Internet Speed Test: Measure & Improve Your Internet Speed
About every advert these days appears to promise the best internet speed. Although what exactly does it mean to be “fast”? With too many choices to choose from, assessing what is a decent internet speed can be challenging.
Without a doubt, high-speed internet has been a vital necessity for not just our homes, but offices too, as we're constantly connecting new smartphones, laptops, and gaming machines to our Wi-Fi networks. According to networking firm Cisco, by 2023, there'll be 13.6 wired devices for every citizen.
In the telecom industry, things shift quickly, and the internet provider that served for you last year may not be the right match for you today. If you have a variety of internet service providers, it's a good idea to keep a perspective on what technologies they offer — and to grasp what constitutes sluggish internet versus what constitutes high-speed internet.
You pay for a certain amount of Mbps (megabits) per second of upload and download speed; checking your actual upload and download speed will give you an approximate idea of how close you are to the advertised speed
What Is Internet Speed?
The number of providers mentioned as internet speed (5 Mbps, for instance) has little to do with how well your internet operates. It isn't like a car or bike, where you can calculate speed in miles per hour (mph).
Rather, internet speed is determined by the (allocated) bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data that is transmitted to you in a given amount of time, normally calculated in seconds. 5 Mbps, for instance, means that you can download up to 5 megabits of data every second.
How Does Bandwidth Work?
An analogy is the easiest way to describe (and acknowledge) how bandwidth (as well as the internet speed) functions.
Consider bandwidth to be a freeway. Since all vehicles (data) drive at the same speed, the highway has to be wider in order to bring more data from the server to your device quicker.
In many other words, 1 Mbps is equal to a single lane of a highway. And suppose you were attempting to download a 5 Mb file. So, if you've had a bandwidth of 1 Mbps (1 lane freeway), downloading the picture would take about 5 seconds.
Assume you have a 5 Mbps (bandwidth) connection or a 5-lane highway. How quickly can you get your image? One second.
What’s important to note here, and this confuses a lot of people, is that your internet isn’t any faster from 1 Mbps to 5 Mbps, or however much bandwidth your connection has. Your data is just transferred to you at a faster rate because more data can be sent at the same time. It’s more efficient, making your internet perceptually faster, not technically faster.
What Is Kbps, Mbps and Gbps?
Another perplexing part of shopping for broadband speeds is the plethora of words and abbreviations that are used. What exactly do Mbps, kbps, and Gbps mean?
These are acronyms for the sum of data transmitted per second. Here's what each one means.
- Kbps : Kilobits per second. This is utilised when speaking about dialup (56k for instance) also low-speed DSL.
- Mbps : Megabits per second. Many people mix this with megabytes. The distinction among the two is how the “b” is inscribed in the abbreviation; Mbps = megabits and MBps = megabytes. This is the most popular unit of speed utilised.
- Gbps : Gigabits per second. Gigabits are rarely utilised for internet packages, and the prices make them impractical for households and small companies.
What Is Fast Internet Speed?
Fast internet is characterized as download speeds of 100 Mbps or higher that can support multiple online operations with multiple users at once without significant service interruptions. Common fast internet speed tiers in India include:
- 100 Mbps
- 200 Mbps
- 250 Mbps
- 300 Mbps
- 400 Mbps
- 500 Mbps
- 1,000 Mbps (1Gbps)
The launch of 5G networks, without a question, is the best news in the field of high-speed broadband these days. 5G networks, which are more than 25 significantly faster than today's 4G networks, are supposed to transform the way users communicate at home and on the go by offering unparalleled speeds and bandwidth. In reality, networks like Airtel Broadband now offer wireless internet with ultra-fast speeds of 300 Mbps and, varying on region, maximum speeds of up to 1 Gbps. And new areas are emerging up all the time. Keep an eye out as the world explores the true range of 5G.
Why Is Fast Internet Important?
A large percentage of the world's population has access to the internet. It has been the most critical factor in the industry. People are using the internet for a variety of reasons, including business, education, work, and relaxation. The value of getting a fast Broadband speed goes hand and hand with the use of the internet. Not just that, but it is also important to provide a safe and stable internet connection. Here are some of the most prominent reasons why almost everyone in this day and age needs a fast internet.
