Having a slow Internet connection can be extremely frustrating. It can also be very difficult to figure out why your Internet speed is slow or inconsistent. There are several different factors that can cause or contribute to Internet connection issues. Some of these factors include problems with your ISP (Internet service provider), a slow computer, faulty router or problems caused by other devices connecting to the Internet. Conducting an internet speed test at a site such as speedtest.org is one great way to help figure out where the problems are coming from.
When you conduct an Internet speed test, you will be given results of both your download and upload speed. To conduct a speed test, just visit speedtest.org. Then click on the start button to test how fast data is transferred. The download speed normally is ten times faster than the upload speed. The results provided at speedtest.org will be given in Mb/s. You can then compare the figures you receive with the connection speeds that your ISP has promised you.
If the download speed as well as upload speed does not fall within the range of speed that your Internet service provider has promised you, then you either need to upgrade the connection speed with the ISP or the slow Internet connection you are experiencing is being caused by your computer not running fast enough. If the connection speed is much slower than what your ISP has promised you, you need to do some additional testing in order to determine where the problems are coming from before contacting your ISP to upgrade your service.
Conduct Separate Speed Tests with each Router, Computer and Device to Isolate the Problem
How Conducting an Internet Speed Test Helps Isolate The Source of the ProblemOne potential problem could be your router. Most likely you are using a router to allow additional computers or devices inside your house to connect to the Internet. To determine whether or not your router is causing a problem with your Internet speed, connect a computer to your DSL or cable modem directly. Then conduct another Internet speed test. If the test results still show that your Internet speed is slow, the problem most likely lies with your Internet service. Contact your ISP to see about either upgrading your service or having the problem diagnosed and repaired.
However, if the Internet connection speed increases when not using the router on the speed test, then the problem is either with the router, your wireless connection or a different computer that is part of your network connecting to the Internet. To determine if it is a wireless issue, replug your router into the modem. Then connect your computer to the router with an Ethernet cord. Once everything is connected, conduct another Internet speed test. If the speeds are low, the router might need to be replaced. Or another device could be causing the problem. If the speed results are fast, try adjusting the router’s wireless settings. Usually the issue will be resolved by changing the wireless channel. If you don’t know how to do this, contact the router manufacturer or consult their website for instructions.
To determine whether the problem lies with a different device you are using as part of your network or if it is your router that is the issue, turn all other devices off and keep a computer connected to the router. Other devices include gaming systems, cell phones and tablets that you connect to the Internet. Then conduct a speed test again. If the speed results are still slow, most likely the problem is the router. However, if the speed increases, one of the other devices you are using is either causing issues with the network or using all your allotted bandwidth. If this is the case, you will want to turn each device on by itself and conduct another speed test. When the connection speed drops after turning on a particular device, you will then know which device is the cause of your problem.
Monitoring your Internet Connection Speed on a Regular Basis
Conducting Internet speed tests using a site like speedtest.org also can help you with isolating intermittent problems that can assist your Internet service provider with determining where the problem is coming from. You might discover that particular times or specific times of the day provide better connection speed than others. If you note down the specific times when you are having problems, it can help you and your Internet service provider isolate and determine what is causing slow connection speeds.