How to Perform an Internet Speed Test: Actual Broadband Speed May Not Be True to ISPs’ Claims

How to Perform an Internet Speed Test: Actual Broadband Speed May Not Be True to ISPs’ Claims

February 17, 2021 Off By Tammy Schneider

Is the broadband speed stated in the ISP’s description of the service package really providing the stated bandwidth? Most internet providers cite two speeds within the plan – download and upload. If one or the other (or both) is not working up to par, it can slow down the broadband connection leading to a slower and more frustrating web surfing experience. Here’s how check to make sure the high speed internet is really as high speed as it should be.

Download vs. Upload Connection Speed

When a web surfer clicks on a Google or YouTube video, he or she is downloading data through the broadband connection to the computer. Downloading of widgets, documents, pictures, music, software updates, and freeware is also very commonplace. Therefore, download speed will always be significantly higher than upload speed in order to handle these memory-intensive tasks.

However when the person wants to post a picture, send an e-mail, or upload a video, the upload speed must be sufficient or the web surfer will spend far more time waiting for the project to upload. With a very small upload speed, the project may not upload at all and give an error on the website.

Check Broadband Speed With ISP

Many computer owners have stuck with their original internet provider and have forgotten their broadband speed selected at the time of signup. Give a call to the ISP and ask them about the selected service package. Be sure to write down the upload and download speeds; these will be necessary to determine actual internet connection speed.

The caveat provided by the ISP in terms of high speed internet are the words, “up to.” For example, it may say “up to 1.5 mb/s” (megabits per second) download. This means the connection speed may not necessarily run up to 1.5 mb/s at all times. In fact, it may not even reach that level at all. So how does one make sure the ISP is living up to its claims?

Perform Bandwidth Test

Numerous websites allow the web surfer to test the actual connection speed from his or her computer. Two of the most popular internet speed check sites are Speedtest and Speakeasy. These provide a full bandwidth test which includes both upload and download speeds. Compare these numbers with the ISP’s selected service package.

Keep in mind that the download speed is typically a little lower than the maximum. This could be for a number of reasons including software running in the background, hubs, and other bandwidth-sucking connections (e.g., VOIP phone). While most of the web surfing experience is downloading, uploading is becoming more important because more people are uploading videos, pictures, and slideshows on social networking sites.

Performing an internet speed test is very important not only to determine if the web surfer is getting his or her money’s worth, but also to avert the frustration of waiting for web pages to load and long download and upload times. If after calling the provider and the connection speed is still slow, consider upgrading to a higher bit rate data plan.