Many users already know that there are speed tests you can run to verify that you are receiving the speeds you are paying for. But do you know HOW to perform a speed test properly to receive the most accurate results? Well look no further we’re here to tell you how.
KNOW THE SPEEDS YOU SHOULD BE RECEIVING
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked a client “So, what speeds SHOULD you be receiving?” and hear “I don’t know, it just works” in response. If your internet provider (ISP) does not list the speeds you should be receiving then call them and make note of the speeds. These will be your “base line” numbers that you will be aiming to see during a speed test.
ALWAYS TEST FROM YOUR MODEM/GATEWAY IF POSSIBLE
This is crucial, this will eliminate any other network devices from your “network stack” and ensure you receive the most accurate results. If there is an issue with your speeds at the modem or router or gateway then the next step is to restart the device(s) and test again. If the results are still below your account speeds, then the issue may be with the ISP devices and a call to them may be needed.
USE MORE THAN ONE SPEED TEST
There are many speed testing websites out there, and just as many ways to test your internet speeds. Some use set download sizes to test one big download, while others use multiple different sized downloads to test high workload style downloads (much like one drive performing a new sync to a new system). And even more use different types of “engines” to run a speed test (Java, HTML, HTML5, etc.). I recommend using at least three different tests and look for consistent speeds. At least one should be provided by your ISP.
WORK YOUR WAY BACKWARDS
If you are receiving the correct speeds at your ISP provided devices then start working your way back through your personal devices. If you provide your own router, plug into that and test. Keep going backwards until you are set up the way your normally are, testing each step of the way at least once. I have seen many times where a client’s network speeds were just bogged down due to at switch that hadn’t been restarted since it was put into use. Many network devices need to be restarted at least once or twice a year to ensure they’re performing optimally.
TAKE ALL RESULTS WITH A GRAIN OF SALT
As with anything dealing with the internet, 99.99% of the time other people are using the same website as you at the same time. This produces a load on the website servers which they need to address as fast as possible. Same can be said with speed testing websites. More than likely someone else is using the same speed test website as you and the same server that you’re testing on. This will produce speeds that may be inconsistent between results. The margin of error for internet speed test is roughly plus or minus 10Mbps.
With this information you can now answer some questions you may have had on how to properly gauge the service speeds you are receiving from your ISP. If you are not comfortable removing or unplugging network devices, give us a call at the shop and we can schedule a technician out to assist you.
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