Having connection problems with your internet? Movies downloading slowly maybe? Here is a quick and easy way to test your home internet speed without needing to download any extra software at all. You simply need a computer and browser and follow these steps to improve the accuracy of the reading you get.
You’ll find that following reading this article will take you longer than actually running your test once you have everything ready. Here we go.
Connect your computer to the internet directly using an ethernet connection to your modem if at all possible. When using a Wi-Fi connection, you run the chance for interference and other issues that may make your Wi-Fi unstable and causing fluctuations in the speed readings. Doing this will eliminate any outside factors that may be slowing down your internet speed. Like a science project, you want to remove outside variables if possible.
If you can’t connect directly to your modem because you lack an ethernet port or cable, you can still help reduce any outside interference by disconnecting any other devices that use the modem such as mobile phones, remove any electronics that are operating near the modem, and (if you’re still in the dark ages) remove any cordless telephones from the vicinity.
Next, verify that your computer isn’t actively downloading anything large as this will also eat up your bandwidth and slow your speed. To do this, utilize the Task Manager in Windows by pressing Ctrl+alt+Del at the same time to bring up the Task Manager.
Then quit or close all applications that are currently running on your computer by going to the network statistics tab. You may not be able to lower your bandwidth to zero, but you should be able to get close.
If you’re using macOS, you will need to go to the Activity Monitor and look for statistics in the Network tab. Close any apps that are running and it will reduce your computer’s activity to zero or close.
The final step in preparation for your speed test is to reset your modem/router. We find the best way to do this is to actually unplug it for at least 10 seconds and then plug it back in and make sure they are on.
Speed Test Time
Finally, you just need to click on the “Begin Test” button on the screen. It should be displayed front and center and in green. It will begin to test both your upload and download speed and is usually only a few minutes.
Afterwards, it will display your results on the same screen.
There are other tools out there for testing broadband connections and often your ISP will have a speed test you can utilize, but you will need to ask. Furthermore, many other services will have other analytics they can provide for free or a nominal fee regarding your connection quality.
Router/Modem manufacturers are increasingly adding speed testing software to their hardware to both demonstrate their Wi-Fi speed and to help troubleshoot any user problems. Check with your router manufacturer’s website for details.
What to Do If Your Connection is Slow
If your test speed is slightly slower than what your ISP advertised, it shouldn’t come as a shock as they typically advertise their best speeds and not average or typical speeds. Nonetheless, it should be in the area of 80% or more of what was promised.
If you find that your speed is significantly slower than expected, you should go through a troubleshooting routine to determine the cause starting with making sure all your personal equipment is working properly. Next, get with your ISP to go through their troubleshooting protocol, which is often very good and can help identify the problem.
Don’t be surprised if it is your ISP. They often know about existing issues and will work with you to help get everything resolved.