Slow internet speed is the bane of our existence. The Internet has advanced to the point where it is now considered a household utility on par with water and electricity.
Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of adults in the United States who had high-speed internet service at home climbed dramatically. In the last few years, however, broadband adoption growth has been much less consistent. Approximately three-quarters of all adults in the United States now have access to high-speed internet at home.
A slow internet connection can be frustrating to deal with: videos buffer while downloading; files take forever to download; and a single website can take an eternity to load completely. We’re not sure if the problem is with our browser, our computer, or the website itself.
It is possible that your Wi-Fi signal isn’t strong enough. Wireless networks have a history of having connection issues. So, how do you figure out what the problem is?
Internet Speed Test
An Internet speed test is a quick and easy way to figure out how well your Internet service is performing overall. If it appears that your internet is running slower than it should, running a speed test is the quickest way to determine whether the problem is on your end or with your internet service provider’s network.
Internet Speed Measuring
Megabits per second, or “Mbps,” is the most common unit of measurement for internet speed. Mbps stands for Megabits Per Second and is a measurement of how quickly you can download and upload data using your Internet connection. If you’re trying to download a file and your Internet download speed is 100 Mbps, you’ll be able to download 100 megabits of data per second (theoretically).
Uploading versus downloading: What’s the difference?
Checking Internet speeds at home involves looking at two separate measurements: download speed and upload speed. Download speed refers to how fast you can download something from another server onto your device, and upload speed refers to how fast you can upload something to that server.
For the average user, download speed is usually of more importance, since fast download speeds make it possible to stream without buffering, play games without lag, and have high-quality video chats.
What is Latency?
A computer’s latency is the time it takes for your computer to send a message to a server and for that server to respond. Due to the fact that latency is a measure of time delay, you want as low a latency as possible.
Different service providers offer different levels of internet speed; typically, the more expensive the plan, the faster the service.
• 1-3 Mbps: The internet connection is sufficient for web browsing, email, social networking, casual online gaming (if you don’t mind minor latency). This speed, however, is not suitable for video streaming.
•3-4 Mbps: This is the minimum speed required for regular video streaming from Netflix and other similar providers. This speed may be sufficient for a single-computer home, but with all of the HD stuff available on the internet right now, video buffering will be a constant.
•5-10 Mbps: You’ll need at least 5 Mbps of bandwidth to stream HD content from Netflix, and you’ll need twice that if you’re simultaneously watching two HD streams. Despite the fact that this is the minimum speed required for HD material, it may still result in buffering, particularly if you have numerous connected devices at home.
•10-20 Mbps: In order to have a continuous and dependable internet experience, this is the minimum speed required. If you frequently download files from the internet and cloud storage services, you should at the very least purchase a plan with this promised speed.
•20 Mbps and higher: A household with numerous computers, smart appliances, video streaming services, and simultaneous users should strive for a 20 Mbps package at least.
How to test your Internet connection’s speed
Individuals who wish to check their Internet connection speed can do it fast and easily by using one of the many free platforms available online to do so. If you type “internet speed test” into Google, the first thing that comes up is a speed test that you can do right in your browser. This is a service that is run by Google.
Bing also offers a similar service. Simply type “speed test” into Bing and the first result will be a useful speedometer-style internet speed tool that analyses ping response as well as download and upload rates.
For those looking for other options, here is a list of the most popular sites to check your internet speed.
In terms of internet speed testing services, Ookla Speedtest is one of the most well-known options. This service can monitor the ping response time of your connection, as well as the download and upload speeds from a distant server. Over the years, Ookla has done an excellent job of keeping up with the trends by adding new features and capabilities.
One of the best ways to check your broadband speed is to use Fast.com. The interface is simple and easy to use. But the fact that it is owned by Netflix provides one of its biggest advantages. As a result, it’s a perfect choice for online streamers, as the test is geared on determining whether your internet connection is powerful enough to stream Netflix at its highest quality without buffering.
The test interface does an excellent job of displaying oscillations in your upload and download rates. Speedof.me is the way to go if you’re searching for a test that looks at consistency as well as speeds.
Testmy.net is a completely HTML5 and PHP-based internet speed test. That means your test will run without the use of third-party software such as Java or Flash, resulting in more accurate findings. This makes it a valuable tool for comparing the performance of various browsers.
Suggestions for improved accuracy
Use a wired connection wherever possible for more precise and consistent results. It’s possible that your Wi-Fi connection, rather than your ISP connection, is to blame for your sluggish speeds.
Check your findings several times to ensure they are between 5-10 Mbps of each other. If the results are within 5-10 Mbps of each other, you should be fine. Small changes in your speed can be caused by a variety of factors, including traffic congestion during peak hours and your physical distance from the relay hardware.
If your wired results are consistently lower than claimed, such as a steady 20 to 30 Mbps differential, it is possible that something else is going on with your connection.
Examine your hardware first to determine whether or not it is compatible with the recommendations made by your service provider.
It may not be the fault of your equipment or internet service provider (ISP) if your wireless home network is slower than it should be. It’s possible that your Wi-Fi is being hacked.
If you discover that someone is stealing your Wi-Fi, you must immediately remove them from your network. Change your network name and password as a first step. This is generally enough to get rid of internet thieves who are merely freeloading neighbors. It’s also a good idea to make sure your router is set to the most secure settings possible.