When it comes to a slow internet connection, take matters into your own hands by testing the speed at one of the following reliable test sites.
2020's Best Internet Speed Test Sites
Slow Internet Connection? Use These Reliable Test Sites
Today, we rely on the internet in order to keep our work, social, and personal lives running smoothly. When we experience a slow internet connection, we can become frustrated and irate. This makes sense considering how helpful of a tool the internet is.
We pay good money to our internet service providers (ISPs) and when our connection is slow, we feel like we're being ripped off. Luckily, there are ways to test how fast your internet really is.
Interested in learning more? Continue reading and we'll walk you through what internet speed actually is and how to test how fast or slow your connection is.
What Is Internet Speed and Why Is It Important Anyway?
We can relate internet speed to something like water pressure. It's all about how much volume you can move in a certain amount of time.
Computers that are connected to the internet are able to move information to each through in electronic packets. What's a packet? It's basically a unit of data.
Think of a packet like a drop of water. When you increase the water pressure, you deliver more drops of water in a faster amount of time. And a faster internet connection means that you're delivering more packets in a faster amount of time.
The volume of data that's moved through a connection in a certain amount of time is the internet speed for that connection.
Let's look at an analogy. If you wanted to, you could wash your hair with water that's barely trickling out of the showerhead. But you would probably prefer to have enough water pressure so that you could wash all of the shampoo and conditioner out of your hair in a fairly short amount of time.
When we look at internet speed, you could in a sense stream a video by watching it one frame at a time, and then waiting a few minutes for it to buffer so that you could see the next frame. But nobody in their right mind is going to want to watch a video in that way.
When you have a fast internet speed, you'll be able to do everything faster and more smoothly online.
Why Should You Test Your Internet Speed?
Whether you're constantly asking yourself "why is my Wi-Fi so slow?" or you're relatively satisfied with your internet speed, it's still worth testing.
By knowing what your internet speed is and how it compares to the recommendations from internet-based services, like Hulu or Netflix, you can end up getting the most out of your internet connection. Because the speed of your internet is so crucial to accessing the web, you should regularly test your internet speed.
By knowing your internet speed, you'll able be able to find the best deal on ISPs. This is because, when you're comparing different service providers, you'll be able to have a reference point to know if the speed they offer is actually going to be helpful to you.
Download Speed Vs. Upload Speed
After you complete your speed test, you're most likely going to see two numbers in the results. One will be your download speed and the other will be your upload speed.
The download speed is the speed at which data travels from the internet to your device. For example, if you open the Instagram application on your smartphone, your download speed will determine how quickly it takes to load your feed.
The upload speed is the opposite. This is how quickly data travels from your device to the internet. So if you wanted to post a photo to your Instagram account, your upload speed will determine how quickly it takes your photo to get the Instagram server so that all of your followers can see it.
For the majority of internet plans, your download speeds are going to be a lot faster than your upload speeds. This makes sense considering that users are most likely going to be consuming content rather than producing it.
Scrolling through your Twitter feed, reading an online article, or streaming music and videos are all things that don't really require upload bandwidth.
Upload speeds are much more important when it comes to interactive applications. Video chat and especially online gaming require fast upload speeds in order to provide a smooth and seamless user experience.
Fast upload speeds are also extremely important when you're trying to share big files.
CenturyLink is a well-respected internet service provider that provides internet speeds of up to 1,000Mpbs in some areas. And if you live in one of the 21 states that gets AT&T's internet service, then you should definitely consider them too.
The Best Internet Speed Test Sites
Now that we've gone over the importance of having good internet speed, let's go over the best internet speed test sites out there. We'll look at the top sites and how they operate.
SpeedOf.Me is lightweight and built to replicate real-world downloading and browsing conditions.
It does this by requesting a series of files of increasing sizes. It then records the speed at which these files are downloaded. This test records in real-time with information on the latency, upload, download, and other info like your server location, IP address, and more.
There's also a history section where you can compare past records of your tests so that you can monitor changes. Plus, you can easily share your results on Twitter or Facebook.
Rather than picking a location, the site figures out the fastest and most reliable server from over 100 available servers. And all of the files are uploaded and download in sequences, instead of simultaneously, to replicate actual internet browsing conditions.
With SpeedOf.Me, you're going to get the best-looking internet speed test as well as the best data and features.
