Technology

4 steps to test your internet speed

Slow internet speeds can really be quite annoying. The internet has come a long way, and quite unlike during the days it was introduced, it has become one of the most essential and important necessities. With almost every device connected to the internet, be it your coffee mugs, lights and even your doorbell – a slow speed can be a huge pain in the neck. 

How to measure internet speed? 

Internet speeds are normally measured in Megabits per second or Mbps. Each of those internet service providers offers different tiers of speeds for their individual plans. The faster internet speed will invariably cost you more. 

There are several services that let you check your internet speed. Running an internet speed test can give you an idea into your actual bandwidth and the advertised speed. Once you find your actual speed, you can then check it with your service provider and pinpoint the actual causes that may be causing a drop in your speed. 

WiFi

A few of the best ways to test your internet speed can include 

Speedcheck.org

Speedcheck is one of the reliable players in the industry in speed testing. It gives you the data of latency, upload & download speed along with the stability & the transferred data while performing the test with IP address & network service provider. You can directly check the speed without creating the account but creating an account will come with extra benefits like you can check the history of the speed test, so that it can give an idea of internet speed of past.

speedcheck.org

One of the exciting feature of speedcheck is availability of widget that can be embedded in any site to let users know about the speed of the site. Also available as app in both Android & iOS versions, so you can check the network in mobile while connected to mobile data. Apart from the test results, the wiki page in resources section takes you through the basic information regarding internet.

Ookla Speed Test 

Ookla has been a world leader in internet speed tests. It provides you with an accurate measure of the time taken for the data to transfer from your computer to the remote server through your ISP. While you can create an account on Ookla, it also lets you check the speeds without an account. 

Creating an account, however, comes with a few benefits. You will be able to change your server and make it the default server for subsequent tests. An account also lets you have a complete history of all your test results. One of the advantages you stand to gain with Ookla is it offers you mobile apps for testing your speeds. 

Fast.com

This is yet another reliable and stable option to test your internet speed. Developed by Netflix, it does not even need to commence a test. It launches as soon as you visit the site on your browser. It will immediately begin checking the download speed. 

One of the disadvantages can be that the speed test tool does not let you pick a server of your choice. If an automatic server is too far away from your location, the results obtained may not be reliable. In any case we obtained the results in agreement with the other speed test tools that we checked it along with. You do have mobile apps for Android and iOS. 

SpeedOfMe

SpeedOf Me maybe a little unheard of, but does offer you a decent speed test option. It does work on both mobile and desktops and lets you run multiple tests and compare them together in one session. 

The graph-like interface provides an insight into the multiple passes that the site goes through. With more than 116 servers located across the world, the speed test will the fastest and nearest server and provide you with almost accurate speed test results. 

Those four apart, even search engines provide their own speed test tools. The Bing and Google speed tests are a couple of popular speed test engines and are accessible from the search results interface in either case. They are quite basic in nature and do not let you pick your server or things like that. 

What do different internet speeds mean to you? 

Or should we say, what should be your optimum internet speed? That would ideally depend on the tasks you want to achieve with the internet. Basic tasks such as browsing will need a low bandwidth, while you will need a high speed for more robust tasks. 

  • 1 – 3 Mbps – That should be enough for regular browsing, emails, casual online gaming and social media interaction. Will not work for video streaming 
  • 3 -4 Mbps – Minimum speed for a standard video streaming. It will work on a one connection scenario and may buffer in case of HD video streaming 
  • 5 – 10 Mbps – This is the basic speed required for HD streaming. However, it may buffer if you are using multiple devices simultaneously.
  • 10 -20 Mbps – This should be the minimum speed for a consistent and reliable internet experience. If you are constantly into using cloud services and tend to download files or other content, this should be the minimum you should go with 
  • More than 20 Mbps – Homes with multiple devices and services will need an internet speed of 20 Mbps or more. Video streaming services, smart things and multiple simultaneous users will need a minimum of 20 to 50 Mbps speed. 

Well, that was how to test your internet speed and make the most out of it. You can analyze the devices and services you are using and check your internet speed. If it isn’t adequate as per your basic needs, you may need to get in touch with your service provider for other compatible plans.

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