Having trouble with your broadband speeds?
Guest post by Mian Azhar
The average speed for users in the UK increased over 27% in the year to 2018. But this impressive increase doesn’t mean speeds are great for everyone. Some parts of the country have been left behind and still struggle to get anywhere near these speeds. If you think you’re in an area or with a provider that isn’t working for you, keep reading to find out exactly how to test where you stand.
Finding out your broadband speed is an important first step in evaluating your overall connection. Then you’ll know if the speeds you’re getting match the ones you’re supposed to get, and if you’re really getting the value of money you pay for. Sometimes, you might decide you need to move suppliers or find a cheaper broadband package. Here are a few tips for before you do the test…
#1 | Switch Off Your Downloads And Streams
Remember, it’s not just computers these days that use the internet. If you’ve got Netflix or a smartphone, they use a lot of bandwidth too. If you’re going to do a broadband speed test, you need to make sure all these other internet-using devices are switched off or at least not doing anything major.
Some computer software will also run in the background and use your internet connection without you really noticing, so you’ll need to check to make sure nothing is using your connection. You can only get a realistic speed test result when you use an uninterrupted line.
#2 | Make Sure Nobody Else Is Online
If you live with other people, check that they aren’t using the internet either. Make sure you let them know why you’re doing the speed test and when, just before you start.
#3 | Pick A Good Time Of The Day
Contention rates are another big issue in the broadband industry. While you will have a speed you’re supposed to get from your provider, this won’t always be reached. That’s because a lot of people who live in your local area actually share the main broadband pipe. When a lot of them are online during busy periods (like in the evening), this can affect broadband speeds a lot.
So if you want to know what the best speed you can get is, check during the day or the middle of the night. However, if you mainly use your connection during busy periods, you may want to compare these results and make sure you’re not losing too much speed when everyone else is online.
#4 | Use A Speed Checking Tool
You can start with a simple speed checker like https://www.speedtest.net/. It’s one of the most popular, but there are plenty of others available. Make a note of the details and results so you can compare them at another time or with another test.
#5 | Try A Few Alternatives
Some results from different speed checkers can vary, so you might want to try a few and get data from different times in the day.
#6 | Check Speed For Specific Unique Activities
Aside from the raw numbers, you might want to check whether particular tasks like streaming or downloading or visiting certain sites are working as they should be at different times. Raw data and overall speeds can be a good indication, but they aren’t the only thing you should be looking at.
#7 | Pay Attention To Your Ping As Well As Raw Speed
Most people look at the overall download speed on speed tests as a priority. While this is important, it’s not the only thing you should be looking at – especially if you play a lot of online games. Your ping is just as important, so make a note of that, too.
Have you had trouble checking your broadband speed recently? Try some of these tips and let us know how they went.