How to Perform a Wi-Fi Speed Test for Businesses
What is a Wi-Fi Speed Test?
Most businesses don’t notice when their high-speed internet systems are working effectively. It’s when Wi-Fi speeds slow down and tasks that depend on it—such as ringing sales through a tablet—become cumbersome that the question of speed comes to mind.
While there are a variety of online calculators that can help you measure your Wi-Fi speed, the best way to get an accurate reflection is to conduct your own Wi-Fi speed check. Doing so will help you provide measurements in three Wi-Fi speed categories:
Ping rate is a measure of online response time, typically in milliseconds (ms). The faster the response, the lower the rate. A rate of 50 ms is considered good for tasks like live streaming or gaming; a rate of 250 ms or less is good for normal browsing. Anything above this may be considered slow.
Your ability to download files from the internet depends on your bandwidth, typically measured in megabytes per second (MBps). The greater your bandwidth, the faster you can download. You may be wondering, what is a good internet speed? A bandwidth of 10 MBps is considered average. A rate of 50 MBps is considered excellent.
Because most business users upload files to the internet less frequently than they download, upload bandwidth is typically lower. As such, a bandwidth of 5 Mbps is considered good for most users.
Why Many Online Tests are Inaccurate
Wi-Fi speed test results can be impacted by a variety of factors. The number of devices using the network at a given time, proximity of other appliances and a host of other factors can skew Wi-Fi speed test results. So while a test may lead you to believe you’re Wi-Fi is operating at a specific speed, it may not be completely accurate.
However, one way to check the validity of a test is to conduct the same test on two or more devices. While the results may be impacted by the factors mentioned above, a test carried out on several devices will let you know if the speed reflected is device specific.
Conducting an Accurate Wi-Fi Speed Test
The most accurate way to conduct a speed test is to connect your desktop or laptop directly to your wireless router with an Ethernet cable. Conducting a test this way will provide a reading from the source.
If the results reflect the speeds your internet service provider advertises, you’ll know immediately. If not, while your provider could be the reason, it could also be a question of older or faulty equipment. The best way to assess is with the assistance of your provider. To conduct a test over your Wi-Fi network, for the best results, use your laptop over the WiFi connection. Older laptops with slower WiFi technology (801.11b for example) will run slower. Consider using a newer laptop with 802.11n or 802.11ac standards for the fastest connection to your wireless router.
To test your Wi-Fi speed, Cable ONE Business makes it easy to do it yourself from a wireless laptop.