If you want an internet speed test that's going to give you the most data, then you should definitely consider TestMy.net. This website gives you options for testing latency, upload, download, or a combination. You can select what you're interested in and the test will run automatically.
The test will then give you multiple detailed graphs that show you exactly how your internet performed.
Another cool feature is that this test can show you how your internet speeds compare to others in your area. You can even get the national and world average speeds. And you can save the results for future use too.
If these numbers seem foreign or confusing to you, TestMy.net also provides plenty of guides so that you can better understand your test results.
Owned by Ookla, Speedtest.net is one of the most popular internet speed tests around. The technology is both fast and smart. Speedtest picks a nearby server, runs a complete test, and then provides you with information about your download and upload speed, packet loss, and latency.
Is SpeedTest Accurate?
Speedtest is a multithread test. This means that it tests several servers at the same time. Critics have pointed out that multithread tests don't replicate real-world network traffic in the same way that single-thread tests are able to do.
Because of this, the results might actually be inaccurate.
What Is a Good Wi-Fi Speed?
Deciding on what constitutes a good Wi-Fi speed will depend on what you intend to get out of your Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). This is the package size and includes the upload and download speeds.
Basically, the number you get is how fast it transfers information.
For general internet browsing, such as reading blog posts and sending emails, you should be fine with a download speed of around 10 Mbps. If you live with another person and you both like to stream HD movies on Netflix, you'll want around 20 Mbps.
However, a large family in a big house that loves to watch 4K movies and play online video games may need 100 Mbps. Especially if you have lots of computers, tablets, phones, and smart TVs.
The number of connected devices, size of your home, and internet-connected activities you plan to do will all determine how fast of a Wi-Fi speed you'll need.
Frontier Communications is a great ISP that offers average speeds ranging from 6Mbps to 115 Mbps, so everyone can find a Frontier plan that works for them.
How Can I Boost Up My Internet Speed?
There are several things that you can do so that you can make your internet speed even faster.
First, you can update your security. If people nearby are somehow getting access to your internet, you're most likely going to experience a slow connection. By making a complex password and adding WPA2 security, you can keep your Wi-Fi safe from intruders.
You can also get a router extender. A router extender won't necessarily make your internet faster but it will make it more accessible throughout your home.
If your router is at one end of your home, and you're getting very weak access on the other end of your home, you can install an extender. This device will extend the range of your Wi-Fi so that you can access it from more areas in your house.
What Is the Maximum Allowable Ping Rate?
A ping rate is the reaction time of your internet connection. It's basically how quickly you get a response after you've sent out a request.
If you have a fast ping, then you'll have a more responsive connection. And in applications where timing is crucial, like with video games, you want to have a fast ping rate. These rates are measured in milliseconds (ms).
The higher number you have for your ping rate, the more lag you're going to experience.
When it comes to gaming, you want your ping rate to be around 50ms or lower. If you have a speed of over 100ms, then you'll experience noticeable delays. And if your ping rate is over 170ms, some games will just simply reject your connection.
Is Satellite Internet Good for Gaming?
For gamers who reside in rural areas, their choices of internet access are usually quite limited. Satellite internet like Hughesnet and Viasat, can then be a good option to fulfill their gaming needs. However, satellite internet isn't suitable for every type of video game.
With satellite internet, you can get broadband-like speeds wherever you are, so long as you're within your provider's reach. Unfortunately, the problem with gaming on satellite internet is latency. Latency is the time that's required for data to travel the distance between the satellite dish to the geostationary satellite and back.
So with internet satellite, you're going to generally have poor latency and ping when it comes to gaming. You can still play games online, but you'll probably want to avoid ones that require split-second decisions like Call of Duty and Fortnight.
Strategy games often work on a turn-base system. So lag won't be noticeable here. Lag will be noticeable, however, with shooting and sports games.
HughesNet is a popular satellite internet service provider that delivers a minimum of 25Mbps on every one of their plans. Viasat is another reputable provider that offers speeds ranging from 4Mbps to 25 Mbps.
However, if you live in a rural area and want an alternative to satellite internet, then you should consider getting a fixed wireless connection by Rise Broadband.
The Importance of Testing for Slow Internet
Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now understand what is a good internet speed. And by testing for slow internet, you can better understand how the technology in your home works and how it affects your day to day affairs.
Are you interested in finding the best internet deals in your area? If so, contact us today and see how we can help you!