Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

Ireland’s leading broadband providers advertise lightning fast speeds of 100Mbps, 500Mbps and even 1,000Mbps in some cases. But there’s a catch! These advertised speeds only refer to the maximum speed possible with your plan, they are by no means a guarantee.

In fact, in many cases, the speed you actually get will be much slower than what you might expect. So if you aren’t happy with the speed you’re getting at the price you’re paying, you can compare broadband providers and switch to a better deal with bonkers.ie today.

Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

How can I check my broadband speed?

It’s always useful to be able to test the speed of your broadband connection, especially if you feel like it is under performing. The good news is that testing your broadband speed is really easy to do!

Simply click the button labelled “Go”. A broadband speed test will be performed and give you a live reading of your current download speed. You can then compare that reading against the speeds that you should be getting.

What do my results mean?

The most important result from your broadband speed test is the ‘download speed’. Your download speed is the rate at which your device is able to access content from the internet.

So, a high download speed will allow you to load internet pages instantaneously and enjoy online video streaming without buffering. On the other hand, a low download speed will leave you with long page load times and pixelated or laggy video streams.

Your upload speed measures the rate at which you are able to add content to the internet or send messages, pictures and videos to others. Upload speeds tend to be much slower than download speeds since most of us do much less uploading than downloading. So don’t worry if your download and upload speeds are vastly different.

Ping, which is measured in milliseconds, indicates how quickly your connection can respond to a request. The lower your ping, the faster your internet connection is at responding to the actions you ask it to take.

Jitter is a bit like Ping, in that it is measured in milliseconds and refers to the responsiveness of your connection. The lower your Jitter, the more consistently reliable your broadband connection is likely to be.

How fast does my broadband speed really need to be?

The answer depends on two things: the number of devices that are using the connection and the kinds of tasks you’ll be undertaking on a regular basis.

As a rough guide, a household using one to two devices to browse the web, use email, social media and stream a moderate amount of video will need speeds that can reach around 25Mbps.

When you bring your device number up to three or four and you’re looking to do some online gaming or stream video in 4K resolution, you’ll need a connection that can reach from 50 to 100Mbps.

If you have more than five devices in constant use in your household and you want to do all of the above, share large files on a regular basis and conduct live video streaming you’ll need a connection speed somewhere between 150 and 200Mbps.

How can I compare broadband speeds from one provider to another?

To compare the latest broadband offers from major Irish providers like Eir, Pure Telecom, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone, simply visit our broadband comparison service on bonkers.ie.

Just type in your address or eircode and you’ll see a list of all the broadband providers available in your area. You can then sort by speed or price, whatever best fits your needs.

Why am I not getting the broadband speeds I signed up for?

Let’s say, for example, you signed up for a broadband deal that has been advertised at 100Mbps but when you run a speed test, you’re only getting speeds of 20Mbps. It’s important to remember that 100Mbps refers to the potential top speed offered by the connection and there is no minimum speed guarantee. Time of day, congestion on the network, and whether your broadband is pure fibre or part fibre or so-called fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband will affect your speed.

With FTTC broadband, a network of fibre optic cables runs to your local telephone exchange cabinet from where data travels through (often old) telephone copper cables for the final few hundred metres or kilometres to your home.

Since copper wires tend to significantly slow down the speed of a connection, FTTC broadband has a maximum speed of 100Mbps, and the speed degrades the further the data has to travel along a copper wire. So depending on how far your home is from your local cabinet box, the speed you’re able to get could be far lower than 100Mbps.

How can I speed up my broadband connection?

There are a number of things you can do to give your internet connection a boost.

Dig into some of the most frequently asked questions about internet speeds. If you have questions about specific words, check out our glossary.

What factors may impact my Speedtest® result? #

Speedtest measures the speed between your device and a test server, using your device’s internet connection. Several factors can impact the speed recorded by a test:

  • Devices (phones, tablets, PCs, etc…) can have very different Wi-Fi and cellular radio capabilities. This means you might get one Speedtest result on one device and a different result on another, even using the same provider. Some devices may not be able to measure the full speed of your internet service. It’s also possible that your Wi-Fi router doesn’t support the full speed of your service.
  • Speedtest servers may perform differently. Generally, you will get faster speeds from servers closer to you. We recommend testing to a variety of test servers to get the most complete picture of your speed. Speedtest has the world’s largest testing server network, which means you will always have the benefit of testing to a server near your geographic location.
  • Other speed testing services use different servers in different locations than Speedtest, so differences in speeds between testing services are not uncommon.
  • Browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, etc…) have different capabilities and may provide different results, particularly on high-speed connections.

What should I do if my internet speed is slow? #

Before you contact your internet service provider (ISP) or mobile carrier, check to see if you’re running any ongoing downloads or other programs like video chat that might be hogging your bandwidth. Close those and test again. If your Speedtest result still seems slow, reboot your phone or computer, modem and router. Then make sure that your router does not have any Quality of Service (QOS) features turned on. If that doesn’t fix the problem, here are a few more steps you can try.

Contacting your ISP or carrier for help is a good next step after you’ve gone through these steps. Keep in mind that on higher bandwidth connections (150 Mbps and above), you will need a higher quality router to keep up.

What does changing the Speedtest server do? #

Speedtest offers a network of over 11,000 hosted servers around the globe so that you always have testing options. At the start of a test, Speedtest automatically chooses a nearby server with a fast ping result to measure the maximum potential of your internet connection. You can always change the testing server to a different one than the default selection and we encourage testing to different servers to compare results.

By selecting a new server, you are changing the location or host of the server you are testing your internet connection against. In particular, many sites and streaming services may host their content on servers that are far away from your current location, which could translate to slower speeds and pings from those services.

No matter the server you choose, all tests run on Speedtest reflect the speed of your connection from your current ISP or carrier. Testing to a server hosted by an ISP or carrier does not necessarily tell you how fast your connection would be if you were to sign up for their offered services.

Why aren’t there any servers in my area? #

Your computer’s firewall or a proxy server might be blocking communication over port 8080, which will limit the number of servers available for testing.

Though our server network is always growing, it’s possible that we don’t yet have a host in your area. If you’d like to host a Speedtest server, details are on our network page.

Why am I getting different speeds between my computer and my phone/tablet? #

Speedtest is measuring your real-time network connection, so tests taken within a few minutes of each other might vary a little based on network congestion and available bandwidth. If your Speedtest results are significantly different, make sure that you’re:

  • Testing the same connection. If one device is on Wi-Fi and the other is not, you’re testing the speeds of different connections.
  • Testing to the same server. Speedtest automatically selects a server to test to based on ping, but you can also select a server to test to.

Also, note that there are large variations in Wi-Fi and cellular radio quality and MIMO stream handling quality between devices. These variations can cause a device to deliver slower test results than another device or computer.

What speeds do I need for streaming or large downloads? #

If you’re asking this question, you’re already sick of the wheel of constant buffering. To get the best possible performance, you generally want download speeds at least as fast as the following:

Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

What speeds do I need to transfer large files? #

You can transfer large files at any speed; it’s more a question of how long that transfer will take. Here are a couple of tables to help you out:

Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

What’s an acceptable ping (or latency) for online gaming? #

If you’ve ever noticed that another player always seems to have the jump on you, that might be because they have a faster ping. Here’s a rough guideline:

  • Winning: 0-59 ms
  • In the game: 60-129 ms
  • Struggling: 130-199 ms
  • Game over: 200+ ms

Is Speedtest owned by an internet service provider? #

Nope. We’re an independently operating subsidiary of Ziff Davis, a digital media company.

When you have 2 Gig internet, you probably want to go fast. Google Fiber 2 Gig is so fast that most devices weren’t built to take advantage of it. While you’ll get fast, reliable internet for everyone in your home and their devices, to get that brag-worthy 2 Gig speed test, chances are you’ll need additional cables or adapters. Here’s some information on how to get the fastest internet speeds possible.

Speed specifics

With 2 Gig, you can get downloads of up to 2 gigabits per second and uploads of up to 1 gigabit per second using a wired connection as long as your cables, ports, and device are capable of the speeds.

  • Using the Wi-Fi 6 router and a Google Fiber Mesh Extender included with your 2 Gig, you can get wireless speeds up to 700 Mbps. Of course, exact speeds will vary based on the devices you’re using, and a few other factors we’ll cover in more detail below.
  • For now, if you’re looking for information about the maximum speeds you can get with Google Fiber, you can find it here.

Speed for your entire household

One of the advantages of 2 Gig is that everyone in your household can do what they want at the same time—whether that’s playing a video game, video chatting, or streaming their favorite show—and still enjoy fast speeds, even in a larger household with more advanced devices, and heavier internet use.

For most of our customers, that’s the big advantage and, without any additional equipment, you should be able to reach the max speed your devices are capable of. But, as one of the first with 2 Gig, you might want to have that super fast file transfer, system update, game play, speed test to brag with — and for that, you’ll likely need a few extra things.

