In today’s digital world, having a fast internet connection is important for doing many things like streaming TV shows, movies and sports, searching the web, downloading files, video conferencing and online gaming.
Curious if your internet matches your needs? A simple speed test will help you make the best decisions when choosing an internet provider or plan that fits your household or business needs. Speed tests are fast, free, and best of all, you can do it yourself.
How to Run an Internet Speed Test
Here are some simple step-by-step instructions to run an internet speed test:
Pick a device to test on, like a computer or smartphone.
- Connect to the internet.
- Search your browser for “speed tests” – we recommend using a speed test offered by independent companies rather than those offered by an internet provider (e.g. Spectrum, ATT or Frontier); popular options include speedtest.net, fast.com, and nperf.com
- Make sure no one else is using the internet when you run the test
- Click the “Go” or “Start Test” button on the speed test website to begin the test.
- Look at the results for download speed, upload speed, and ping time.
- You can run the test multiple times, at different times of the day for more accurate results.
Understanding Your Internet Speed Test
Your speed test results may be affected by a number of things, including the quality of your internet connection, how many devices are connected to your network, and the distance between your device and your Wi-Fi router.
This measures how fast data is transferred from the internet to your device (such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet). It is typically measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps). As an example, a download speed of 100 Mbps means that your device can receive 100 megabits of data per second from the internet. This speed is important for activities such as streaming videos, downloading files, and browsing the web. The higher the download speed, these activities can be completed faster and with fewer interruptions.
Basic web browsing
Streaming music on 1 device
Streaming standard-definition video
Online gaming for one player
Streaming high-definition video
Video calling for one user
Downloading large files
Online gaming for multiple players
Streaming HD video on multiple devices
Usage on multiple concurrent high-demand devices
Streaming 4k video on multiple devices
This measures how fast you can send data from your device to the internet. It is also typically measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps) and affects online activities like video conferencing, sending emails with attachments and uploading photos to social media. The higher the upload speeds, the faster these activities will be completed.
Because most internet activities, such as streaming movies or gaming online, require higher download than upload speed, internet service providers prioritize download speeds over upload speeds.
Ping - AKA Latency
This measures the response time to your internet request. If you have a high ping rate, you may experience buffering issues; the fastest internet download speed won’t matter if your ping speed is high.
If your speed tests show that your internet is not as fast as you need it to be, consider getting a better plan from a different provider. But if the results are good, you can be confident that your plan is working well.
By keeping an eye on your speeds with monthly speed tests, you can make sure you’re always getting the best performance from your plan.