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How to tell if you’re getting the internet speed you’re paying for

From the home office to your living room, a residential internet connection has become essential for most of us. But are you getting everything you pay for?

I am an information technology professional. And in this article, I’m going to explain how to test your internet to make sure you are getting the speed that matches your monthly bill and discuss the factors that are affecting your internet performance.

Follow these steps to see if you get the Internet you are paying for:

Run a speed test

The first step is to measure how fast your internet is actually working. You can do this for free by taking a speed test.

A speed test identifies your location and the location of the server closest to you. It pings the server to determine how long it takes for the ping to reach the server. He will measure two things: the download speed which is the speed at which the server sends you data, and the download speed which is the speed at which data is sent from your devices to the internet.

Here are some services that I have tested myself.

Speed ​​test

Speed ​​test is a free and easy way to check your internet speed. Run a scan using your internet connected devices and Speedtest will report your connection speed. Visit the website and click “Go” to run the test.

Fast.com

Fast.com is another site that you can use to check your speed. The test begins as soon as you arrive on the site.

mLab

mLab is another speed test website. They are open source and provide a more comprehensive analysis of your connection speed.

Internet service provider

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have their own speed tests. Visit your ISP’s website to see if they offer the test. Here are some links to the speed test pages of a few popular companies:

Check your Internet bill

Once you’ve figured out how fast you’re getting, compare it to your last internet bill. If you find that your speed is significantly different from what you should be receiving, call the company.

Keep in mind that the speed given by your Internet service provider is a maximum speed. Most customers won’t get the top speed, but it should come close. If there is a significant difference between what you are getting and what you should be getting, your ISP can fix the problem for you.

Other Factors Affecting Internet Speed

It is not always your ISP’s fault that you get a slower speed than promised. Here are some factors that can slow down your internet connection.

Connection type

Most homes have a combination of wired and wireless devices. A wired connection will always be faster than a wireless connection. If possible, connect your devices to a wired connection.

Some homes, especially newer ones, have Ethernet cables throughout the house. This allows you to connect devices like your smart TV, video games, smart devices, computers and other equipment. If you are building a new house, consider running cables through all rooms during construction. If you don’t have existing lines, you can operate them yourself, but it can be expensive and time consuming.

If you don’t want to use cables, you can use wireless to connect all of your devices. Make sure you have a good wireless router and consider a mesh system that adds “extensions” to your network for a better connection. A mesh network is a collection of devices that behave like a single wireless network, so there are multiple sources of Wi-Fi throughout your home.

If your devices are located far from the wireless router, you will likely experience performance and connection issues. Using a mesh system is ideal for large homes or even small homes where you don’t receive a strong Wi-Fi signal.

Network traffic

Gaming and streaming use a lot of bandwidth. The way your ISP distributes its service to customers is also a factor. Most residential broadband services share bandwidth, so network traffic at any given time can impact your speed.

Other devices in your home can interfere with your wireless network. These include baby monitors, bluetooth devices, walkie talkies, microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, wireless security cameras, radar motion detectors, analog audio systems and even Wi. -Fi of your neighbor. Try to locate your router in an area away from these types of devices.

Equipment age

Another factor that determines your speed is the age of your gear. If you have older computers, tablets, phones, and laptops, they may not get as fast a connection as newer equipment with updated network adapters and other hardware. Older equipment on your network can also slow down the speed of your newer devices.

Router location

Try to position your router in a central location free from interference from other devices in your home. Do not place your router in a confined space such as a closet or cabinet.

Your house

Houses with lots of bricks, metal, heavy wood, and concrete can block a wireless signal. Signals may be weakened when passing through walls.

Virus

Viruses and other malware can also negatively impact your speed. If your computer or other device is infected, the malware can connect to the Internet without your knowledge and use your bandwidth. It is important to keep a quality antivirus program installed on your computers, laptops and mobile devices to prevent infections.

Final thoughts

Now that you’ve figured out if you’re getting the internet speed you’re paying for, you might be wondering if there are ways to cut costs. Here are some ways to reduce your Internet bill:

  • Change supplier: When you sign up for a new service, you often receive a promotional offer that usually expires after a year. And then the prices go up. (There is also an upfront setup fee, although some vendors waive this fee for new customers.) You can also call your current vendor with a competitor’s offer to see if it will match.
  • Buy your own modem: If you need a cable modem for your connection, there is often a monthly rental fee. You can avoid these charges by purchasing your own cable modem. It will probably pay off in just a few months.

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