How to go the absolute fastest on 2 Gig

The speed you see on your device in a speed test will be based on the speeds that you’re able to get through 1) your device (and its operating system’s ability to support fast ports), 2) your cables, 3) your Ethernet adapter or port, and 4) the USB port you’re connecting into.

Internet speed depends on your devices

Keeping your device up-to-date

Wired vs. wireless connections

Using an Ethernet connection to connect your device directly to the internet allows you to get a faster and more stable internet connection than you’d get over Wi-Fi. So, in order to get the fastest speeds possible, you’ll want to plug your device (or devices) into your router (or switch) directly using an Ethernet cable.

Use a fast Ethernet cable

  • If you’re connecting this way, make sure your Ethernet cable is Cat6 or greater (‘Cat’ is short for category, and if you’re not sure what type yours is, you’ll usually see this information printed on the side of the cable. You can also use Cat 6A, 7, etc).
  • Cat5e cables may not be able to reach 2 gigabit per second speeds. You can, of course, use the Cat 5e you have to get a connection—you just won’t get the fastest speeds available.
  • Don’t have a fast Ethernet cable, or not sure yours is the right one? You’ll find a few on our Amazon microstore.

Use a fast Ethernet adapter for wired connections

  • If your device doesn’t have a built-in 2.5 Gb Ethernet port or faster (this is currently rare on laptops, but available as an upgradable component on desktop computers), you’ll need an adapter—also known as a dongle—rated at 2.5 Gb or faster.
  • While the specific adapter you’ll need depends on what kind of device you’re using, you’ll find one on our Amazon microstore.

Connect your adapter to fast USB

Even with a fast adapter, slower USB ports on your device can slow your connection down. So you’ll want to plug your adapter into USB 3.0 or newer – with a USB A or C port.

  • Don’t have those faster USB ports? You can still use 2 Gig to get the maximum speed your device is capable of, but won’t reach 2000 megabits per second.)

Use a fast switch for multiple devices

In order to maximize your internet speeds over Ethernet on multiple devices, you’ll need a device known as a switch.

You’ll need a switch capable of speeds 2 Gig or greater to get the maximum speed available from the router and the adapter. This setup will let you share your wired speed across all devices. You can find one on our Amazon microstore.

We’re rolling Sky Broadband Ultrafast out across the UK. But it might not be available where you live right now. Don’t worry though, just tell us you’re interested, and we’ll let you know when it’s available.

What Sky Talk package is right for me?

Whether you’re constantly on the phone with family and friends, or just making the occasional call, we have a package for everyone.

Good to know: Your Sky Talk package might be provided with Internet Calls – a new home phone technology being rolled out across the UK by all landline providers. It works a little differently to a traditional phone line.

What are Internet Calls?

Calls made over the internet, where your home phone works through your broadband line and plugs directly into your hub instead of a traditional phone socket.

So your phone won’t work if:

  • Your hub’s switched off or there's a power cut.
  • The phone is plugged into a master socket or any other phone socket.
  • Your broadband isn’t working because of a fault or outage.

Tip: Your hub setup is different if you have Internet Calls, so don’t forget to check the setup guide that comes with your hub or go to Setting up your Sky hub.

Will I get Internet Calls and is it right for me?

Internet Calls comes as standard with Sky Broadband Ultrafast and Sky Broadband Ultrafast Plus. And you might get it if you have Sky Broadband Superfast, but we’ll let you know if you do when you choose your package.

Internet Calls aren’t right for everyone

Internet Calls aren’t right for you if you rely on your landline to call the emergency services and don’t have a mobile with a good signal.

If you have a care or medical alarm (or any other device) that plugs into your phone line, you’ll need to check with your provider to make sure it’s compatible with an internet-based phone service.

Don’t worry, we’ll ask you about these when you’re taking broadband and talk so we don’t give you Internet Calls if it isn’t right for you. But don’t forget to let us know if your circumstances ever change.

A metered network connection will try to control and reduce data usage on the network, so some apps might work differently on a metered connection. Also, some updates for Windows won’t be installed automatically.

You can manually set Wi-Fi and Ethernet network connections to metered if you want to reduce the amount of data used by apps and services on that network. A cellular data network connection is set as metered by default.

To set a network as a metered connection

Wi-Fi: In Settings, select Network & internet > Wi-Fi > the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to, then turn on Metered connection.

Ethernet: In Settings, select Network & internet > Ethernet > the network you’re connected to, then turn on Metered connection.

Cellular: In Settings, select Network & internet > Cellular, then turn on Metered connection.

You might notice that the Metered connection setting is greyed out in any of the places mentioned above. If it is, check with your IT support person. The metered connection setting might be set by your organization, so you can’t change it.

Note: If you set a network connection as an unmetered connection but it still has a limited data plan, you might go over your data limit for that network and incur charges.

A metered connection is an Internet connection that has a data limit associated with it. Cellular data connections are set as metered by default. Wi-Fi and Ethernet network connections can be set to metered but aren’t by default. Some apps might work differently on a metered connection to help reduce your data usage. Also, some updates for Windows won’t be installed automatically.

If your device is running Windows 10 (version 1903 or version 2004) and you turned off the Set as metered connection option for your cellular data connection, your device might reset to metered again when it wakes up from hibernation, or after it shuts down.

To set a Wi-Fi network connection as metered:

Select Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage known networks.

Select the Wi-Fi network > Properties > turn on Set as metered connection.

Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, libraries, airports, hotels, universities, and other public places are convenient, but often they’re not secure. If you connect to a Wi-Fi network and send information through websites or mobile apps, someone else might be able to see it. Here are some ways to safely use public Wi-Fi when you’re out and about.

Public Wi-Fi Isn’t Secure

When you’re at home, you can take steps to keep your home wireless network secure — like using a strong router password, limiting what devices can get onto your network, and turning on encryption, which scrambles the information you send over the internet into a code that can’t be read by others. But when you’re using your favorite coffee shop’s Wi-Fi, there’s not a lot you can do to control its network security.

Why does it matter? If the network isn’t secure, and you log into an unencrypted site — or a site that uses encryption only on the sign-in page — other users on the network can see what you see and send. They could hijack your session and log in as you. New hacking tools — available for free online — make this easy, even for users with limited technical know-how. Your personal information, private documents, contacts, family photos, and even your login credentials could be up for grabs.

A scammer also could use your account to impersonate you and scam people onyour contact lists, or test your usernames and passwords on other websites — including sites that store your financial information. If a scammer gets your personal or financial information, they could steal your identity.

When you sign on to public Wi-Fi, you may also be sharing your data with the companies providing the Wi-Fi. Many public Wi-Fi networks such as in airports and hotels will also prompt you to install a “digital certificate” to use their internet. They may do this to scan your traffic for malware — but this also allows them to read your traffic, even if it’s to a site using https (which encrypts information).

But there are steps you can take to protect your information, even in public.

Ways To Encrypt Your Information

While there isn’t much you can do to make a public Wi-Fi network more secure, you can do some things to help keep your data secure on public Wi-Fi:

  • Connect to websites securely. If you see https in the web address, you have a secure connection to the website. But using https does not mean a website is legit. Scammers know how to encrypt sites, too. They know that people assume https means a website is safe — so they’ve started adding it to their websites, as well. So your data is encrypted on its way to the site, but it won’t be safe from scammers operating that site.
  • Consider using a VPN app. Some virtual private networks, known as VPNs, offer encryption. Learn more about VPN apps and what to know before you download one.
  • Use your mobile data. Your mobile data is usually encrypted. If you’re on the go, don’t have the option of using a secure website, and have no VPN encryption, consider using your mobile data instead of Wi-Fi. This is a good option when you’re putting personal information into apps, since it can be hard to know if they’re encrypted.

Protect Your Information When You Use Public Wi-Fi

Here are some other ways you can protect your information when you’re using public Wi-Fi:

A clogged router or a complete cache on your browser will cause your internet to slow down significantly. Learn how to troubleshoot problems on your own. In an age where work, entertainment, and communication all take place over the internet, having a quick and secure link is more than a privilege — it’s also a necessity. Then what do you do if the broadband you’re paying for isn’t delivering the speeds you’ve paid for?

The first move is to figure out exactly what you’re getting. If your speedtest results are similar to what your plan promises, there might be some problems with your Wi-Fi on your end. Check to see if any of these tips will help you improve your Wi-Fi signal before you jump ship.

Restart your modem and router:

Rebooting your router is actually recommended by most internet service providers (ISPs) every few months. The easiest way to do this is to disconnect your modem and router from their power source, wait 10 seconds, and then reconnect them. A hard reset, similar to rebooting your device, allows your modem and router to temporarily address any issues that are causing them to slow down.

Check if your provider has a data cap:

It’s possible that you’ve hit your monthly data limit if your home Wi-Fi is unexpectedly much slower than normal. While data limits aren’t as popular as they once were, some internet providers still impose a monthly limit on the amount of data you can use. It’s worth checking into the specifics of your schedule if you encounter a sudden drop in speed to see if you’ve hit your cap.

