Your maximum download and upload speed are determined by three main factors: the performance of your wireless adapter, which is built into your Mac computer, the performance of your wireless router, and your internet connection.
To check what is the maximum transmission speed of your wireless adapter, open Spotlight and type “Network Utility.” Press Enter to confirm your input and go to the Info tab in the Network Utility window. You should see a drop-down menu with your network interface. Below the drop-down menu will be a box entitled “Interface Information.” There, look for “Link Speed.” This is the maximum transmission speed of your wireless adapter.
If you own a newer Mac computer, the chances are that it will be capable of much faster WiFi transmission speeds than your wireless router. The best way to find out for sure is to look up the model name of your wireless router online and study its technical specifications. Most wireless routers today support the 802.11n standard, which supports maximum net data rate from 54 Mbit/s to 600 Mbit/s.
Increasingly more routers support the newer 802.11ac standard, which has more spatial streams, yielding maximum net data up to 433.3 Mbit/s per spatial stream, or 1300 Mbit/s total.
The WiFi internet speed test apps listed below send and receive data to and from a remote server to calculate your maximum download and upload speed, making it clear whether your ISP is providing you with the advertised speeds or not.
NetSpot’s Discover Mode is perfect for a quick analysis of nearby WiFi networks. It instantly gathers all available information about WiFi networks that are within reach, including the channel they are broadcasted on, their strength, noise, BSSID, and security. The Survey Mode allows you to create a detailed signal heatmap of an area to see which parts of the area are covered with a strong WiFi signal and which could use a boost.
To conduct a WiFi site survey with NetSpot, you simply upload a map of the area you would like to survey, or create a new map from scratch using the NetSpot’s built-in map editor, and walk from one part of the area to another until NetSpot has all the information it needs to create a heatmap that shows where the signal is the strongest and where it is the weakest.
NetSpot is available for Mac and Windows computers, and it can be downloaded for free for testing purposes. The cost of a full NetSpot license for a single home user is only $49, and a discounted company-wide license is available for companies with more than 10 employees. Non-profit organizations, education institutions, and government organizations are also eligible for a considerable discount.
Speedtest by Ookla is a popular online answer given to anyone who asks, “What’s the best way to test my WiFi speed?” While not nearly as feature-packed as NetSpot, Speedtest delivers on its promise of performing accurate, fast WiFi network speed tests with a click of a button.
Ookla, the company behind this popular speed test WiFi app, has a global network of servers in all regions of the world as well as a comprehensive internet speed database based on the results from millions of people who’ve used Speedtest by Ookla so far.
Thanks to this database, you can compare your internet connection with other people living in your area, which can help you decide whether you should look for a different ISP.
Fast.com is a super-simple WiFi speed test app for Mac and other computers and devices with a modern web browser. Unlike most other similar apps, Fast.com only measures your download speed, and it does so as soon as you open it.
It also lives up to its name and works very fast, making it perfect for people who don’t know much about computers but would like to know why they can’t watch an online video in low quality without buffering.
The speed of virtually every WiFi network can be significantly improved by determining the optimum place for the WiFi router using a WiFi analyzer app such as NetSpot.
Start by running a WiFi survey of the area you would like to cover with a strong WiFi signal by walking from one part of the area to another and marking your position in NetSpot. Once NetSpot has collected enough data samples, the app will visualize your WiFi network by creating a detailed signal heatmap and highlighting all signal weak spots and dead zones. This will give you useful reference data that you can analyze after every change you make.
You should place your WiFi router away from electronic appliances that could cause electromagnetic interference and avoid large obstacles, such as furniture. You should also avoid broadcasting on the same WiFi channel as other WiFi routers near you. NetSpot’s Discover Mode is perfect for finding out which WiFi channels are used the most.
These few simple adjustments are usually enough to dramatically increase WiFi speeds. Just remember to test WiFi speeds after every adjustment you make so you never go one step forward and two steps back. With a professional WiFi analyzer app such as NetSpot, fast and stable WiFi is within your reach.