How to test your internet speed

How to test your internet speed

If you’re like me, it can be incredibly annoying when your internet is slow. There is always so much to do and being slowed down by your internet speed can be very frustrating. It is possible to test your internet speed to see whether your internet provider is offering you a decent internet speed.

I have been amazed at the number of clients who get anxious and stressed about technological issues. We want to work fast and delays can be very stressful especially you are in a hurry (we all seem to be in a hurry these days). The more technology improves, the more we will have to deal with issues and problems. One way to help yourself is to know all there is to know about your internet speed and how to check it.

Speed tests are a quick way to see just how fast your internet is. ISPs (like BT or Virgin) promise “up to” a certain speed in optimal conditions, but a speed test will confirm how fast—or slow—your connection is. A speed test helps you feel more in control of your internet rather than relying on your provider to help you.

Internet speed refers to how much data and information can be transferred over the web on a single connection at any given time. This is important because your internet speed determines what types of activities you can do on the internet (like streaming), as well as how many devices you can connect at once.

What you need to know

An internet speed test measures the connection speed and quality of your connected device to the internet. It does so by running multiple consecutive tests that analyze different aspects of your internet connection, namely ping  (the delay or how long it takes for the signal to be received –  also called latency), download speed, and upload speed.

Each of these values represents the connection’s specific qualities, which you can read more about in the paragraph after the next. These should help you understand the final speed test results. But before I get to these, let’s discuss how to perform each test.

How to test download speed

Download speed is the speed at which your device can receive data from the internet. The download measurement is performed by opening multiple connections to a server and simultaneously starting the download of a large data file on all connections. This approach ensures that the entire bandwidth of the internet connection is maxed out, and thereby the maximum data throughput can be measured. Recording the data throughput against measurement time finally yields the available internet speed for downloading data.

How to test upload speed

As opposed to download speed, upload speed characterizes the amount of data your device can send to the internet. It’s calculated the same way and is therefore denoted in the same units.

Upload speed is tested by reversing the sequence of the download analysis. Again multiple connections are opened to the test server. Instead of downloading a file, a large file of random data is created on your device and pushed through all connections to the server. Pushing the data to the server over the network via multiple streams ensures that the maximum throughput is measured. Again, recording the data throughput against time yields the available internet speed for uploading data.

How to test ping

The ping describes the delay of a signal due to the time it takes that signal to travel to its destination. In this context, it represents the time it takes a data package to complete its roundtrip over the network and the acknowledgment from the server that it was received. As a value of time, it is denoted as such, most often in Milliseconds (ms). It’s a value for the responsiveness of your connection.

During the ping test, the device sends a small data package over the network to the test server on the internet. When the server receives this package, it will send it back to the device, completing the roundtrip. The time it takes the data package to complete the roundtrip is called latency, also known as ping. To achieve an accurate reading, multiple ping tests are conducted consecutively, with the final result being the average of all these tests.

Use Speedcheck to test your internet speed

I have found Speedcheck to be a great service providing info on speed, ping and upload/download times. To check internet speed on a computer, use your browser and the app on the Speedcheck website. All these are automatically handled for you when using Speedcheck. It’s important to use the right tool to test your internet speed accurately. This depends on the device you want to use, being a phone or tablet, or a computer.

To achieve accurate results on mobile devices, download Speedcheck’s  iOS or Android app. This is especially important when running a WiFi speed test. Because browsers on mobile devices have poor performance,  using a mobile app written in native code will ensure the most accurate speed test results.

 

Have a look at Speedcheck. It’s quick and easy and you can watch the measurements being reported then and there. It’s a handy tool and it has saved me a lot of time. It has also helped me avoid waiting for my internet provider to provide assistance which can often be over half an hour. I  and highly recommend them.

Mandy X

 

Photo by Frederik Lipfert on Unsplash