Download any firmware updates:

If your router hasn’t been modified in a while, it’s possible that your equipment needs the most current software to function properly. That might seem to be more complicated than it is. Your modem and router, like your laptop, need maintenance from time to time. Fortunately, it’s a straightforward procedure. In most cases, all you have to do is link your router to a device via an Ethernet cable and download updates from the manufacturer’s website.

Connect now to get the best of broadband plans and get additional offers on:

Put your router in the right spot:

There’s a lot to consider when deciding where to put your Wi-Fi router. By placing the router in the centre of your home, signals are sent out in all directions, ensuring that your link isn’t squandered on the farthest reaches of your property. In general, the higher you will raise it, the better your performance would be. You should also clear the area around your modem or router of any clutter. If something is blocking your router’s signal, it can not be able to relay it as effectively as it once did. To ensure that your router has enough room around it, clear any clutter.

Check to see who is using your network:

It’s possible that a neighbour is taking advantage of your network. Adjust your password and check all of your security settings if you think this is the case or can track access on an app and see authorised devices. You can set up a guest network to prevent malware and viruses from infecting your home network from visitors’ devices.

Clear your browser’s cache and history:

You do not believe that your browsing history can affect your internet speed, but all of that data can add up to a lot of dead weight for your link to pull. Clear the browsing history and cache on computers that link to your Wi-Fi if you haven’t done so in a while. This can also improve the performance of each individual unit.

Disconnect any machines that aren’t in use:

Many people have connected their Wi-Fi to anything from smart refrigerators to streaming devices over the years. However, even when such devices are removed or forgotten, the link always remains in place, consuming valuable bandwidth. We recommend changing your Wi-Fi password to kick things off all at once and start fresh. You’ll have to log in to each computer again, but any devices you’re not using will be disabled. Some newer routers also have a home networking app that displays all of the devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi. You can easily go into the app and manually disconnect any unnecessary devices if you have one of these.

Many Internet users who are on a 1 Gbps plan wonder why they have never actually seen 1,000 Mbps when they do a speed test; even under the best circumstances. There will always be a difference between the bandwidth your Internet service provider gives you (even providers that deliver what they promise), and what you actually experience in your network or on a speed test—why is that? In this post, we talk about the causes for this, and break down the factors affecting your speeds that you can control as well as the ones you can’t.

Check Your Devices

It’s possible that the computer or device you're using to connect to the Internet is simply not built to handle a fast wireless network. From your Internet provider to your device, your speeds will only be as fast as the weakest, or slowest, link. This means even if you have a direct fiber connection and the best modem and router money can buy, an old or slow computer or device can still bring down your speeds dramatically.

Check Your Router

If you're on a 1,000 Mbps plan, make sure your router was built to support it. Just like with your devices, your speeds will only be as fast as your router will allow them to be. If you know your router can support gigabit speeds, try troubleshooting it. If you haven't already, running through the outlined steps could help. Making sure your router is new, well-placed, at the right frequency, and properly boosted (if it needs to be) can be what makes the difference between the speeds you're currently seeing and the speeds you could be receiving.

Consider Using A Hardwired Connection

You can expect sufficient speeds from most wireless connections offered today. However, if you're disappointed with your current speeds you can always connect your computer directly to your router with a Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable to immediately get a faster connection. Of course, whether this solution is viable depends on how many devices you're trying to connect and whether you typically use them close to your router. But if there are not many heavy Internet users in your house and you only have a few devices to connect, you can see faster speeds on them by connecting them with Ethernet cables. Something to consider if you do this is that not all laptops have Ethernet ports. Some may require an adapter. If you use one, make sure it is gigabit-capable. You can find plenty of gigabit-capable Ethernet adaptors for your laptop online.

Overhead

Unfortunately, there are some factors that you cannot change if you're trying to see faster speeds on a speed test, and a big one is overhead. Think of this like any other kind of overhead; an indirect cost that cannot be immediately associated with the service it's helping to provide. In this case, it's the data being sent between your computer, router, and Internet service provider that has overhead. A payload of data that is sent over a network requires more than the payload itself. It requires extra control and signaling data that ensures the payload arrives at the correct destination. Think of it as paying the shipping cost when you order something online; the extra amount you pay does nothing for the product itself, but it's what enables you to receive and ultimately use it.

Another factor that contributes to overhead is the role your modem plays in transferring the data to and from your network. Your modem converts information from your computer into analog signals that can transmit over wires, and vice versa. This process will take away from your overall speeds as well, but it is critical for your Internet connection to work. This is why people with gigabit plans usually top out at 940 Mbps when they do a speed test. Those 60 Mbps aren't being withheld or wasted; they represent the data from your plan that is already used to ensure the files you are uploading and downloading reach the correct destination and are transferred properly. If that those are the speeds you are seeing on a Mbps plan, you can rest assured that you are using and benefitting from every single megabit per second that you are paying for. If you're seeing significantly lower speeds, even after completing the troubleshooting steps above, you may need to look into your Internet service provider.

Your Internet Service Provider

Another potential cause for slower speeds that cannot always be changed is your Internet service provider. If you've gone through the steps above, but your speeds are nowhere near what your plan states, even when you account for overhead, there might be a problem with your Internet provider's service. There are certain signs you can look out for if that's the case.

One sign to watch for is asymmetrical speeds. When you do a speed test, how different or similar are your upload and download speeds? Many providers don't offer symmetrical speeds, especially ones that use DSL or cable networks. You'll often see that the download speed is significantly faster than the upload speed. For people who casually use the Internet, this may not be a big deal. But it's important for heavy Internet users such as people working from home, content creators, and gamers. If you're uploading a PDF, large graphic file, or a video, you need an Internet provider that doesn't skimp on upload speeds.

Another sign to look out for is whether your speeds are abnormally slow at certain times of the day. If they are, especially in the evening when other users in your neighborhood are coming home from work, it is possible that your Internet service provider is not able to accommodate everyone during peak usage hours. This will be far less likely to happen if you use a fiber connection.

If you've noticed either of the above signs in your Internet service, it may be time to get a fiber a Internet provider into your community. Register your address here to check for availability and to receive updates on how soon we are likely to bring Tachus fiber to your neighborhood.

Follow these tips for an internet speed test you can rely on

  • Emporia State University
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email
  • The Wireless Connection
  • Routers & Firewalls
  • Network Hubs
  • ISP
  • Broadband
  • Ethernet
  • Installing & Upgrading
  • Wi-Fi & Wireless

Most of us are familiar with those popular internet speed test services out there. You’ve probably seen some of these sites before, like Speedtest.net, Speakeasy, etc.

What these sites do is let you test your upload and download bandwidth, giving you some idea about the quality of your connection to the internet. How accurate are they?

Sadly, they're often not at all accurate. Sometimes, an internet speed test isn't accurate because the method the service uses isn't great, but often it's because of an overlooked detail.

Below are the 5 things you should do to make sure the test of your internet speed is as accurate as possible.

Read through our how to test your internet speed tutorial if you haven’t already. Internet speed test sites are often adequate, but aren’t always the best way to test your bandwidth.

Always Restart Your Modem and Router

Restarting is the standard first step advice for just about every tech problem out there, but it’s also a great proactive step to take as well, especially with routers and high-speed digital modems.

The modem and router that work together to give your computers and other devices access to the internet is, itself, a tiny computer. A tiny computer with several huge jobs, like properly navigating all sorts of traffic around your connected home.

Just like your computer or smartphone, various things keep it from working quite as well over time. With modems and routers, those issues sometimes manifest as sluggish web browsing and movie-streaming.

Since we're after a really accurate internet speed test, and restarting your modem and router often helps return them both to full working status, doing just that makes a lot of sense.

Learn how to properly restart a router and modem properly. Otherwise, this step will have to be repeated to improve accuracy.

Don't Use the Internet for Anything Else

While you probably already thought of this one, it's maybe the most important rule to remember when testing your internet speed: don't use the internet while you're testing it.

Obviously, this means you shouldn't have a dozen other windows open on your computer, but be sure to check on other things that you might take for granted that use the internet a lot.

A few things that come to mind include streaming music services that run in the background, patches downloading via Windows Update, Wi-Fi security cameras uploading HD video, Netflix streaming on a TV in another room, a smart speaker playing music in your bedroom, etc.

Don’t forget mobile devices, too. Most smartphones auto-connect to your wireless network when they’re within range, so turning on airplane mode is probably a smart idea during your test. Assuming you’re not testing from your phone, of course. If you skip this step, your phone might be competing for bandwidth as it’s updating apps, downloading a software upgrade, or playing music.

If you're not sure if something might be using the internet, turning it off is a safe bet during your test.

Always Restart Your Computer or Device Before Testing

Not to sound like a broken record, but restarting really does help out a lot.

Yes, just like with the router and modem, restarting the computer (or tablet, smartphone, etc.) that you're testing your internet from is a very easy thing to do that might have a real impact on the accuracy of your internet test.

It might seem strange to restart your device when what you’re testing is the internet connection, but parts of the test rely on your hardware to work properly.

