you might have another problem.

What to do if the speed is slower than it should be?

You may have received this recommendation to turn off your modem and wireless router, and leave them off for about 60 seconds, then turn them on again. Most of the time, this will solve your speed problem, but if not, you should look elsewhere.

Interpreting download speed

The most critical number in a speed test is download speed. This determines how fast your files can download, how many devices your network can support, and how high your video quality can be.

If you're on DSL, expect your speeds to be slightly slower than mentioned since you're further away from a central hub unless you want to move your residence closer to the central hub or switch to another type of connection; otherwise, the internet speed won't increase.

If you use cable internet and your score is low, you may be experiencing congestion from other households nearby. Try testing your speed at a different time when your neighbors are less likely to be online. Connection is fine as long as you get decent download speeds during off-peak hours; that is how the cable works.

Check for latency

Latency is also something to keep in mind when playing online games or watching live videos. If the latency is less than 20 milliseconds (ms), the experience will be perfectly smooth. If the latency exceeds 150 ms, you will have severe latency issues. Some latency issues can't be fixed as they would mean changing the laws of physics. Even at nearly the speed of light, it takes ample time for the signal to reach the destined server's location.

Other causes of delay can be addressed by simply replacing your old router can reduce latency. Or connecting directly to your router via an ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi makes a big difference in avoiding lag. Finally, you can upgrade to the fiber connection as there is much lesser latency. 

After covering the points mentioned above, if the problem still persists, you can skip troubleshooting and take the last step. That is, call your provider to make sure your modem supports the speeds on your chosen plan or if there are any plans or promotions worth upgrading to get high speed internet for a stress-free work day. 

If you are searching Google for how to test your internet speed, you will come across many software and a website to solve your worries. Spectra is one of the most reliable internet service providers who can solve all of your problems.

 


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