Do you feel like you’re not getting the speeds you are paying for from your Internet Provider? To see how your bandwidth is performing in real-time, you can run a simple test that will measure the download speed, upload speed, ping time, and jitter of your internet connection.
How does a speed test work?
A speed test will begin by sending data to a secured testing server. The data will travel from your computer to your modem where it hits the open internet and finds it’s a way to the server. The server then sends back that same data. The speed test measures how fast that data is sent and received, resulting in a measure of your download and upload speeds in megabytes per second.
Take the Speed Test
Speedtest by Ookla is one of the most reliable speed tests in the current market. Simply go to this site and click “go” to start the test.
If you use a different speed test, take some time to understand where that data is being sent. If you are in Boise and your information is being sent to New York, your speed test results may appear slower than if your data went the proper local datacenter.
Understanding the Results
Okay, you ran the test, but what do these numbers mean? Here are the key things to look at:
This measures how fast information is coming into your computer. For most residential customers, it is an essential element of their online experience. Download speeds are critical for loading web pages and streaming content.
Upload speeds measure how fast information leaves your computer. This number is usually quite a bit smaller than the download speeds unless you signed up for a symmetrical connection. Any time you send an email or move photos to the cloud, you are using upload speeds.
Ping time is how fast your computer gets a response after it’s sent out a request. Just like when you call a friend to let them know you’re on your way to pick them up, your computer tells the data destination to be ready for it when it arrives. This request happens in milliseconds, and the lower the number, the better your connection.
Jitter measures how timely all the individual pieces of information being sent and received are. Ideally, all the data would arrive at the same time, but sometimes you have a few rogue pieces that decide to take a different network path or get lost along the way and need some help catching back up with the others. Think of it like missing your connecting flight at the airport. If you don’t get your gate before the plane takes off, you will have to take an alternative flight which ends up with you arriving in your intended destination just a little bit later than expected. Your data does the same thing. The smaller the number, the more on-time the information was.
If your results are not what you expected.
A variety of things influence your internet speeds. For more on this check out our help desk article.