Don't Forget to Clear Your Browser's Cache

On that note, another smart thing to do prior to testing your internet speed is to clear your browser’s cache. You should do this before each subsequent test, assuming you plan on testing several times in a row.

Most internet speed tests work by downloading and uploading one or more files of specific sizes, and then using the time those files take to do that to calculate your internet speed.

If you're testing numerous times in a row, test results after the initial test might be impacted by the fact that those files already exist on your computer (i.e., they're cached). A good internet speed test should compensate for that, but you'd be surprised how often we see issues because they don't.

Learn how to clear your browser’s cache for whatever browser you’re using to test from.

Heading

You can skip this step if you're using an app to test internet speed or are using some other non-browser method. If, however, the app does appear to provide inaccurate results, you can try to clear the app's cache.

Choose an HTML5 Internet Speed Test Instead

Last, but certainly not least, we highly recommend that you test your bandwidth with an HTML5-based test, not a Flash-based one (if those even still exist).

SpeedOf.Me, Speedtest.net, and TestMy.net are all HTML5 based internet speed tests that we’ve looked closely at and are happy to recommend.

It's estimated that Flash-based tests have to make adjustments, by as much as 40%, to compensate for the fact that their tests use Flash.

Remember That No Speed Test Is Perfect

Minimizing the noise during an internet speed test, which is what the several tips above help you do, certainly contributes to a more accurate speed test result.

Keep in mind, however, that all you're testing with an internet speed test is how well your current connection works between your computer or device and the testing server itself.

While this is great for a general idea of how fast (or slow) your internet connection is, it doesn't necessarily mean that this is the bandwidth you should always expect between you and anywhere else.

Suffering from sluggish download speeds in the Windows Xbox app? Here’s how you can speed up your downloads to get gaming quicker.

The Xbox app on Windows is where you can go to buy, manage, and play PC games. It's also the app that lets you access the Game Pass, which gives you access to over one hundred games via a monthly subscription.

While there are plenty of amazing games at your fingertips on the Xbox app, it's not uncommon to suffer sluggish download speeds. No matter how fast your connection usually is, you can be left tapping your watch waiting for a game to finish downloading.

To help you out, we've rounded up all the troubleshooting steps you need to follow in order to speed up downloads on the Xbox app for Windows. Take each in turn and your speeds should shoot up.

1. Restart the Xbox App

It's the most basic advice of all time, but it's always worth doing: restart the Xbox app. You'd be surprised at how often a good-old "turn it off and on again" resolves the problem.

By default, closing the Xbox app just minimizes it to your tray. To fully close it, right-click the Xbox icon in your tray and click Quit.

You should also try restarting your entire computer. This will clear the system cache, close any programs that don't open on start-up, and give the Xbox app a cleaner slate.

2. Clear Your Network

It's important to check that the Xbox app's slow downloads aren't indicative of a wider network problem. Visit a website like Fast.com to check your internet speed. If the result is way off what you're paying for, you may need to contact your ISP for support.

You can try to resolve this yourself. An easy step is to reset your router. Simply pull the plug, wait a minute, and then plug it back in.

Additionally, stop any other activity on your network. Don't download something on your browser or stream on Netflix at the same as using the Xbox app; your bandwidth gets divvied between all the tasks, and you want to focus all resources on downloading the game.

Bear in mind that games on the Xbox app are unlikely to ever download at the full speed your ISP provides. This is because you're at the mercy of various factors like your distance from Microsoft's servers and how congested they are.

3. Opt Out of the Xbox Insider Program

Joining the Xbox Insider Program grants you early access to features and bug fixes in the Xbox app. However, it can sometimes lead to instability, which includes impacting your download speeds.

If you're a member of the Xbox Insider Program, you should leave it and see if this improves your speeds. Don't worry, you can always rejoin afterwards if you find that it makes no difference.

To opt out of the Xbox Insider Program:

  1. From the Xbox app, click your username in the top-left.
  2. Select Xbox Insider Program.
  3. On the left menu, select Previews.
  4. Beneath Joined, select Windows Gaming.
  5. Click Manage.
  6. Click Leave preview.
  7. To confirm the action, click Continue.
  8. Restart the Xbox app.

4. Don't Allow Downloads From Other PCs

Windows includes a setting called Delivery Optimization, which is designed to improve the speed and reliability of Windows updates, Microsoft Store app updates, and Xbox app game downloads.

As part of this, there's a feature which lets you not only grab the download files from Microsoft, but also from other PCs that are downloading the same files. The download is broken into parts, with each part pulled from the fastest and most reliable download source.

While the intentions behind Delivery Optimization are sound, some users report that this actually slows down game downloads on the Xbox app. As such, it's worth turning it off to experiment:

  1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. From the left menu, select Delivery Optimization.
  4. Slide Allow downloads from other PCs to Off.

Curiously, other users report that turning this feature on improves their download speeds. So if this is already disabled on your system, try sliding On instead and select PCs on my local network, and PCs on the Internet.

5. Remove Bandwidth Limits

By default, Windows dynamically optimizes your bandwidth when downloading games from the Xbox app. You can also limit how much bandwidth Windows uses, which is helpful if you have a data limit plan.

Some users discovered that Windows was incorrectly limiting their bandwidth, even though their settings suggested this shouldn't happen. To overcome this:

  1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. From the left menu, select Delivery Optimization.
  4. Click Advanced options.
  5. Select Percentage of measured bandwidth (measured against the update source).
  6. Check both boxes and set the sliders to 100%.

This specifically tells Windows to apply no limits; for whatever reason, some users encounter a bug where the slider percentages are applied even without the option selected.

The Microsoft Store Is Not Faster

Some advice online claims that you can get faster download speeds through the Microsoft Store. However, this is misleading. In actuality, the two apps download at the same speed. This is because one displays the speed in megabits, the other in megabytes. So while the numbers might appear different, the actual download speed identical.

If you have the latest version of the Microsoft Store, you won't encounter this problem. That's because the Microsoft Store now directs you out to the Xbox app to complete your purchase and initiate the download.

Spend Less Time Downloading and More Time Gaming

It's incredibly frustrating when you want to play a new game and you end up sitting there for hours, twiddling your thumbs while the game downloads. Don't let that happen to you. With any luck, the tips above have solved the issue and you can download via the Xbox app at the right speed.

Remember, the Xbox app is your gateway to the Xbox Game Pass. If you can get through a couple of games a month, it represents incredible savings and is more cost-effective than buying the games outright.

Если Вам не удается подключить Mac к интернету, проблема может быть связана с кабелями, устройствами, сетевыми настройками или интернет-провайдером.

Прочтите рекомендации по работе с Wi-Fi или воспользуйтесь Беспроводной диагностикой.

Если компьютер Mac обнаружил неполадки в работе Wi-Fi, Вы можете посмотреть описания проблем и предложенные решения. Нажмите значок состояния Wi-Fi в строке меню, затем выберите «Рекомендации по улучшению связи Wi-Fi». Рекомендации Wi-Fi недоступны в корпоративных сетях и при использовании режима модема.

Можно использовать Беспроводную диагностику для устранения неполадок в уже настроенной сети.

Проверьте подключение Wi-Fi

Если обычно Вы подключаетесь к интернету через Wi-Fi, проверьте, подключен ли компьютер к сети Wi-Fi.

Если Вы подключены к сети Wi-Fi, но подключение к интернету отсутствует, проблема может быть связана с подключением этой сети к интернету. Если сеть Wi-Fi настроена с использованием устройства AirPort (например, AirPort Extreme), Вы можете просмотреть сведения об устройстве и его интернет-подключении в Утилите AirPort. Для получения дополнительных сведений об Утилите AirPort выберите «Справка» > «Справка Утилиты AirPort».

Проверка состояния сетевых подключений

В настройках «Сеть» можно проверить настройки и статус каждой сетевой службы, такой как Wi-Fi, Ethernet и Bluetooth.

На Mac выберите меню Apple

> «Системные настройки», затем нажмите «Сеть» .

Сетевая служба, которую Вы используете, должна быть отмечена зеленым индикатором и статусом «Подключено».

Для просмотра дополнительной информации о сетевой службе выберите ее с помощью мыши.

Проверьте кабели и внешние устройства.

Проверьте надежность подключения кабелей. Если Вы используете внешний модем, проверьте надежность подключения обоих кабелей — между модемом и компьютером и между модемом и электрической настенной розеткой.

Проверьте, что все внешние устройства, такие как модемы, концентраторы и маршрутизаторы, подключены, включены и полностью загружены. Попробуйте перезагрузить эти устройства: отсоедините их на пару минут от сети электропитания, затем снова подключите.

Проверьте световые индикаторы на устройстве, указывающие на регистрацию его подключения к сети и компьютеру. Если световой индикатор не загорается, смотрите документацию, прилагаемую к устройству, или обратитесь к Вашему интернет-провайдеру.

Проверьте интернет-службу

Если все вышеперечисленное настроено правильно, но подключиться к интернету по-прежнему не удается, обратитесь к своему интернет-провайдеру. Возможно, причина заключается во временной неполадке службы.

Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

With our new Stay Fast Guarantee, we don’t just guarantee your broadband speeds, we constantly check and optimise them too. So you’ll get reliable broadband speeds all day, every day.

It’s just one of the things we do, because we know broadband is so much better when you don’t have to worry about it.

To qualify, you need to have ordered BT Broadband or renewed your BT Broadband contract since 1 March 2019.

What do you get?

  1. A personalised speed guarantee
    We’ll give you a speed guarantee for your home.
  2. Personal line check
    When you join BT, or when you renew your contract, we’ll let you know if we think your speeds can be improved. And we’ll send out an engineer if you need one.
  3. Expert support
    If your speeds fall below what you’ve been quoted, our speed experts based in the UK and Ireland are on hand to get things back to normal as soon as possible. If you want, you can check your line speed yourself by using our speed tester.

How does the guarantee work?

We’ll give you your very own Stay Fast Guarantee, based on your broadband speeds, when you join or re-contract with us.

If we find a problem, we’ll reset your Hub remotely and you won’t have to do a thing. If there’s a bigger issue, we’ll work out the best solution and get in touch.

You can check your broadband speeds using our speed tester. If they’re not what they should be, we’ll run checks to fix the problem and send out an engineer if needed.

If your speeds aren’t back to normal after 30 days, we’ll give you £20 back. You can also choose to exit your contract without paying a charge for cancelling it early.

How do I test my speed?

The Stay Fast Guarantee refers to the speed from the network to your BT Hub. It doesn’t cover the speed you receive from the Hub to devices in your home.

We check the throughput speed to your Hub – the speed at which you can actually send and receive data. It’s what you experience at home when using your broadband connection.

To reliably test your speed, you must be using your BT Hub and our speed tester. For help you can call us on 0800 800 150.

When running the test, we’ll check there isn’t an underlying fault causing any issues. Also, we might ask you to switch off anything using a lot of data, such as streaming ultra high definition TV. This will allow us to get a clear understanding of the performance of your broadband line.

You have to complete all the fault checks before you can claim against the Stay Fast Guarantee. If the test shows a bigger problem, we might need to arrange an engineer visit too.

When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions. 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our nonprofit mission. Learn more.

Before COVID-19 forced many of us to work and learn remotely, the difference between a so-so router and a great one wasn’t that important.

As long as Netflix worked in the living room and the kids could play games online with their friends, why bother thinking about it?

But now that wireless routers have become a more critical part in our lives, it’s time to pay closer attention to them. That includes recognizing when they should be replaced, either because they no longer perform well or aren’t receiving security updates.

The security concern is a big one. We trust wireless routers to safely and reliably connect our laptops, smart TVs, and video game consoles to the internet. The last thing we want is to have data we send or receive become vulnerable to hackers.

To be clear, we’re talking here about routers you buy and set up yourself, not the ones provided by internet service providers for a monthly fee. If you have questions about those routers, call your ISP.

If you own your router, there is no clear-cut way to decide when to replace it. But there are a few signs that indicate it’s time to say goodbye.

Outdated Software

Even if your router appears to be working well, you’ll want to replace it if it’s no longer receiving firmware updates.

These updates are installed automatically on some routers, while other routers require you to do it. An update can add useful new features to your router. For instance, last year, Google introduced a tool for its Nest WiFi and Google WiFi routers to minimize video call disruptions like buffering or stuttering.

More important, firmware updates often include security patches that help keep you and your data safe from hackers. Without these regular updates, the odds increase that your data could end up in the wrong hands or that your router (or the devices on your network) could end up in a botnet, an army of “zombie” devices under the control of hackers, and used for crimes.

The tricky part here is determining whether and when your router has stopped receiving firmware updates.

If you’re lucky, your router’s manufacturer keeps an updated list of devices it no longer actively supports. In tech jargon, this is an “end of life” list, and any router that appears on it should be replaced.

Asus, D-Link, Netgear, Synology, and TP-Link all have router end-of-life lists, while Eero says it still supports its first-gen mesh routers. Google so far has three routers, the oldest dating back to 2016. That model is still supported, though the company wouldn’t say for how long.

You can also look yourself to see when the last time your router firmware was updated. There are a couple of ways to do this.

The easiest method is to use the router’s mobile app, which typically has an option to manually check for updates. (The name of the menu or setting will vary by brand.) You can also look at your router’s web app, which is accessed by typing an IP address—often 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1—into your web browser. The exact address varies by model but is often indicated directly on the router itself. You’d then click “check for updates” or something similar to see when the last update took place.

If no update has been available for months, or even years, the router is probably no longer being supported. As a rule of thumb, a Netgear representative told us, consumers should consider replacing their router after three years, and representatives from Google and Linksys said a three-to-five-year window was appropriate. Amazon, which owns the popular Eero brand of routers, put the range at three to four years.

However, CR’s own survey data indicates that one-fifth of consumers wait more than four years to replace their router. That’s cutting it close.

“All of the data that we have shows that consumers hold onto their router for dear life and for as long as possible,” says Richard Fisco, who oversees electronics testing for Consumer Reports.

Why do so many routers stop getting updates after just a few years? Industry representatives say it’s because it’s difficult to keep writing new software that can run on older chips.

“What happens in the semiconductor industry, which I have a lot of experience in, is that chipsets get really, really old,” says Sanjay Noronha, senior product manager at Google Nest. “It just gets harder to update the software on those, because of a bunch of reasons, such as the version of Linux [an operating system] they use going stale.”

So there may be a very good reason to replace a router, even if it’s working well.

Poor Performance

You also should upgrade your router if it’s no longer delivering fast and reliable WiFi to your devices. You can determine this a few ways.

You might suddenly find that you can’t watch Netflix in 4K on the couch while the kids are chatting with their friends on Discord in their rooms. Large downloads, such as games from platforms like Steam and Xbox GamePass, may take forever and a day to finish. Or maybe you can’t quite get a decent connection in your spare bedroom turned home office.

But before you buy a new router, run a speed test or two to get an idea how fast your connection is to the internet. This will tell you whether the problem is really with the router or with your internet service provider.

There are several speed tests online, including SpeedTest.Net and Speed Test by Measurement Lab, which you’d ideally run on a laptop connected directly via ethernet cable to your router.

Speed tests are somewhat finicky and you may see different results depending on several factors, including time of day and other activity on your network, but they’ll give you a good idea of the speed you’re getting.

And if that number is materially different from the speed you’re paying for, you’ll want to call your ISP to see what’s going on. It could be an issue on their end. Or if the speeds match, you may just need to pay for a faster tier of service to handle the demands you’re putting on your system.

But if the data speeds coming into your home seem okay, it could be that your router is no longer up to the task. That might be particularly true if you have better connectivity in one part of the house than in another.

If it has been quite a while since you last upgraded your router, you might not know that a relatively new type of technology, called mesh networking, has become quite popular.

Routers that use this technology are typically sold in packs of two or three, and they work together to spread WiFi throughout your home. In many cases, you’ll get better performance with a mesh router than a traditional, single-unit router, particularly if you live in a larger home.

Right now there are 56 models in CR’s ratings, split across two categories: wireless (aka single-unit) and multi-unit mesh WiFi models. The following are some of the best of the bunch, with an emphasis on models that have automatic firmware updates.

Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

All you see is a spinning circle (or 3 blinking dots), and then nothing. Or, worse, one second you’re in the middle of an important video call with a client while working from home, and the next you’re staring at a “connection lost” screen.

Internet connection problems and Wi Fi network issues are incredibly frustrating at best. At worst, they can cost you big time if your business or side hustle depends on a network connection to the internet.

If your internet connection isn’t working, or you’re experience problems with your internet speed or network settings, here are some tips to diagnose and fix internet connection problems.

Scenario 1: Nothing works at all

If nothing’s working, not even a little bit, start with these steps.

Step 1: Restart your modem and/or router

It’s true: the first step really is “have you tried turning it off and turning it back on?” Just like your computer can freeze up and need a reboot, your modem or router can do the same. If either device is no longer doing its job, restarting may be all that’s needed to get you up and running again.

Unplug your modem and router and leave them disconnected from the power for at least 15 seconds. Then plug them back in, modem first, then your router if you have one. If they don’t start powering up immediately, look for a Power button. Most devices need about 2 minutes to fully power on and restore the wireless connection. If your devices aren’t working once this is complete, either via an ethernet cable or Wi Fi, move on to Step 2.

Be sure you DO NOT RESET YOUR MODEM! This will wipe your all-important Internet connection settings from the modem and will then require a reconfiguration.

best mates nbn™️ 50/20

best for HD video, music streaming and online gaming (4 – 6 users)

unlimited

42 mbps

typical busy period download speed (7pm-11pm)

* speeds may be slower on FTTN/B, FTTC

Step 2: Check the lights on your modem/router

Your modem or router may have indicator lights that tell you whether they think they’re working. If so, review these – if you’re unsure, check the documentation or ask your internet provider. If they say they’re working, but your devices still don’t have internet, either via ethernet cable or via a Wi Fi connection, move to Step 3.