1. It Facilitates Remote Working.
Now, many people can work from home while on holiday or on a business trip if they have a good internet connection. It is simple to do whatever you want online no matter where you are in the world as long as your connection is secure and quick. Reviewing work, sending messages to family or friends, uploading status updates or photos, all through one go.
If your internet service is inaccurate and slow, there is a good chance that your network will become slow or collapse. To prevent this, networks that are custom designed to excellently meet your needs' requirements specified, like bandwidth, will prevent scenarios like this from taking place.
2. Sharing Media Has Never Really Been Easier
People frequently spend the majority of their time on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the list just goes on. A quick internet speed will allow us to easily share whatever we want or let other people know about it. You are able to publish pictures and/or videos with your peers on social media without fear.
3. Download Access is Unlimited
Downloading massive media, such as lengthy images, at a snail's rate is so inconvenient that you kind of want to chuck your laptop out the window. None of it beats having unlimited download access to a variety of media files. That is one bonus of providing a quick internet connection. It can manage huge files such as videos, sports, bulk documents, photographs, and so on.
4. Quicker Speeds Usually Mean More Profits
It is critical for company owners to access fast broadband and verify internet latency. Employees can be more involved in their tasks as a result. With the required bandwidth and speed, the staff will work on tasks with strict deadlines, collaborate with consumers and/or vendors, interact with prospective clients, communicate and exchange thoughts with colleagues, and much more.
Because everything could be done on time, getting a quick internet is one of the most critical factors contributing to a more profitable business.
5. Improves the Cloud Experience
The majority of today's new online resources are cloud-based. The increased demand for these services necessitates consistent and dependable fast internet access. Users will then make the best of their time while staying focused. Seeing as cloud-based tools or apps often update their system, company owners can often update their internet access. It will assist them in maintaining their current level of competitiveness.
The Cause Behind Internet Speed Variations
A variety of factors impact the speed and efficiency of your internet service. Transfer technologies, the venue, the number of persons with whom you share the link, and the computer you use are just a few of these considerations. There are also distinctions to be made between both a fixed network and a mobile network.
Speed in a fixed network
- Data transfer technologies :
The technology used during data transfer is the most significant aspect influencing broadband speed in fixed networks. High-speed communications are possible with fiber-optic and cable networks, while standard xDSL connections delivered over a telecommunications network have reduced maximum transfer rates.
- Network centralizer :
The speed of your connection also depends on the distance between your terminal device and the network centralizer. The further you live from the operator's broadband centralizer, the more it affects the speed of your connection.
- Other devices and users :
Most of us have several different devices connected to the internet at the same time at home. If you use multiple services and you are not the only user of the network, this can cause the connection to slow down or cut out.
Speed in mobile network
Terminal device and network technology. The frequency of a mobile network connection is determined by the network technology present in the area as well as the characteristics of the user's terminal device:
- In some appropriate cases, the 4G network allows for high-speed service.
- The 3G network can cover a greater area, but the top speed is smaller.
- The GSM network is by far the most extensive, however, data transmission rates are incredibly slow.
Check your service plan to see what speed you are paying for, then compare that number with the actual speed that you found. If the speeds aren't anywhere close to each other, you'll need to call your internet service provider.
5 Most reliable Internet Speed Tests & What To Watch For
Various operators give their consumers a free speed test. The test demonstrates the download and upload speed of the connection in real-time. At various times, you will get various results, so you can do the test a few more times at various hours.
For eg, you can use the following services to measure the speed of your connection:
Ookla SpeedtestThis app, which has over 10 million users, is available for free on the internet, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, Google Chrome, and Apple TV. It is undoubtedly one of the greatest speed measuring apps around, and you would most likely need it. Create an account, and it will ensure that the most accurate approach to checking web speeds as well as network diagnostics is offered. Ookla Speedtest displays your download and upload speed in Mbps, allows you to remain 100 % secure, displays connection stability, and it is the only internet connection test worthy of reliably testing 5G.
V-SPEED Speed TestYou could use your Android as well as iPhone to download this speed test software with a new and intuitive interface for a better outcome. Some of the most important features of this software include the ability to choose the standard server for speed testing, the ability to monitor download and upload speed, the ability to calculate data transfer time delays, the automated collection of speed test parameters based on the type of link, the ability to include a database of results with choices to filter and order the list accordingly, and so on. V-SPEED will quantify bandwidth, test statistics, run progressed VoIP checks, and so on with an adjustable speed test to meet your needs.
