Fiber Optic Internet

Running an Internet speed test? Find out what it really means.

By February 21, 2017 No Comments
tech tip: internet speed tests

We often hear questions about Internet speed tests. To show you an example, here is a speed test run on one of our employee’s computers. On the right, you can see information for Download and Upload. Those numbers will almost always be lower than the speed your business pays for. Why is that? Keep reading.

When you run an Internet speed test from your computer, it reflects the upload and download speed available to that computer. It is not usually a reflection of your business’s overall Internet speed. For example, if you have 10 other employees online at the same time, your bandwidth will be shared between them. To run an accurate speed test, it is recommended to run the test when there are no other devices or programs accessing the Internet.

When you run a speed test, you are often given a choice of servers to use. A speed test involves downloading a sample file from the chosen server (testing download speed). Then the file travels back to that same server (testing upload speed). If the server you choose for the test is different than the server you use for your Internet, the speed test won’t be as accurate.  Here is our celitoFiber speed test site. It uses nPerf, which you can use even if you are not a celitoFiber client. Using your carrier’s speed test will usually be the most accurate.

Another contributing factor to slower speed tests is WiFi. Wifi connections can drastically slow down Internet speeds. Many employees connect to the office WiFi using multiple devices from computers to tablets. If you are running an Internet speed test, make sure you aren’t using WiFi.

Time of day is another factor. Did you know big events can slow down your Internet? For example, during the presidential inauguration, Internet usage peaked due to a large number of people streaming the event (see graph below). Recently, the Solar Eclipse created a lot of activity as everyone was sharing pictures and videos of the event.

If your speed test seems slower than what you signed up for, it is worth checking your hardware. Things like firewalls, switches, routers, and proxy servers can all affect Internet speed. While you may have gigabit speed coming to your office, it may be getting slowed down by settings or limitations on your hardware. If you don’t have an IT team and need help diagnosing the problem, celito offers an IT consulting service. We know how important it is to have the right Internet speed for your business. Just reach out to us at sales@celito.net.

Sources & Interesting Reading

Lifewire: How Accurate Are Speed Tests?

Computer Hope: Why is my Internet connection so slow?

MakeUseOf: The Internet Speed Test and 7 Ways To Improve Bad Results

Broadband Corner: Factors Affecting Actual Internet Speed