A slow internet experience is one of the most frustrating
hassles to deal with. Even the simplest task, like watching a video or
downloading a file can take forever when you are dealing with a lagging
internet speed. There could be a lot of reasons for this, such as the website,
the browser, or even the computer or mobile device you are using. Sometimes,
it’s just the wireless signal. Wi-fi has notoriously troublesome connection
issues at times.
But how do you know which issue is causing your internet to
run slowly? The first step is to test your connection speed. When you purchase
internet from a service provider, you purchase it at a certain speed, the
faster the connection, the higher the price. When you test your internet speed,
you fill discover if you are getting service at the speed you are paying for.
First, it’s important to make sure no one else in the house
is using the bandwidth to do anything massive, such as downloading content,
streaming video, uploading, etc. In fact, if you can, do not otherwise use your
internet service while performing the test.
Measure Your Internet Speed
When people talk about their internet speed, they measure it
in “megabytes per second” (Mbps). While all internet providers have different
speeds they offer, here is a general rule of thumb for what you can expect to
do at certain speeds.
1-3 Mbps: Light internet usage, such as checking email,
surfing the web, and chatting online.
3-4 Mbps: Minimum speed for streaming video. With HD
streaming, however, expect buffering.
5-10 Mbps: 5 Mbps is the recommended speed for streaming a
single HD video. If you have multiple people streaming in your house
simultaneously, expect buffering.
10-20 Mbps: If you want a decent internet connection, this
is the minimum speed you should purchase. This speed will allow for downloads,
streaming, and more with a fairly reliable connection.
20+ Mbps: This is the best possible speed level for
households with multiple computers and multiple people connecting to and using
the internet on a regular basis.
Once you ensure that you have purchased the correct speed
for your amount of usage, it’s time to test and make sure you are getting the
speed you paid for.
There are several different tools and websites you can use
to test your internet speed. Sometimes it is a good idea to test your
connection across several different websites.
Believe it or not, Netflix has its very own internet spped
test site called Fast.com. This is a browser-based speed test, so you don’t
need to worry about downloading any programs or apps. When you go to the site,
the test will run automatically, letting you know your approximate download
If you want a more in-depth look at your speeds, you can see
advanced information, such as you latency, upload speeds, and more.
There are two major benefits to using SpeedOf.Me. The first
benefit is the site’s real-time graph that tracks fluctuations in your speed
while running the test. The second benefit is that the website tracks the
previous tests you have run and will compare them in graph form for you.
#3 Ookla Speedtest
The last speed test that we are going to mention is also the
most popular. This test measures both download and upload speeds and more.
Once you have run a test or two, compare the numbers to the
speeds quoted to you by your internet service provider. Always make sure you
are using a wired connection, if possible, for the mot accurate results. You
can also run the test several times over the course of a few days, at different
times of the day. This will give you the best overall view of your internet
speed and connection.
Finally, if your results are more than 20-30 Mbps off what
your internet service provider is meant to be providing, there my be something
going on. Check with your provider at this point for troubleshooting options.
And remember, always test your internet speeds regularly.