If the lights indicate that you don’t have service, move to Step 4.

Step 3: Forget and rejoin your wireless network

Your phone or tablet remembers information about your wireless network so that it can quickly reconnect when you get home. But if something goes wrong with your network connections, your devices may be remembering some bad wireless networks information on the internet connections, affecting your internet bandwidth and internet speeds. Look for an option on your device to forget the Wi Fi networks. Do this, then in your wireless settings, rejoin to the same network. If reconnecting to your Wi Fi network or wireless network doesn’t fix your issue with your local connection and there’s no improvement to your connection status, move to Step 4.

Step 4: Contact your internet service provider (ISP)

If the above steps don’t resolve your problem (and especially if your modem and router display that something’s not working), it may be time to reach out to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Sometimes it’s a simple fix on their end with network hardware or network equipment where they can reset your internet access. Other times there’s a more widespread internet outage that may be affecting multiple customers. Calling in or checking your providers’ outages page online is the best way to get an idea of when this will be fixed, and if it’s something outside of your control.

Scenario 2: Some things work, some don’t

Sometimes your internet is working, but only sort of. Some things will work, but other things seem to get hung up or won’t load at all. If that’s you, try these options.

Option 1: Restart your modem/router

Yes, again. This is usually the answer if existing devices (say, your streaming box) are working fine, but new devices or ones that have left and returned to the premises (say, your phone) don’t.

Your router assigns IP addresses to devices that join your network. Sometimes the router will handle existing devices just fine but fail to assign new IP addresses correctly. Usually, rebooting will solve this.

Be sure you DO NOT RESET YOUR MODEM! This will wipe your all-important Internet connection settings from the modem and will then require a reconfiguration.

Option 2: Restart Wi-Fi network devices that aren’t working

We’re kind of giving your modem and router a bad rap. Sometimes it’s not their fault, though! If your phone or tablet isn’t working and everything else is, try restarting the problem device. It may be failing to connect correctly or remembering an old IP address. It could be struggling in any number of ways. Usually, a restart will correct it. If device-specific issues persist, it may be time to look at a new modem/router – this could be the cause of your Wi-Fi or network issues.

Option 3: Check if the website is down

If everything is working fine except your favourite website or streaming service, then the problem is probably with that website or service. If you aren’t sure, you can try checking a site such as DownDetector.com . Crowd-sourced websites like this one can tell you if others are having the same issues as you.

If the above options don’t yield results, or if you’re having consistent sorts of problems across all devices, it’s time to call your ISP. Your issues might be solved by a reset from their end. Or they may be experiencing difficulties of some kind such as a partial outage. They can likely reassure you that you’ve done everything you can do.

Following these tips will help you solve many of the common internet connection problems people face. If your internet connection still isn’t working, please contact us for help troubleshooting. We’re here to help!

What to try if your app isn’t getting an internet connection.

Is offline mode switched on?

Pick your device for how to check.

Tip: Can’t log in to check? When the app is in offline mode, you can’t log in with Facebook or Apple. You can use an email address and password instead, or get help at Facebook login help or Apple login help.

Mobile and tablet

Desktop

If offline mode is off, check to see if any other apps or web pages work on your device.

Check other apps or web pages

If any other apps or web pages aren’t working, the issue is likely with your internet connection.

Check out these things to try based on your type of internet connection.

WiFi connection help

Troubleshooting suggestion

How to do it

Restart your WiFi

In your device’s settings, switch WiFi off. Wait 30 seconds, then switch it back on.

This can re-establish a good connection.

Restart your router

If you’re using your home WiFi, restart the router. You can find help for this on your router’s support site.

Check for restrictions

Some shared or public networks (e.g. schools/offices) restrict access to certain services.

You can contact your IT department for more information.

Try with a different WiFi or a data connection

If it works with another connection, contact your service provider for more information.

Mobile/cellular data connection help

Check that you have enough data allowance in your device’s settings. Your data provider can help with this.

Tip: We recommend using WiFi wherever possible to save data costs.

Didn’t work?

Check your firewall (if you use one) to see if it has Spotify set as an exception. The provider of your firewall can help with this.

Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

Checking on the quality of service of what you are paying for is important to every business, it will give you the reflection of its value and worth. No one company would ever want to pay for nothing, right?

One of today’s major players in giving an essential service is the Internet Providers. With the growth of several advancements and innovations, an Internet Provider must strive to meet the requirements of different companies, establishments, or enterprises.

But once connected and subscribe, here lies an important question from most of the businesses, why aren’t you getting the Internet speed you are paying for?

Let us find out related factors that will give you answers and a definite clarification. Ready? To start with, identifying the actual and advertised Internet speed offers.

Whenever a business owner or decision-maker looks for the right Internet Service Provider, their major references are the advertisements they are seeing from various ISPs or telecommunications companies. They first look into the plans presented going down to the needed details for their application.

So, how to carefully cross-check if you are picking up the right provider for your business’s connection and communication? See these helpful pointers and guide:

  • Check on the Mbps or its bandwidth capacity. Choosing the right Internet connection is also getting the suited speed for your business. Keep in mind that not everything you see can give its actual service. (You may check on our previous articles for further reference, high-five!)
  • Sight on the type of connection they are offering, is it the traditional cable connection or the advanced and latest Fiber Connectivity? Just a quick input, Fiber connection is known as one of the fastest medium used and offered by many Internet Providers in the Philippines for its “speed of light characteristics.”
  • Lastly, take note of your providers’ choice area of feasibility because of distance matters. Related to this, you may want to consider trying out their free trial for you to be able to check if this ISP can deliver hassle-free connectivity in your business.

Moreover, for you to ensure the worth of the service you are about to avail of, you must know the requirements of your business and test if it fits your operations and transactions. Remember the most common yet important thing to do, the speed test.

Take note that the speed test provides you a measure of the speed between a device and a test server using the device’s Internet connectivity.

Now that we are done with sorting these marketed or offered plans, moving forward is the actual checking of the provider’s capacity to serve your business with the much-needed speed.

We are now going to know the actual measurement and identification of the right access provider. For this, there are three major elements you need to check and evaluate:

  1. Upload Speed – It is very essential to learn the upload speed capability of the Internet Provider you are choosing, especially when you are running a business to which upload is the primary communication to your clients. Again, the faster, the better. Who would not want a smooth and direct transaction?
  1. Download Speed – Of Course, if there is an upload speed, you should also have a great download speed or else, you can expect the worst.
  1. Your business’s operations and activities – And when you are determined with your business’s connection choice, do the internal evaluation. Assess your business’s activities. Are you heavily-reliant on a strong Internet connection or the common office set with sending and receiving of emails as well as processes?

There you have it! Are we making sense now? If you do not see any of the above clarifications, then think again about the provider you currently have or about to get. Don’t let your company suffer from idle connections that can hamper success.

Although these things may sound detail-demanding, it is always and always better safe than sorry. Yup, this one applies to what we are talking about right now. Like we always say on our blogs, we do not want a business client to experience bad times and headaches all because of an inefficient Internet for a business connection.

Being cost-effective is crucial for many Internet Service Providers in the Philippines. Therefore, a careful assessment, checking, and speed testing must be done. And we know that this is a bit challenging, especially when your business is in an urgent state of having the right fit connectivity provider.

But hey, partner! It is never too late to get answers and solutions for this! We got your company’s back and connection with our Fiber4Business! The best-unlimited Fiber Broadband in the metro that continuously grows to provide and deliver businesses of all types the perfect Fiber connection.

Get it by subscribing to InfiniVAN, Inc. All you need to do is share with us your company’s needs and let us do the work for you!

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

With numerous carrier deals available on 5G smartphones, like the iPhone 13, owners of older mobile devices might be interested in an upgrade. If you’ve been holding onto your phone for a few years, now might be the time you start thinking about making the switch to 5G. However, 5G phones can sometimes be more expensive than the alternatives, so before you take the leap, here’s how you can find out whether you can even make use of 5G.

Before we get to where you can find a 5G signal, it’s worth questioning whether you need it. Which sounds silly, right? Faster speeds? Who wouldn’t need that? Except with 5G, for now at least, you might not. Especially if you already have a fast wireless connection.

In the US, major carriers have been rolling out their 4G LTE network for the better part of a decade. As a result, the speeds they can carry are already pretty fast. In most places, the average user can pull down around 30 to 50 Mbps. This isn’t too far off from the average home internet speed. Average is the key word, as both home and wireless internet connections can be wildly subjective. So if you’re used to getting different results, you’ll have to factor that into your needs.

However, 30 to 50 Mbps is usually enough to stream high-quality video, play music, download apps, and do most other common tasks. 5G speeds will eventually enable things like connecting every car or street sign to the internet. But it lacks the same obvious use case for your phone that you want to do but can’t yet. Streaming games from services like xCloud could benefit from 5G, but those are still new services.

Before you buy a 5G phone because it has “faster speeds,” ask whether there’s something you need those higher speeds for. Do you plan to do a lot of game streaming? Are you in an area where streaming Netflix doesn’t work very well? (Even then, see below.) Do you usually need to upload large files like video that require as much speed as you can get? If so, you might have a use for 5G, but even then it might be a bumpy road to getting it.

