If your internet is slow and you’re wondering ‘how to check my internet speed’, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. You’re trying to watch a movie, work from home, Facetime your kids, or kick your gaming opponent’s butt, and suddenly the screen freezes, the wheel starts spinning on your monitor and time slows down.
While you could just call your internet service provider (and for persistent cases, you should), there are some things you can do to diagnose the problem yourself, and it begins with checking your internet speed.
After all, you are paying to have access to fast and reliable speeds whenever you need them. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to quickly identify what causes your slow connection and take steps toward improving it. Let’s dive into understanding more about why internet speed matters and how to properly measure it!
Definition Of Internet Speed
When it comes to understanding the speed of your internet connection, it’s important to start with a basic definition. Internet Speed is defined as the amount of data that can be transferred from one point to another over a given period of time – usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps) for download speeds and megabytes per second (Mbps) for uploads.
This means that when you are using an online service or application such as streaming video, sending emails, downloading files, or browsing websites, the higher the Mbps speed rating on your internet plan, the faster these activities will take place.
How To Run an Internet Speed Test For Free
Running an internet speed test is simple – just go online and find one of the many free services available speedtest.net. Then click ‘Go’ or ‘Start’, wait a few moments, and the service will tell you exactly how fast your connection is running.
If your speed is significantly less than what you’re paying for, it’s time to consider what factors why your internet is working slow.
Factors That Affect Internet Speed
There are many factors that can affect your internet speed. Whether it’s the type of internet connection you have (wireless, satellite, fiber, etc.), the amount of network traffic load on your network (multiple devices), or something else entirely – all of these things play a role in how fast and reliable your connection is.
It’s important to understand what each factor is so you can see which one might be causing your low speeds.
Why Your Type of Internet Matters
Your internet connection type plays a huge part in the speed available to you. For instance, cable connections offer faster download speeds than DSL connections but may suffer during peak hours due to heavy usage by other customers sharing the same line.
Also, if you’re using Wi-Fi instead of an Ethernet cable connection, some signals can become degraded and slow down over time as more devices are added and share the same bandwidth.
Multiple Devices on Your Network
The number of people connected to your router at any given moment also affects performance; too many devices trying to use data simultaneously can cause delays and lags in network performance.
For instance, while you may be Facetiming your mom, your partner might be unwinding with Netflix, one of your kids could be gaming after homework, and another might be entertaining themselves by watching YouTube. Not to mention everyone’s cell phones connected to the network, along with printers, or other wireless devices.
It’s almost shocking how dependent we have become on a wireless connection for our devices.
Evaluating The Results Of A Speed Test
Now that you have used an internet speed checker to run a performance test, it’s time to evaluate the results. To get the most accurate picture of your current connection speed, you should use multiple tests and compare the results. This will help ensure that any discrepancies are not due to server issues or other factors outside of your control.
When evaluating the results of each test, consider both upload and download speeds. Download is usually more important when streaming videos but upload can be critical if you’re using communication tools like Zoom.
Are your speeds consistent with what’s advertised by your provider? Do certain activities feel sluggish even when running a speed test?
Contacting Your ISP For Help
If your internet connection is too slow, the first thing you should do is reach out to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for help. Their technical team will be able to tell you if there is a known issue with the network that they are working hard to solve, or if they need to dig a little deeper into the issue.
While you could try to troubleshoot the issue yourself, contacting your ISP is likely the fastest way to fix the problem.