A speed test is a way to determine the maximum download and upload speeds your internet connection is able to achieve. The test works by downloading a sample of random data to your computer then sending that sample back out and timing how long each transfer took. The results of the test will give you a speed rating in kilobits per second (Kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps). You can use that information to compare internet providers and validate the speed your service runs at.
Before you run a speed test a few factors you should consider that can affect the result of the speed test.
- Make sure no one is downloading any file or running any performing any updates while running the speed test. If someone in your home or business is downloading a file then the speed test will be artificially slow because it doesn’t count the speed they are using to download that file.
- If possible use a wired connection to your router or if your devices are all wireless test from a spot near to your wireless router. The further you are away from the router the greater the chances of interference and lower signal levels. Poor signal from your router can product an artificially low speed test result that isn’t caused by your internet connection but by the poor signal to your router.
- Make sure you are running the speed test from a server which is not overloaded. Some speed tests sites let you choose which server location to run the test from and certain locations. The results of a very large numbers of speed tests being run at the same time could lead to an artificially low speed test result.
Ready to run a speed test? Let’s go!
Amplex recommends using our Amplex hosted Speedtest.net server by going to http://speedtest.amplex.net and click Begin Test.
In a few minutes you should see a result with a ping time, a download speed and an upload speed.
So what do I do with this information?
The answer to this question depends on what the result is.
If the speed is within 10% higher or lower then the sustained speed rates your internet provider advertised then you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for. For example if you have a 4 Mbit plan and see a speed result of 4.09 Mbits then you’re in good shape.
If the speed is less then 90% of the sustained speed rates then it’s time to call support as there might be an problem with your service. Make sure before you do that you’ve run the speed test without any other device connected as many devices download updates in the background.
One of our support technicians recently spoke with a customer who ran speed tests which were consistently lower then expected. The support technician discovered the customer had an xBox gaming system in sleep mode was downloading a new game over Wi-Fi. When the customer unplugged the power from the xBox the speed went right back to normal. The solution for the customer was to have her children connect the xBox before going to bed so the system would download all of the new game over night while no one else was using the internet.
Question: Is it true the speed of your router effects how fast your internet is?
Answer: Generally speaking if your router is performing it’s job correctly and was purchased within the last few years it should not effect the speeds you receive. There are some rare cases where a router may be encountering interference or other misconfiguration which are effecting speeds. Amplex always recommends bypassing your router and running a speed test if you ever believe the router is the cause. If the results are dramatically faster bypassing your router then it is possible the router is causing the speed issues.
Question: Why do I get speed tests much faster then some websites allow me to download files? Is the website limiting my speed?
Answer: In the same way you purchase your home internet based on how fast you would like it to run a website purchases bandwidth for the server sending the information to you. Amplex does not restrict or show any preference to any website above another but the company who owns the server may have a limited amount of bandwidth and choose to limit the connection speed of each person in order to serve more people at the same time. This is very common on file downloading as a few customers with very fast connections can quickly overwhelm a companies server unless they place limits on how much speed each is allowed to use.