This question is more complicated than it seems. If your phone is marketed as being a “5G” phone, then it probably supports some version of 5G. Although even that isn’t necessarily the case, as AT&T showed when it started using a misleading “5G E” label on phones that were only slight improvements on 4G phones. At the time, the company hadn’t rolled out its 5G network at all.

Even among phones that are accurately described as 5G, though—like the Galaxy A32 5G, the iPhone 13, and the Pixel 6—the issue isn’t entirely clear. The problem involves support for what’s called millimeter wave (mmWave). Without getting too technical, this refers to a portion of the wireless spectrum that is extremely fast but doesn’t travel very far and has trouble penetrating buildings. The range is so limited that in dense city areas, support often has to be added on a block-by-block basis.

Carriers in the US are in the process of rolling out 5G networks, but mmWave is even further behind. Verizon, the most prominent supporter of mmWave, has extremely limited coverage. At Apple’s iPhone event, Verizon announced that it is expanding support for Ultra Wideband (as Verizon calls it) to “parts of” 55 cities. Unless you live in one of these cities, you might never see mmWave support at all, and even then it could be spotty for a while.

Internet seem slow? The first thing you should do is perform a speed test. Learn more about Internet speeds, how to perform a speed test, and how to understand your speed test results with the tips below.

Internet speeds explained

Shaw and most other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) divide their Internet plans according to download speeds. Your download speed determines how quickly your devices can receive data online, which can be everything from downloading a 4K movie to receiving an email. While a higher download speed does mean a faster connection, it is wise to note that this is divided amongst all devices connected to your home network, so the more devices that are online, the lower top end speed you will see.

If you want to ensure you are getting the right speeds or if you are experiencing slower than usual speeds, a speed test is a great way to see what download speeds are in real-time. While testing at the same time of day is a good idea if you are trying to track an on-going issue, it’s good to test speeds at different times of the day to get a full grasp of your speeds and ensure track consistency.

Performing a speed test

Before you start

  • Check your Internet plan in My Shaw, under Internet , to see which plan you are currently subscribed. Details on download and upload speeds can be found under View Details on Internet Plans.
    • If you are subscribed to Fibre+ Gig 1.5 please see Performing a Total Bandwidth Test on Fibre+ Gig 1.5 .

    How to perform an Internet speed test

    1. Stand 10 feet and within line of sight to your modem with a device connected to your WiFi network’s 5G band, or connect a device directly to your modem with an Ethernet cable.
      Note : Our Shaw Gateway customers will not see their network split into two bands due to the feature Band Steering. For more information on this feature, please see Benefits of using one WiFi name and password for your home network.
    2. Visit speedtest.shaw.ca using the device you will use to test your speeds.
    3. The speed test should default to a location nearest to you. If you feel that the default location is incorrect, you can choose from a selection of servers in your country.
    4. Whenever you are ready, click or tap on “ Go .”
    5. After the test is complete, record your results, especially your download and upload speeds.
    6. To ensure accurate results, perform the speed test one more time. If you are not satisfied with your results, please try on a different device to verify this is not a device limitation. Please see Device Limitations

    Performing a total bandwidth test

    Given the high bandwidth that comes with Fibre+ Gig or Gig 1.5 you will need to measure total bandwidth rather than individual device bandwidth. This means running a speed test on two or more devices at the same time, also known as a Concurrent Speed Test .

    Before you start

    • Check your Internet plan in My Shaw, under Internet , to see which plan you are currently subscribed. Details on download and upload speeds can be found under View Details on Internet Plans.
    • If you don’t already have access to My Shaw, you can find out how here: How to manage your account using My Shaw.
    • Ensure you have multiple devices connected to WiFi or plugged directly into your modem
      • For wired connections, ensure you’re using the most current hardware (i.e. Gigabit Ethernet adaptor, Cat6 Ethernet cable).
      • If you’re unsure, please check the device specifications from the manufacturer.

      How to perform a total bandwidth test

      Using hardwired devices for this speed test will achieve the most accurate results. Given that WiFi is prone to interference and that environmental factors can be at play (distance from modem, physical obstructions, etc.) it may not be a good indicator of available speed.

      1. Connect two or more devices to your Gateway and have them readily available to test at the same time.
      2. Visit speedtest.shaw.ca on each device.
      3. The speed test should default to a location nearest to you. If you feel that the default location is incorrect, you can choose from a selection of servers in your country.
      4. Whenever you are ready, click or tap on Go at the same time on each device.
      5. After the test is complete, record your results from each device.
      6. To ensure accurate results, perform the speed test one more time. If you are not satisfied with your results, please try on a different device to verify this is not a device limitation. Please see Device Limitations.
      7. The speed is the combined total for all devices, so you will need to add the download speed from each device.

      How to understand your speed test results

      Example of Shaw speed test results of Fibre+ Gig plan on wired connection using a compatible device.

      • Ping : How fast your device connects to the network – the higher the ping, the longer it takes to transmit data.
      • Download speed : How fast your device can receive data from the Internet, such as receiving an email, a file or a movie. This can be dependent on device limitations, see below.
      • Upload speed : How fast your device can transmit data to the Internet, such as posting pictures to social media or sending an email. This can be dependent on device limitations, see below.

      Device limitations

      Depending on when a device was manufactured, it may not be able to reach the top speeds offered by your internet plan. This is true, regardless of whether the device is wired directly to the modem or operating in an ideal WiFi environment. Many devices made prior to 2015 are incapable of reaching speeds over 100 Mbps. Some devices lack the capability because high speeds aren’t deemed necessary for use.

      If you’re unsure of your device’s speed capabilities, we recommend that you check its technical specifications or contact the device’s manufacturer about potential upgrades or updates that might improve its performance.

      Did your results match or are relatively close to the speeds of your Internet plan?

      If yes, then the problem may be with your device.

      If no, there are other ways to improve your speeds.

      Please see our Speed Test FAQs for other questions you may have, or our article About: Internet Speeds to learn more.

      Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

      Germany is one of the world’s leading economies, but how does Germany do in terms of internet connectivity? Ever since many of us have been forced to work from home, the importance of access to a solid internet connection has become more apparent than ever! We’ll take a look at what German ISP are available and what connection type and speed you should look into for your new home in Germany. Let’s log into this topic!

      Internet providers in Germany

      If you’re living in any of Germany’s major cities, it’s likely that you’ll have or will be opting for an internet connection provided by some of the country’s major internet providers. Most of these providers are large telecommunications companies, that do not only offer wired home internet connections but also tv, phone and mobile internet services. As a result, you can usually get a nice package deal!

      The most widely available in Germany are:

      • Deutsche Telekom (known for T-mobile and T-systems)
      • O2
      • 1&1
      • Vodafone

      Internet speed in Germany

      What’s the average internet speed in Germany?

      As one of the primary economic hubs of the European Union, you’d think that Germany would be at the forefront of developing high-tech internet infrastructure. For regular users, there’s not much to complain about! In fact, Germany managed to double its average internet speed from around 27Mbps in 2015 to around 55 Mbps in 2020 (Cisco, 2020). Obviously, the speeds you can get depend on where you live, and on whether you live in an old or a modern building or part of a city. German Altbau is beautiful to look at, but probably isn’t hooked up to a super-fast network!

      Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

      Photo by Compare Fibre (owned by Amvia) via Unsplash

      Most of Germany’s internet connections are ADSL connections. Essentially, a massive network of phone lines made out of copper cable. This is fine for regular people, as this type of internet supports download speeds up to around 250Mbps. The downside is that these connections are not suitable for something like a corporate or shared networks, or even the home networks for IT professionals. This type of connection simply does not offer enough down- and upstream to support hundreds of people doing their thing at the same time. It’s no surprise then, that there are still quite a few people in Germany that can’t match the download speeds that are advertised. A simple example would be a two-way street, where the download lane is broader than the upload lane, and there is a traffic jam going on that keeps everyone from driving at the recommended speed.

      A more favourable solution would be to modernise the cables in the ground, upgrading to optical fiber networks, which literally means transmitting data at the speed of light. While available in plenty of places, even a city like Berlin doesn’t always have easy and affordable access to these faster networks. A frustration for many a Berlin startup that needs to upload data as much as they need to download it!

      Average internet speed in Germany compared

      So, the average internet speed in Germany is 55 Mbps, but how does that compare to other countries? Well, it’s certainly a lot better than that in India, which only has an average of 13 Mbps. It’s also better than the United States, which sees average speeds of 15-50Mbps depending on which state you look at. Let’s look at a few more examples:

      Country Average Speed (Cisco, Cable.co.uk)

      Country Average speed
      Germany 55 Mbps
      India 13 Mbps
      US 15-15 Mbps
      UK 37.5 Mbps
      France 51.5 Mbps
      Austria 27.7 Mbps
      The Netherlands 95.6 Mbps

      So, even though our Dutch neighbours are blowing our speed out of the water, German internet speeds aren’t so slow after all!

