How-to guide: Testing your broadband internet speed

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If you need to know exactly how fast your new super fast fibre optic broadband connection is, then you’ll need to run a speed test to establish the kind of download speeds you are getting. You can do this via your computer and your mobile device. Broadband Compare UK has put together a nifty how-to guide to explain the entire process to you.

Broadband Speeds

Many broadband providers offer a high-speed internet connection nowadays. This is ideal if you would like to stream lots of films, download large software updates, or even download entire games (particularly if you have a PS4 or Xbox One).

If you have signed up to a fibre service, then you are most likely have seen that the broadband provider has told you that you can expect a certain speed – this will range from a minimum of up to 38Mb, all the way up to a phenomenal 220Mb.

The operative words here, though, are ‘up to’. Not all users will receive the full download speed, and for some this may be disappointing. If you don’t feel like you’re getting the download speeds you should be, then your first port of call should be a speed test.

There are now minimum speeds that you should expect to be receiving if you are streaming video or playing games online. Stream providers say that your download speed should be no less than 1.5Mbps for standard resolution video, or 5Mbps for high definition streaming. If you want to access the iPlayer’s beta version of UHD (4K) streaming, then you’ll need a whopping 25Mbps.

Gamers should be looking at their ping rate when they carry out a test. Anything below 100ms is best, but obviously, the lower, the better to avoid your games lagging.

Don’t forget; some different factors can affect the speed of your internet connection. This can include how close you are to the router (if using wireless) and whether your connection is wireless or wired (wireless being less reliable). The position of your router in your home can be an issue, as can the number of walls your signal has to pass through, and the thickness of said walls. Additionally, any other devices causing electrical interference can create problems. The list goes on.

How do I test my internet speed on my computer?

Testing your internet speed via a computer couldn’t be easier. Simply open the browser on your device and head to a speed testing service. We used speedtest.net for our example. Other websites that offer a similar service include broadbandgenie.co.uk or broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk. There are also plenty of others to choose from.

Once you have done this, Ookla’s Speedtest will present you with a ‘begin test’ button, so hit that, and your test will begin. The results of the test will give you your ‘ping,' which tells you what your latency is, your download speed, and then finally your upload speed.

The upload and download speed will be displayed in Mbps (if you use speedtest.net – other speed testing websites may offer the information in a different format).

Once you have the results, you can opt to share them via social media if you so wish. There’s no advantage to doing this unless you simply want to rub it in the faces of your cousins who live in a remote part of the UK and have a terrible broadband speed, due to lack of available services.

How do I test my internet speed on my mobile device?

The process for testing your internet speed on a mobile device is pretty much the same as it is on a computer. The only difference being that there are dedicated apps that you can use to access your broadband speed. Again, we used Ookla’s Speedtest app, but there are tonnes of others available that allow you to test your internet speed.

Once the app has downloaded for the marketplace and installed itself on your mobile device, open it up and simply begin the test. It couldn’t be much simpler, and you will see the results in the same format as you would by viewing them on your computer via a website, and you can still share the details of your test if you wish.

If your internet connection is woefully slow, you may have faulty hardware, so to rule that out you should contact your broadband provider for more information on how you can resolve the situation.



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