When it seems the Internet isn’t running as fast as it should, you might want to look into running a speed test. However, what you do before you run it can have huge effects on the results (not to mention, it might be the reason for the slowdown in the first place!).
To properly conduct a speed test:
- Make sure you’ve deactivated or removed any other devices from your connection. If you have a wireless network, make sure all phones, laptops and gaming devices are off or disconnected from the network. Oftentimes these devices automatically connect as soon as they are powered on.
- If possible, ensure that the device you’re using for the speed test is wired to your modem (i.e. is not connected wirelessly). Nearby wireless networks can severely degrade the signal strength of your Wi-Fi and give you an inaccurately low reading. This is particularly common in apartment complexes, where there may be as many wireless networks as there are rooms.
- Make sure you’ve stopped all downloads, updates, and web based software. You can resume these applications as soon as the test is finished. Keep in mind that many email and chat programs will continually “push” data out, so make sure these programs are closed as well.
- Check where the test server is. For some online speed tests, you will be allowed to pick, in which case you generally want the server geographically closest to you. Other speed tests will automatically choose the server with the fastest response time.
- Run the speed test from multiple websites. Any of the factors above can greatly impact a reading, so running multiple tests will give you an idea of your “average” speed and eliminate outliers. We recommend trying SpeakEasy or SpeedTest.net.
If you’re curious how your device usage affects your bandwidth, try running a test before and after disconnecting all or some devices. Or, try running Netflix at different quality levels. You may be surprised at how much more bandwidth it can consume while in high definition.
And as always, if you have any questions, or don’t think your speed is what it should be, give us a call! Our techs would be happy to help.