How to Test Internet Speed Correctly

How do you test your home internet speed or office internet speed ? Do you find your internet testing speed is not match the internet package which you purchased ?

When we buy internet service from ISP (Internet Service Provider), there are at least 2 factors you must concern: Monthly Usage (it is traffic amount in a month, but now most of ISP call it as Usage, so we use the word Usage here) and Speed. Here we only give related topic about Internet Speed.

How fast is your internet speed when you purchased your internet package?

Check your package when you purchase, there are 2 kinds of speeds: download speed and upload speed. Normally the package speed labeled with download speed. For example: when you see an ISP is selling a 30 Mb internet plan (or you and your friend are talking about an internet plan which is 30 Mb plan ), the 30 Mb means download speed only, you will also have to be aware of uploading speed too.

The following is a 30 Mb internet plan from Rogers, we can see the download speed is up to 30 Mb/s, the upload speed is up to 5 Mb/s.

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A related interesting thing is the speed unit: Mb/s. Did you realized it is Mb, it is NOT MB, Mb and MB is different, please read this blog to see MB and Mb differences if you are interested in it.

Do you think your actual internet speed matches the selling package’s internet speed ?

We know there are lots of internet users complain their internet speeds do not match the speeds which ISP’s mentioned in ad content. Because they use some internet speed to test software or online web services to test and the result are always more slower than the speed which they purchased.

There might be some ISPs really are not honest and sell slower internet to their customers, but we suggest before you make sure your internet service is really not you purchased, you should have correct internet speed testing methods.

What is the common way to test internet speed ?

Most of internet users are not professional network guys, so they use simple and easy way, and the way is also popular in the world. For example, one of common method to test internet is using Speedtest.net website.

Speedtest website provides easy and friendly interface, you open the website in a web browser, and click Begin button to start test.

The following is a result we just tested for our internet:

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So we can see the result indicates our internet download speed is 18.15 Mb/s, the upload speed is 5.12 Mb/s.

What is the problem ?

The previous internet speed shows us our download speed is around 7 Mb/s, but actually we purchased a 30 Mb plan. The speed obviously is not right and different too much !

So should we complain to our ISP ?  Hold on ! Let’s ask ourselves a question first: How do we know our internet speed testing method is correct ?

How to Test Internet Speed Correctly ?

Let’s review how we tested the internet speed: We opened the Speedtest website in web browser and clicked Begin button to start the testing….

Let’s change something for the testing:

1: Testing time:

We changed to another time when the internet was not busy (anytime is not busy for your case, for example, the working day time is not good a spare time for office internet, but it is a good time for home internet sparing time since most of people have gone to work in your neighborhood area)

2: Testing place:

We moved to the same room which our router located in. The previous testing was done in a room which was far away the router’s room, which was not fair to test internet speed;

3: Do not use wireless connection:

We did not realize we were using our laptop and it was using wireless connection ! OK, it should be a important factor to test internet speed also. We can not use wireless but should use wired internet to test speed. So we disabled our laptop’s wireless and plugged in Ethernet cable.

After we finished above 3 steps, we tested again, the following is the new result:

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We can see the download speed is much faster than our 1st time testing.

Actually, we used wireless connection and tested again, we got a result which was not too big gap compared to above one.

Still not Good Enough. Missed Something ?

However, the download speed is still not right. We bought a 30 Mb/s internet, but we mostly could only get 18 Mb/s download speed. Is there something we still missed ?

We finally moved our eyes on the home internet device, we have the devices like the below picture showing:

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The black one is our router, the white device is the modem which connects with Rogers’ cable.

We suddenly understood why the internet speed was not right. we really missed an important thing:

We Should Test the Internet Speed on Modem but not on Router !!

Because the internet is from ISP (here we use Rogers Canada), The ISP’s ad content 30 Mb/s means the internet download speed which Rogers cable transferring to us, the 30 Mb/s is on the cable, but not on our router and any distributed network flows in our home.

OK, after we understood the real reason, we connected our laptop and the modem directly using an Ethernet cable, and tested the internet speed again, the following is our final testing processing screenshot, we can see the download speed is 28.73, which is almost 30 Mb/s.

imageSo finally we found out the correct internet speed testing method.

Hope our case is helpful for you, you can consider your own case why your internet speed is not matched.

After you make sure it is your ISP’s problem, then you can complain to them.