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How to test your internet speed

We all know how confusing signing up for internet packages can be, even more so when you are told that you can get ‘up to’ 8mb, or ‘up to’ 20mb.

How exactly do you find out what your speed is so you can check your internet provider is keeping their end of the contract up?

More often than not, peoples’ internet is slower than the advertised speed.

Below I will explain how you can easily check your internet connection speed, and what all the results mean.

First of all go to the following website: SpeedTest.net. You should see something similar to the screen below:

If you click the “Begin test” button at the top, it should show an animation followed by the speedometers below:

The test then shows your ping, download and upload speeds.  This is what they all relate to:

  • Ping – Your ping speed is the amount of time it takes for a packet of information to travel from your computer to the other computer. This is mostly important if you are playing games online. If your ping is over 200 then online gaming will turn out to be very jerky.
  • Download – Pretty self explanatory. Download is the speed that your internet connection can download a certain amount of information per second.
  • Upload – The reverse of download which is only an important factor if you are sending a lot of files.

Generally speaking your download speed should be above 2MB. If it isn’t, I’d suggest getting in touch with your internet provider, as this is below what is considered acceptable for home broadband.  If you are doing a speed test with mobile broadband however, there is no real guide to the speeds you can get.


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