Is It You? How To Check Your Internet Speed
If you’ve noticed web pages fail to load, videos seem to lag, and downloading files take forever, you may wonder what’s going on. Does that mean something is wrong with your device? Are you doing something wrong? To help determine what’s behind your slow internet, we need to look at a few things. Here’s how you can check your internet connection, plus where to go for solutions.
What Is An Ideal Internet Speed?
Internet speed is the rate at which information or content travels from the web to your desktop, tablet, or smartphone. It’s reported at Mbps (megabits per second). Speed can make the difference between watching a crisp, clear video or a blurry pixilated picture. It can be the difference between shopping within seconds or watching a blank screen slowly fill with information. Ensuring your device runs at an ideal speed makes your breaks your world wide web experience.
What’s an ideal internet speed? Depends on the task. Download speed refers to information traveling to your device. For example, when listening to music or reading an online article on your internet-connected device, the download speed determines how quickly these tasks are accessible on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
On the other hand, upload speed refers to how fast your internet-connected device sends information to the internet. For example, any time you post to your social media, your upload will determine how fast it shows up in your feed, and people can see it. Here’s a breakdown of the ideal internet speeds and for what activities:
- 0 to 5 Mbps (megabits per second)
- Searching Google
- Checking email
- Streaming music on a single device
- 5 to 40 Mbps
- Skype or FaceTime video calling
- Streaming video on one device
- Single-player online gaming
- 40 to 100 Mbps
- Streaming high definition (HD) videos on a couple of devices
- Downloading large files
- Multiplayer online gaming
- 100 to 500 Mbps
- Streaming ultra-high definition (UHD) videos on multiple devices
- Multiplayer online gaming
- Download files quickly
- 500 to 1,000 Mbps
- Works for pretty much anything
What Causes Slow Internet Speed?
Suppose you intend to perform only basic tasks online, like going through your email or searching Google. In that case, your internet speed can be pretty slow. However, if you want to perform other activities, you’ll need faster internet speeds. So, what causes slow internet speed? Here are the main culprits:
- Your device
- Your internet connection
- Your internet plan
- Your modem and router (these do go bad)
- Your internet provider’s network is congested
- The website you’re trying to reach (which is out of your hands)
- Your location has weak Wi-Fi signals
- Your internet provider is intentionally restricting (referred to as throttling) your connection
How to Check Your Internet Speed
To check your speed while using the OneLaunch desktop dashboard, here’s a quick how-to video with step-by-step instructions.
There are several free internet speed tests available online, including the Google internet speed test, which you can find by typing “google internet speed test” in a Google search, then select the “Run Speed Test” option.
The speed tests will show you your upload and download speeds in addition to other technical information such as latency, IP address, the name of your internet provider, and server location. You shouldn’t have to enter any information to check your speed. So, if you find one that requires you to enter information first, skip it.
Where to Find Solutions for Slow Internet Speed
Once you’ve tested your internet speed and determined that it is, in fact, slow, you can give this information to your internet provider to narrow the problem further. Is it something on their end that needs to be fixed? Or do they need to replace your modem and router?
The cause behind your slow internet speed will determine your solution. For issues relating to your internet plan, your equipment, or throttling, call customer service with your internet provider.
If you own your router and modem, look for manufacturer info on the device and contact them about any warranty, ask if they can fix it, or recommend a repair. Provider network congestion typically occurs when most people are on the internet between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Avoiding these hours may help your speed. Positioning your router clear of obstructions, ensuring your internet-connected device has the latest update, and using a Wi-Fi extender in your home are options for fixing a bad internet connection or weak Wi-Fi signal. On the other hand, weak Wi-Fi signals outside your home will require you to move to an area with a better signal. If the slow speed results from a website having trouble, the best thing you can do is wait. Give their computer experts time to figure out the problem and get the site back up and running.