Internet SpeedTestThis app is a hidden treasure since it does not contain any commercials. It works similarly to other speed test applications that have network statistics. With a single click, you can compare your download and upload speeds. There are no advertisements, it is very limited in scale, and it is compliant with all Android devices.
Fast.comNetflix's Fast.com is a quick but effective speed test platform. Netflix is a major player in the online streaming business. Although the download speed is shown on the main page, you can see additional information such as latency, upload speed, user location, and server by clicking the ‘Show more data' button.
Google Speed TestIf you are using Google as your default search engine, you can verify your internet speed by typing ‘speed test' into the address bar. To make that happen, Google has collaborated with Measurement Lab (M-Lab). In the test results, you'll see download speed, upload speed, bandwidth, as well as server position. Furthermore, it provides a concise summary of what you should get from your internet speed in layman's words.
Understanding Your Internet Speed Test
Conducting a speed test essentially tells you three things :
- Download speed – A test of how fast data or content could be transferred to your device across the network. Measured in Mbps.
Example: Streaming a TV program or a film on Netflix
- Upload speed – A test of how fast your device could upload data or content across the network. Measured in Mbps.
Example: Publishing a photo on Instagram or posting a video on YouTube
- Ping – A signal transmitted to test latency or the time it needs for data to transfer from a device on one network to a device on a different network. Measured in milliseconds.
What Is The Variation Between Upload & Download Speed?
Another puzzling thing regarding shopping for the internet is when you notice speeds arranged like this:
What exactly does this mean? That implies the internet package has a download speed of 5 Mbps as well as an upload speed of 1 Mbps.
Although most internet connections are unstable, the upload and download speeds will vary. In English, this implies that the bandwidth is different in one direction than the other.
Download speeds are usually much higher than upload speeds for most broadband plans. This makes perfect sense because users download much more data than they upload. Most online activities do not need upload bandwidth until they are initiated:
- Streaming music and videos
- Viewing an article and a blog post
- Scrolling by your social media feed
- Downloading files
Upload speeds are becoming increasingly critical in interactive applications. Video conferencing, web games, and downloading massive files all necessitate further upload capacity. Slow upload speeds can result in jittery video calls and long upload times.
How To Get Accurate Results From Your Speed Test
Your speed tests will be correct at a point. However, running several checks is the easiest way to get a complete view of your internet speed. For example :
- Conduct a speed test over several networks – Performing a speed test over Wi-Fi, which is usually a slower network since it is broadcast over the internet, would show different outcomes than running a test across an Ethernet cable.
- Perform a test for one or more devices – The number of devices attached to the network can influence the speeds. Conduct one test with only one device linked to the network, then the other with several devices linked to the network.
- Perform tests at various times of the day – Speeds can also differ during the day, specifically for cable internet customers who share latency with other consumers in their zone. Your tests can show that your internet speeds are slower during peak times but good during off-peak times.
- Conduct speed checks in various rooms – If you step away from your modem, the power of your wireless signal can diminish. Conduct a speed test in the same space as your modem and in others far apart to see whether and how far the results differ.
- Conduct a speed test when doing various activities – Performing a speed test when doing different things (like listening to songs vs. watching a TV show vs. playing an online video game) will help you decide if the slower speeds are caused by the content.
What Causes Slow Internet Speed
Everybody's home network is distinct, but there are several recurrent trends whenever it comes to problems that bog down the internet. Let's take a look at some typical issues, how to identify them, plus, of course, how to fix them.
Home network traffic
If your internet runs well when you're the only one online but breaks down when more and more other people in your house connect, the problem is most likely too much network traffic for your internet access.
Your internet plan requires a minimum amount of latency, and if there is more data attempting to travel than there is bandwidth, you will experience a traffic jam.
The best way to clear network static is to upgrade your broadband service to a greater speed than meets the Internet needs of your home. We're now much more online than ever before, and if your service is slowed down every time other users access the internet, the internet plan that you paid up for a few years ago will not be enough.
ISP network congestion
Since you and even your neighbours have the same network connection and get online concurrently, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) congestion occurs. It's equivalent to congestion on your home network, but on a much wider scale. In this case, you and your neighbours will be struggling for the same amount of bandwidth.
