What is a Internet speed test?
A simple search for the phrase “speed test” will return a plethora of sites freely offering to test the speed of your Internet connection. I’ll discuss one of my favorite Internet speed testing sites and a few time saving tricks & tips to help you get the most accurate results.
Am I getting the speed I’m paying for?
This is a very common question among many Broadband DSL and High-Speed Cable Internet subscribers. I pay for (insert any number) Mbps, how do I know if I’m getting all the Internet connection speed that I’m paying for?
What’s your favorite speed testing site?
I prefer speedtest.net for the following reasons:
* It’s Easy To Use
* Allows Global Speed Testing
* Allows Saving and Sharing Your Results
How do I test my Internet speed?
When you go to speedtest.net, they attempt to determine your location by comparing the IP address assigned by your Internet provider with a geographic database. The resulting city will appear as a big yellow spinning star on a world map with many smaller blue stars and pyramids. Each one of these is a Internet server location that you can use to test your speed.
Which one should I pick?
The speedtest.net site recommends trying several servers to find the best one. This method will work, but to save time, I suggest you try this trick. The fastest and most accurate speed test results will almost always be to the location with the lowest “ping” time. A ping is just a simple test that measures the round-trip time for packets sent from the local host computer to a remote location computer.
How do I determine the fastest ping location?
In the upper right hand corner of the http://speedtest.net page you’ll see a link to http://pingtest.net, their sister site. This site provides the ability to automatically determine the lowest ping time location when you do a test. This free test will produce a letter grade from A to F determined by the overall quality of your Internet connection. Make sure you make note of the server location it chooses, so you can hop back and do a speed test to that city.
How can I use these results?
1. You can compare and contrast your results with others in your geographical area, or that are using a particular DSL, cable, or wireless provider.
2. Whenever you make a hardware change, such as a new cable modem or wireless interface, you can check and see if your Internet connection speed has been adversely affected.
3. I recommend frequently re-testing your Internet connection speed, to the server location that produces the fastest and most consistent results, and using the “Your Summary” feature to help identify trends in your speed test results.
How can I increase my Internet speeds?
Call your current provider and see if you are getting the speed that you are paying for. If so, see if they offer faster speed tiers.
Compare other ISP providers in your area to see what they offer. To compare speed and prices of your local competitors, go to a ISP comparison site that lets you input your address, and compare the pricing and terms of the offers that are available in your area. In the US you can use this one http://isp1.us/find/ otherwise do a search for “ISP comparison” at your favorite search engine.
The physical address is needed because some services, particularly DSL, are very distance sensitive. For example you might be able to get a specific level of service while your next door neighbor can’t.
You’ll want to pick the fastest plan that fits your budget. In some areas this can be 300 Mbps+. But these high end broadband plans are expensive. You may find that something in the 10 to 50 Mbps range might satisfy your needs at a much lower cost.
Many ISP’s include a wireless router as part of the package, if not wireless routers are fairly inexpensive. , the brand is not as important as the model. Some manufacturers release a good model but the next is crap. I would look at the Amazon reviews of models that interest you. Even if you don’t buy from Amazon the reviews will tell you a lot about which models to avoid. Look for at least 15 or more reviews with a 4 star or better rating. Read a few and see if they sound like the particular model will work for your application.
Remember, Wireless connections require security configuration (passwords) to prevent anyone with a WiFi device within range of your router from connecting to your network. They could do malicious deeds, such as hack into your network, or just leech off of your Internet bandwidth.
Wireless security setup is not too difficult, Just follow the instructions in the router manual or wizard set up program. If you’re having problems either pay someone to set it up for you or find a knowledgeable friend to configure it. Once the wireless network settings are configured it’s a fairly trouble-free system.