Even though we are now entering the 5G era, many people are still not able to enjoy the internet without constant buffering even with a broadband connection. Why? Because they are not getting the internet speeds they pay for. What’s worse, they don’t even know how to test internet speed to come up with concrete evidence that things are not as they should be.
In a perfect world, your internet connection would always be at its top speed, and you would never experience any slowdowns and connectivity issues. Unfortunately, we don’t live in such a world. However, we do live in a world where increasingly many activities depend on a fast internet connection, and where internet service providers often promise one thing and deliver something completely different.
Here are our top three reasons why you should regularly test your internet speed:
In 2007, the average internet connection speed in the United States was just 3.6 Mbps. Ten years later, the average internet connection speed was 18.75 Mbps, that’s an increase of 420 percent in a single decade.
Despite the fact that the average internet connection speed is increasing at a steady rate, many people are still experiencing problems with browsing, downloading, streaming, and online gaming because all these activities have become significantly more bandwidth-intensive as well. Here’s our up-to-date list of recommended internet speeds by activity:
To test internet speed using Speedtest by Ookla, all you have to do is open the service in your favorite web browser, close all applications that connect to the internet, make sure that nobody else on your network is downloading or uploading, and click the prominent “Go” button. The test takes just a few seconds to complete, and all results are conveniently displayed right there on the test page.
Another highly rated speed test internet users can turn to is Fast.com. With this test, no user input is required. All you have to do is open the test in your web browser, and it will automatically begin as soon as it loads.
By default, Fast.com displays only your internet speed, but you can click on the “Show more info” button to see your latency, upload speed, and other useful information.
Of course, not every internet speed test Google knows about is guaranteed to be accurate, and even popular internet speed tests like Speedtest by Ookla or Fast.com may occasionally display misleading results. That’s why we recommend you always use multiple internet speed tests and calculate the average latency, download speed, and upload speed yourself.
The main thing that influences your internet speed is your online activity. You might be surprised by just how much of your bandwidth can even a single high-definition online video take, not leaving much for browsing the web or downloading files from the internet.
The same can be said about the online activity of other people who are on the same network as you. Unless you are lucky enough to have a fiber optic connection, you can’t reasonably expect to play online games without any lag when several other people on your network are in the middle of a Netflix binge.
When it comes to wireless connections, the placement and configuration play an important role. Unless you use a software tool for wireless network assessment, scanning, and surveys like NetSpot to verify that your wireless router can cover all parts of your home with a strong and stable wireless signal, you may run into dead zones.
Internet speed tests are indispensable tools that every single internet user should add to his or her toolbox. Modern web-based internet speed tests are easy to use, and they provide instant and accurate results. Equipped with the results of multiple internet speed tests, you can contact your internet service provider and demand the internet speeds you pay for.
Alternatively, you can use a software tool for wireless network assessment, scanning, and surveys like NetSpot to improve your internet speeds yourself.