Internet speeds tend to be a controversial subject. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like to advertise speeds that they can get in a narrow area under specific circumstances and then guarantee that they can deliver that speed anywhere without actually being capable of backing that up. This results in a lot of people paying for speeds from their internet provider that they aren’t getting. Below, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to check internet speed to see if you are one of these individuals.
How to Check Internet Speed
If you are wondering “how to check my internet speed” then you should know that checking your internet speed is a simple matter of running an internet speed test. You can find many of them online, all from different sites. Any of the tests will do, though I prefer to use one that is not operated by an ISP for the most unbiased results.
Why Does Internet Speed Matter?
Your internet speed determines what kind of activities you can perform online. If your internet speed is too slow then you might not be able to do things like streaming movies or playing online multiplayer games. The faster your internet is, the more things you can do, the faster you can do them, and the less you have to worry about how many people are using your internet at once.
How Fast Does My Home Internet Speed Need to Be?
What you use your internet for determines how fast it needs to be. If you are an avid online gamer and you like to stream your gameplay online then you will need extremely fast internet. If you only briefly use the internet to check emails and post on social media then you won’t need a very fast internet speed.
How Do I Check How Fast My Home Internet Is?
Figuring out how to check internet speed on pc just requires a quick search on your search engine of choice to find a speed test. There is no special equipment or software needed to perform this task, all you need is a connection to the internet. That said, there are things you can do to make sure your results are as accurate as possible.
Make sure you aren’t downloading anything or using any applications that would connect to the internet. It is a good idea to just close all running applications other than your secure web browser before you run the check to test internet speed.
Using a wired connection is recommended, but if you have to use Wi-Fi then make sure there isn’t anything around your router to interfere with the signal and try to ensure that it isn’t blocked in some way. We have more tips on how to reduce latency on satellite internet.
That said whether you should perform all of these tasks depends on what you are testing your internet speed for. If you want to know how it performs during everyday use, then you may want to leave everything as-is and perform the test in suboptimal settings if that is how you usually keep things. That would ensure that the results are most accurate to your situation.
If you are testing the speed to determine exactly how much you are getting from your ISP then you will want to make sure you are operating the test in the most optimal environment and keep things accurate.
What About on My Phone Internet Speed?
You may want to know how to check your internet speed on your phone. A quick search of “how to check speed of internet” won’t work for a phone because most of the speed tests you find in your browser will require the Flash Player Plugin. Instead, you should navigate to your phone’s app store and search there for a speed test application.
Once you have installed one it should be a simple matter of running the test and waiting a minute or two for it to finish. Just keep in mind that this will be testing your Wi-Fi network, not your wired network, so this is only a good idea to use if you are specifically testing to see what the speed is on your phone rather than all of your devices.
How to Use an Internet Speed Test
After you have typed in “how do i check my internet speed” into your search engine of choice a vast array of internet speed tests should pop up. Then all you have to do is pick one, go to the site it is on, and click the “test my internet speed” button. Once you have started the test you shouldn’t have to do anything else but wait for it to finish and give you its results.
Measuring Internet Speed
Knowing how to check internet speed isn’t enough. If you don’t know how to read the results then an internet speed check won’t matter to you. Internet speeds are usually advertised using “Mbps” as the unit of measurement. Many people have probably seen the abbreviation “MBps” relating to file-sizes. These are not the same abbreviation. They mean different things.
Mbps stands for megabits per second and is the standard for measuring internet speed. MBps stands for megabytes per second and is usually used for measuring file sizes. Now we have to cover the difference between bits and bytes.
Most of the time when you interact with your download speed it is in reference to file sizes. You have probably seen your download speed while downloading a file as something like 5/MBps, which is ridiculous if you are paying for 40 Mbps until you realize that there are 8 bits for every byte. If you divide that 40 megabits per second by 8 you get 5 megabytes per second.
So, when your speed test tells you what your internet speed is it will be in Mbps and all you have to do is divide that number by 8 to figure out what it is in MBps.
Services That Test Internet Speed
There are dozens of services for testing internet speed. Some of them are developed and provided by third parties, which is what I prefer, but most ISPs also offer the ability to test your internet speed.
I prefer not to use the internet speed tests provided by my ISP because when I am testing my internet speed I am usually testing it against the speed I’m paying for. I don’t trust an ISP to show an unbiased internet speed to suit their own purposes, so I use speed tests that are not provided by an ISP, whether it is from mine or another.
If you trust your ISP and you are testing for other purposes, like troubleshooting network connections or a specific device, then any speed test will do and it doesn’t matter where it is from.
Recap: How to Make Sure You’re Getting the Internet Speed You Are Paying for?
Speed tests are easy to find and even easier to use, usually, it is just the click of a button and then waiting for results.
Remember that the internet speed shown when you are downloading a file is in MBps and you have to multiply that by 8 to see what your download speed is in comparison to the speed you are paying for. When comparing internet speeds, you want to do it in bits, not bytes.