How To Test Internet Speed

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In this new age of technology, the internet rules the lives of millions of people. The internet is the place where you get answers to literally ‘everything’. From large Multinational Corporations to small households – the internet is available for all. Whether you want to do a random search or make an online payment for your recent purchase – having a stable and speedy internet connection is necessary. This is where an internet speed test plays its role. If your internet speed is low, all your online-based activities will be put on hold which can be quite frustrating!

Your internet speed tells you how much data can be transferred smoothly over the web at any given point of time over a single connection. If you run a speed test for your internet it will tell you whether your internet’s speed is high or low. Such internet speed tests help you determine what activities you might or might not be able to perform on the web. When you decide to go for an Internet Service Provider and select a specific internet connection plan, you should ensure that the connection meets all the technical parameters as mentioned on paper by your ISP. For this, the easiest way is to check the internet connection’s speed using a good Internet speed test. 

Why is it important to test my internet speed? 

In this high-tech era, it is almost necessary for everyone to have a high-speed internet connection. Whether it is a zoom meeting with your colleagues, a school lecture, or whether you are trying to stream your favorite YouTuber’s new video – none of it would be possible without a stable and high-speed internet connection. This is why you should carry out frequent speed tests for your internet connection. 

You pay a monthly or a yearly subscription fee for your internet connection to your Internet Service Provider. Even though you are promised high-speed internet and other features on paper, you should always check whether all of these technical parameters are being met in reality or not. You can do this with a simple internet speed test to ensure you are getting what you paid for!

Another reason for you to carry out an internet speed test is to identify which ISP is best for you. You might realize that you are getting high-speed internet in comparatively less amount of money by an ISP as compared to yours. Such Wi-Fi speed tests will also help you identify whom all are using your Wi-Fi service other than your family members. In case your internet connection is not password protected or has been hacked somehow, others might take advantage of it. 

How is a good internet speed determined? 

Any Wi-Fi speed test aims to determine whether your internet connection has a good speed or not. So what happens when I test my internet speed? When you run any Google speed test such as Ookla, it tests your Wi-Fi, broadband, or mobile connection and provides you estimated values for certain parameters including the download speed, upload speed, ping, etc. These values reflect what you are currently receiving directly from your ISP. 

An internet speed of at least 25 Mbps is considered a good internet speed. For a broadband connection, this is the bare minimum speed which makes it a good or stable internet connection. In a household with 4-5 users, a speed ranging from 40 Mbps to 100 Mbps will be considered a stable speed. If you run a Wi-Fi speed test and get a speed lower than these parameters, it is a poor speed for your internet connection and you shall restart the router or contact your ISP. 

Majorly, your internet speed should abide by the plan that you have taken from your ISP. Although, the speed range differs for different types of internet connections. For instance, a typical speed between 10-25 Mbps with a maximum 100 Mbps speed is considered to be a good internet speed for a DSL internet connection. However, if you run a Google speed test on a cable internet connection and receive 100 Mbps, it is an average and not a high-speed internet which should be close to 1,000 Mbps. 

The fastest speed as per an internet speed test is considered to be a fiber internet connection. A fiber connection is the fastest as well as the most reliable which gives a 1,000 Mbps + internet speed with an internet speed test. 

If you are wondering how do I test my internet speed? The answer is quite simple! You just go to any internet speed tests available on Google and press the Go button. You will receive a couple of parameters once the test I completed. Now, if you are confused after seeing the results and are probably thinking what do these results mean after I test my speed? The next section is meant for you!

What do the speed test results tell us?

When you run an internet speed test, you receive various estimates for certain technical parameters. So what do these results tell me when I test my speed? The speed test covers parameters related to your internet speed, ISP, server location, as well as your IP address. So if you are wondering what each parameter tells me after I test my internet speed? The answer is here – 

  1. Download speed – 

As the name suggests the ‘download’ speed tells you how fast the data is transferred from the internet to your device. This speed is generally the internet speed you consider to determine whether the speed is high or low after running a Wi-Fi speed test. On a minute level, it determines how many bits of information can be delivered to your device in a second! This is usually measured in millions of bits per second/ megabits per second (Mbps). Having a high download speed allows you to stream videos, series, movies, music audio files, etc. smoothly on the internet.

  1. Upload speed – 

The upload speed is the opposite of the download speed. It determines how fast the data is transferred from your device to the internet. As the name suggests, the ‘upload’ speed tells you how fast you can upload information to the internet. It is also measured in the same manner as the download speed, that is, in Mbps. When you run a Wi-Fi speed test/ Google speed test for your internet connection, you will notice that the upload speed is generally lower than your download speed. This is because you usually download more data from the internet than you send to it. For instance, you might post/upload 1 video in a day or a month on YouTube but watch hundreds of videos in a day. 

  1. Ping/ latency – 

The term ‘latency’ generally refers to the time gap between a cause and an effect. Similarly, when you run a Google speed test, the ping/ latency tells you how long it takes for a signal to reach the internet server and come back. It plays an important role while you are playing any mobile/ PC game. If the ping goes high, your game begins to lag! 

  1. Internet service provider (ISP) – 

The provider is simply the service that is offering you this specific internet connection. This just simply reflects the name of the company that is providing you the internet service. 

  1. IP address- 

We all have heard the term ‘IP address’ a million times before. But what does it mean and why is it reflected when I test my speed? Your IP address is simply the address of the device you are using. Just like your home address tells the postman where to deliver the courier, your IP address directs the internet where to direct and send all the information you are downloading. 

  1. Server location –

This tells the location of the server used by the speed test for your internet. Your server location might affect and explain a lot about your ping as well. The ping expresses how long it takes for your internet to reach you from the server location. 

Once you understand what all the parameters mean, you can easily determine and analyze the speed test results for your internet connection. 

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