      The best Internet Provider in Germany

      So you might be wondering which provider is the best internet provider in Germany, but there’s no clear winner here. It all depends on where you live, what’s on offer there and, of course if you can get a good connection for a decent price.

      If you’re renting in Germany, there’s also a large chance that your internet connection has been selected by your landlord. However, these are not always the best connections or they are shared with others. This can mean that in practice, your internet experience might be frustratingly slow, especially if you’re connecting over wifi. This can obviously be a problem if you’re working from home, trying to attend virtual meetings and loading your favourite websites at the same time! So, here are a few tips in this case:

      What do I do if my internet is slow?

      • Ask your landlord if they can run a cable to your home, so you can connect your computer or laptop without interference or speed loss that comes with wifi.
      • Make sure your wifi router is unobstructed, and not hidden in a cabinet! This will seriously hamper your speed and network stability.
      • If you can’t move the wifi router, you could invest in an access point or network repeater to boost your signal.
      • Sit down with your landlord and find yourself a better internet deal that matches your internet needs!

      There are useful comparison websites, like Check24.de which simply let you enter your (prospective) address to see what’s available now. The prices mentioned include sales, new membership deals and other price reductions, so you can make an easy decision based on the balance between speed and price. Keep an eye on the minimum contract duration (Mindestvertraglaufzeit) if you’re shopping for yourself, though. If your stay is shorter than the minimum duration, it makes sense to pick one without such a minimum requirement.

      In case you’re wondering what type of speed you’re surfing the net at right now (even on mobile!), then simply navigate to Fast.com, Netflix’s own speed test page! It performs the test through the Netflix servers to also detect network throttling (to slow down your speed for certain services), which can be common practice in countries like the US. It doesn’t really happen in Germany, but it’s still a nice, lightweight speed test option.

      So, now you know everything you want to know about the internet landscape in Germany! In short, Germany is a little behind in terms of high tech infrastructure, but has everything a regular user needs to do their every day working from home, video streaming and online gaming!

      Upgraded, high-speed Wi-Fi is available to buy on select domestic flights. Browse the internet, check emails and stream video services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO faster than ever before.

      To see what’s on your flight, check your boarding pass or online ahead of time.

      How to connect to Wi-Fi

      Phone or tablet:

      1. Enable airplane mode and connect to the “AA-Inflight” Wi-Fi signal
      2. If you’re not redirected, open a browser and enter aainflight.com

      Laptop:

      1. Connect to the “AA-Inflight” Wi-Fi signal
      2. If you’re not redirected, open a browser and enter aainflight.com

      Pricing

      You can always access aa.com for free during your flight.

      Pay as you fly

      Wi-Fi is available on almost all routes for as little as $10.

      Pay monthly

      If you fly often, join the American Airlines Wi-Fi Subscription Plan for $49.95 for a monthly plan or $59.95 for a 2-device monthly plan.

      To buy an American Airlines Wi-Fi Subscription Plan, you must:

      • Be an AAdvantage ® member
      • Have an email address saved in your AAdvantage ® account
      • Have a credit card with a U.S. billing address saved in your AAdvantage ® account

      Your monthly Wi-Fi subscription will be valid on most domestic flights operating between airports within the United States, or between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America, where network coverage is available.

      Panasonic international Wi-Fi services are not included in the American Airlines Wi-Fi Subscription Plan.

      • Terms of use
      • Subscription terms of sale

      Need assistance or have a question about your Wi-Fi service onboard?

      American Airlines Wi-Fi Subscription Plan

      Live Chat

      Air: Inflight Wi-Fi portal choose Contact Us

      Phone:
      Email:

      The inflight Wi-Fi portal will display “Connected by Gogo”

      Your credit card statement charges will appear as “AA WIFI”

      Live Chat

      Air: Inflight Wi-Fi portal choose Contact Us

      Phone:
      Email:

      The inflight Wi-Fi portal will display “Connected by Gogo”

      Your credit card statement charges will appear as “HTTP://WWW.GOGOAIR.COM IL 877-350-0038”

      Viasat

      Live Chat

      Air: Inflight Wi-Fi portal choose Contact Us

      Phone:

      The inflight Wi-Fi portal will display “Connected by Viasat”

      Your credit card statement charges will appear as “VIASAT IN-FLIGHT WIFI 888-649-6711 CA”

      Panasonic

      Phone:
      Email:

      The inflight Wi-Fi portal will display “Service provided by Panasonic”

      Your credit card statement charges will appear as “AA-WIFI BY PANASONIC”

      Onboard power

      Most of our planes have AC power outlets and/or USB power ports, and we’re in the process of installing even more access to power on other planes.

      Phones and electronic devices

      You can use your cell phone, laptop and other electronic devices onboard until advised by the flight crew, but phone calls aren’t allowed during flight.

      It looks like Big Telecom may be advertising speeds that Canadians simply aren’t getting. While our lawyer friends at PIAC decry the lack of transparency about Internet speeds in Canada, informal tests here and formal tests in other countries indicate a huge gap between what you think you’re paying for and what your ISP provides. Article by Emily Chung for the CBC: Consumers believe they can expect to receive maximum advertised internet speeds in their homes most of the time, but the data to show how often that actually happens doesn’t exist, a new study has found.

      It looks like Big Telecom may be advertising speeds that Canadians simply aren’t getting. While our lawyer friends at PIAC decry the lack of transparency about Internet speeds in Canada, informal tests here and formal tests in other countries indicate a huge gap between what you think you’re paying for and what your ISP provides.

      Article by Emily Chung for the CBC:

      Consumers believe they can expect to receive maximum advertised internet speeds in their homes most of the time, but the data to show how often that actually happens doesn’t exist, a new study has found.

      “There really aren’t any comprehensive tests that are done at the retail level … to confirm what speeds they’re actually able to get consistently,” Janet Lo, co-author of the study by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, said in an interview Thursday.

      In fact, she said, there is “some data that suggests there might be a gap” between advertised speeds and those achieved in the home, as found in other countries that have actually made the measurements.

      Why you probably aren’t getting the internet speeds you’re paying for (and how to tell)

      Faster Wi-Fi is a possibility! Just follow these five steps.

      Tired of slow Wi-Fi? Fear not: Faster Wi-Fi speeds are possible, if you’re willing to work (and pay) for them.

      The good news is that many broadband companies are doing their part. Many cable providers are now offering lightning-fast Internet speeds. But if your Wi-Fi router isn’t set up correctly, even Google ( GOOGL ) Fiber can feel like dial-up.

      Wi-Fi is a temperamental technology, and a simple oversight can negatively impact browsing speeds.

      Unfortunately, changing your router’s settings is rarely fun. But many routers come with apps that take much of the head-scratching out of the process.

      If you’re brave and determined enough, here are five tips to make your Wi-Fi faster.

      1) Choose the right channel and frequency. Did you know that your Wi-Fi router has channels? Sometimes, just changing the channel on your router can make a world of difference, particularly if you live in an apartment building with lots of interference from other Wi-Fi signals. Other technologies like cordless phones and microwaves can interfere with Wi-Fi as well.

      Try channels 1, 6 or 11. If those don’t work, go to 2 or 10 next. Hunt and peck until you feel like your speeds are improving.

      Modern Wi-Fi routers also broadcast in different frequencies: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Generally speaking, 2.4 GHz is better for bigger homes with multiple floors, because the signal travels farther and can more easily penetrate through walls. But for smaller rooms or homes, 5 GHz is the way to go: it offers much faster speeds, albeit in a shorter range.

      2) Move your router to its ideal position. Think high and centrally located. A tall shelf in the middle of a room is the best place for your router.

      If your Wi-Fi router has antennas, and you need the signal to go through a wall, position the antennas in straight angles so they go right through the wall. Signals that travel through walls at an angle can severely reduce Wi-Fi speeds.

      Also, it’s important to adapt to your surroundings — ceiling height, room size and certain building materials can adversely affect Wi-Fi speeds. Keep your router away from thick walls made of brick or concrete.

      But the biggest enemies of Wi-Fi are water and windows. Nearby pipes and even plants (there’s water in all those leaves) can slow Wi-Fi to a crawl. Reflective surfaces can make Wi-Fi signals bounce at strange angles.

      3) Make sure your router is secure. Putting a password on your router or limiting which devices can access your network will keep Wi-Fi moochers from slowing down your network. Also, there are plenty of other good reasons to secure your router beyond faster Wi-Fi speeds.

      4) Get a newer router. Are you using the Wi-Fi router your cable company gave you? Did you buy your router during the Bush administration? You probably aren’t using the best technology.

      New routers have smart technology that can send signals directly to devices (instead of beaming signals randomly around a room). They offer faster speeds, multiple frequencies, and smart home technologies that know which of your gazillion connected devices to give priority to (i.e. whatever device you’re streaming Netflix on).

      5) Buy a network extender. Cheaper than a new router, but still somewhat expensive, network extenders can boost a signal in those hard-to-reach corners of your home. You can even use some old routers as a network extender if you have one lying around.