What an Internet Speed Test Can Tell You

In one way or another, internet speed is critical to your business. A slow internet or Wi-Fi connection can tax your productivity, profit and patience. It can turn away customers and damage your competitive edge. And you don’t want to pay for internet speeds that you’re not actually getting. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to periodically check your internet speed. Fortunately, you can find out exactly how fast – or slow – your internet is running in just a few clicks.

Quick and Easy Speed Test

Many internet speed tests are offered online that are compatible with all types of computers and mobile devices. A more complete list of highly rated speed tests is provided below. For a fast and accurate test of your internet performance, you’re welcome to use the Cable ONE Business Internet Speed Test right now

How to Use an Internet Speed Test

There’s really not that much to it. To minimize variances in your speed check results, close all unnecessary applications and disconnect all devices other than the device you are testing. And, to ensure accuracy, connect to your internet service through an Ethernet cable and not through a wireless connection.

Understanding Your Test Results

Most internet speed tests will measure the swiftness of your connection using three different tests:

Ping Rate (Or Latency) 

Ping rate is a measure of online response time, or how long it takes your device to connect to an online server. This is typically measured in milliseconds (ms). The faster the response, the lower the rate. A rate of 50ms is considered good for tasks like live streaming or gaming. A rate of 250ms or less is good for normal browsing. Anything higher than 250ms may be considered slow.

Download Bandwidth 

Bandwidth is typically measured in megabits per second (Mbps). A 1 Mbps connection should take about eight seconds to transfer a 1Mb file. The greater your bandwidth, the faster you can download. Your bandwidth needs will depend on different factors, including how many users and devices connected to your internet service. While a download bandwidth of 50 Mbps should cover the needs of up to 5 moderate internet users, a rate of 200 Mbps or more may be required for 10 heavy internet users. 

Upload Bandwidth

Since most internet users spend much more time downloading files (which includes browsing web pages) than they do uploading, high-speed internet providers give priority to downloading. For this reason, upload bandwidth is typically much lower than download. As a result, an upload bandwidth of 5 Mbps can cover the needs of up to 5 users, while a rate of 20 Mbps may be required for 10 internet users.

Jitter

Some speed tests will include a jitter score. This is the variation between response times. A good connection will have a reliable and consistent response time, which will be shown by a low jitter score. As a general rule, jitter should be below 30ms.  

Highly Rated Internet Speed Tests

There are many internet speed tests available online:  

Speedtest.net:  This site offers an extensive list of nearby servers you can choose from. 

Speedof.me:  This internet speed test is designed to replicate real-world browsing and downloading by requesting files in sequence rather than simultaneously.

TestMy.net:  This speed test offers more information than most tests, including a comparison with other recent users.

Google.com:  Google now offers an internet speed test. Search for “speed test” on Google and select the first search result that appears. This tool doesn’t provide any details, but it is fast, easy and accurate.

What Your Speed Test Results Mean

Several factors may affect internet speed test results. If you have an older computer, it may not be capable of uploading and downloading at today’s internet speeds. Other factors like your modem, site traffic, the physical attributes of your environment and the number of Wi-Fi networks in your immediate area can also affect your internet speed. After all other variables have been considered, your internet test speed should be consistent with the speed you’re paying for. If not, contact your internet service provider.