You can find plenty of reasons why you need to know the speed of your internet connection. Be it, you want to check your speed against what you pay for, rather than assuming the bill is correct.
Alternatively, you want to do some online gaming or stream content. You may want to know your connection is fast enough, or do you need to upgrade internet speed to cope?
Here, we show how you can quickly test upload and download speeds using several different speed test online.
You can also see what you can do to improve internet speed at home and to cancel out any issues you may have.
Improving Your Connection Speed Tips
- Wired connections: If you can connect via an Ethernet cable rather than by Wi-Fi, then do so. A wired connection offers the most reliable internet connection.
- Position Wireless Router: A home wireless router needs placing correctly. It should be central so all connected devices are an equal distance away.
- Don’t Hide Your Router: A wireless internet connection will be better if the router is in plain sight. Once you begin connection through walls, the signal is weaker, and thus a slower internet speed.
- Rebooting Your Router: On occasion, you may run into problems, or your connection may appear sluggish. You can improve this by disconnecting your modem and router and your devices. Leave it for ten minutes and reconnect everything before powering on your router.
Speeds for Gaming and Streaming
You may think gaming has more requirements, yet it is the opposite. Streaming can take up lots of your bandwidth, and this is the reason home networking requires high-speed connections.
Here are the recommended speeds for streaming; gaming will suffice with these, although this pastime is more reliant on a low ping time.
- 1 stream in standard definition – 3 Mbps minimum
- Streams in HD – 5 Mbps
- Streams in Ultra HD (4K) – Begin at 25 Mbps
You will need a test tool to check you can meet these requirements, as well as checking your ping for gaming.
One thing to note is these speeds will be for each device connected, and not as the whole speed of your internet services.
Testing Your Internet Speeds
Before checking the speeds, there are a couple of terms to know.
- Download speed: The speed your connection can receive data to your device.
- Upload Speed: The speed your device sends data to the internet.
- Ping: The round trip time from your device to a host and back to your device. They measure this in milliseconds. The lower the number the better, although this isn’t an indication of internet speed. Technicians use this an internet reliability test as it can highlight issues.
These tests are better with an Ethernet connection, so if you can connect by wire, then do so. If you want to know your speed as a complaint to your ISP. Then you will need reliable internet speed test results.
Speedtest.net – Internet Speed Test by Ookla
Speedtest.net is the most well-known speed test tool on the internet. The company provides technology with many other online testing services use, although with a different interface.
It is free, and you can use it to test your transfer rate at different times of the day. The site records this information, so, you can build up history if you wish to show your connection is running slower than it should.
The site delivers more accurate results than taking an average reading. There are multiple apps for mobile devices as well as Windows, and you can even test your speed from your Apple TV.
Once you head to the website, you see a large ‘GO’ button. Under this, you have your connection details, and the test server it is connecting. This is automatic based on the user’s IP addresses, but you can change it manually.
Hit the GO button to run the test, and the first thing it does is check the Ping.
The speedo moves around as it checks download speeds, and then it does this again to check uploads.
You are then presented with the speed test results. Beneath these are popular services that are facing reported issues.
Netflix Speed Tests
Because streaming is changing the way, we watch shows and movies. Netflix has its own speed test, so subscribers can check they have a fast enough connection.
FAST.com is the site, and there are no buttons to click. Everything is automatic. You can click on ‘Show More Info,’ and here you will have access to run the test again or change settings.
Why Are Speed Tests Important?
You may think your connection is fast enough for all your needs. In many cases, this can be true.
However, many internet users are unaware of their ISP’s throttle connections. You may try and do all you can to improve your internet connection speeds, and it is your provider, which slows your connection because of streaming causing the issues.
When this happens, it means you are paying for something you are not receiving. One way to prevent this is to use a virtual private network.
When you use these, they don’t necessarily improve internet speed, and they can slow it down because of the encryption they use to enforce online privacy.
Using any, VPN does mean you need to test internet speed to see how they perform. Not all are equal, and some perform worse than others do.
A good VPN service will have a large network, and it should deliver connection speeds that can cater to all online activities in any country.
No matter what you do online, you do need to check your connections every now and again. Internet speeds can highlight problems, as well as just allowing you to download things quicker.