If the congestion becomes especially severe, your ISP can also slow internet speeds in your zone in order to reduce network traffic.
Regrettably, you can't really monitor where or how often others in the same section of your ISP's network access the internet (we don't suggest demanding that your neighbours log off so that you can Zoom in peace). However, there are a few ways to get around the issue.
Try uploading game or media files at off-peak hours, such as the middle of the night (downloads can be scheduled; you wouldn't have to sit up all night). You may also shift to a provider with fewer subscribers in your area, but this could be impossible to figure out.
Weak Wi-Fi signals
Wi-Fi signals can be messed with by doors, distance, and sometimes even microwaves. Poor internet connectivity is caused by weak Wi-Fi signals.
If your connectivity works well near your router but degrades when you pass to various parts of your house that are further apart, you have signal interference and poor Wi-Fi signals.
To begin restoring faulty Wi-Fi, investigate the position of your router. In the Quick Fixes segment, we discussed moving your router to increase speeds (jump to quick fixes section). To conclude, you should put your router in a central position in your home, away from anything that might conflict with your Wi-Fi signals (such as walls, Bluetooth speakers, etc.).
If this doesn't work, you will need to upgrade your router with one designed for longer ranges or greater coverage—or you may connect an extension cable to your network to enable Wi-Fi signals to access a certain area of your house.
High latency, unlike many other sources of slow internet, has little effect on the bandwidth. It has an effect on the speed where your internet signals move. Latency is the amount of time it takes for data to move from your device to the source internet server and return.
When you take an action online, there is a pause between when you conduct it and when you see the effects. This is specifically infuriating when playing online games or making video calls.
Working with high latency is challenging. It is partly determined by the physical range from internet servers as well as the networks of your ISP. Latency may also be affected by the kind of internet used.
Satellite internet, for instance, has high latency and all of the data must move to orbit and back, both arriving and leaving your device. Since they can accommodate faster transmissions, newer forms of broadband, such as fibre and 5G, provide lower latency.
ISPs are using a variety of technology to deliver your internet access, including cable, fibre, satellite, and DSL. The kind of internet service you choose has an impact on your speeds.
- Satellite internet delivers internet signals from a ground station to a satellite and then transmits them to a receiver in your house. Since all of the data would fly such a long distance in all directions, satellite broadband will have very high latency as opposed to other forms of internet, slowing it down.
- DSL internet transmits data over phone lines. Since the technology is traditionally older, it cannot support the same network bandwidth as a newer network like fiber—DSL internet has a peak speed of about 100 Mbps. DSL's electrical signals decrease in efficiency over long distances as well.
- Cable internet could be quicker than DSL because it utilizes newer technology, such as the copper cables that hold cable TV signals. While network speeds can exceed 1,000 Mbps, the cable is vulnerable to network congestion at peak periods.
- Fiber-optic broadband is one of the most recent forms of internet, and it is the most reliable wired network available. Fiber utilizes light signals to transmit internet data, but it has smaller latency than other forms of internet. It could also accommodate considerably more bandwidth than cable or DSL, at speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps (and even 2,000 Mbps on some select plans). As a result, it is less vulnerable to network congestion and can have fast download and upload speeds.
A good rule of thumb is to have your router visible from where you're using your computer or mobile at all times.
Average Internet Speed In India
When it comes to internet speed in India, there’s no doubt that there’s a long way to go. According to a study, India’s average internet speed, which is 11.46, ranked last among the BRICS nations, with China having the fastest speed.
However, with top internet providers like Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio working with advancing technology, the country’s growth is tremendous. Here’s a breakdown of the average internet speed provided by the top operators in India, as per the study released by Ookla.
|Operator||Average Speed (Mbps)|
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the most reliable internet speed test?
Though there are several tests available online, Ookla is widely regarded as the method that produces the best results.
How much internet speed is needed for live streaming plus gaming
A bandwidth of 15 Mbps or higher is suggested if you are watching HD movies, participating in videoconferencing, or playing an online video game. Every gaming platform is distinct, and a minimum upload speed of 1 Mbps is needed for live video streaming games.
Is Business Internet quicker than residential?
Business Internet speeds are often two to five times higher than home networks, allowing more users to get more done in less time.