The most important reason for testing your internet speed is to find out if your internet service provider is living up to their claims. to confirm you are getting what you pay for. Although it may sound like a science project, testing your internet speed is actually very simple and does not require installing software. You simply visit a website that offers free internet speed testing and in a few clicks you will know your access or ping speed, download speed and upload speed. Some of the fast, easy, free websites that offer this service are Comcast Speed Test, Speedtest.net and Broadband.gov.
Many people who began using the internet in the nineties have already learned the hard way about internet speed. By now many people understand that the faster the internet speed, the better the internet experience will be. Conversely, the slower the internet speed, the more the internet will be like its infancy stage when pictures and songs took a long time to download. While dial-up is still the bare minimum type of connection needed to be online, it’s also a clunky experience. That’s why a majority of internet users have either DSL or cable internet. Since cable uses more bandwidth, internet speed is much faster than DSL.
If you are paying for cable internet you should not have to deal with slow internet speeds. Yet studies have shown that some ISPs provide slower speeds than they advertise, partly due to the fact that they cannot control internet traffic, which inevitably affects speed. That’s why you should test your internet speed to make sure you are getting appropriate service from your ISP.
Within about a minute after taking your speed test, the site will give you the results of your ping speed, download speed and upload speed. The results will be measured in megabytes per second (mbps), except ping, which will be measured in milliseconds (ms). Then compare these results with your ISP’s published marketing claims.
Keep in mind that your upload speed will usually be slower than your download speed. You should remember that speed results can vary depending on the time of day and how congested internet traffic is at that time. Consider that some states have faster internet speeds than others. Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and other heavily populated Eastern states have faster internet speeds than California, which has faster speeds than most of the United States. The slowest states for internet speed are the sparsely populated states such as Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Oklahoma.
Another factor about internet speed in relation to location is the country where you reside. Some countries such as Japan offer higher speed internet at a lower price than countries with slower internet speeds such as Mexico or Canada.
Make sure you close out of all browsers except the one you use for testing. You should also close out of all software programs that are either running in the foreground or the background. For the most comprehensive testing, such as tracking multiple connections, you may consider opening a free account at SpeedTest.net, which can also test internet speeds for mobile devices.
One of the things an internet speed test will accomplish is let you know the amount of time it takes to download or upload electronic files. It’s good practice to test your internet speed several times at regular intervals to determine average speeds. You can also learn from this research the best times to use the internet for highest speeds. Repeat the tests for different browsers to see which one works best on your computer, whether it’s Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer.
Various factors determine internet speed such as type of internet service, the amount of traffic online, the quality of wireless networks and the distance a computer is to its network hub. Internet speed can also be affected by browsers, hardware, software and malware. Physical location also plays a role in internet speed, especially with DSL, in which the further you are from the ISP, the slower your internet speed will likely be.
There are tricks you can do to your computer to enhance internet speed. One thing that can help is deleting unnecessary temporary internet files. Using wireless networks can be convenient, but plugging a live ethernet cable directly into your computer will always provide a faster, higher quality connection. Once you’ve learned about your internet speed, you might share the data with others and in return ask them to test their ISPs and browsers, which can help you determine the best internet service for your needs.