Speed ââtests should only be taken as rough guides to the quality of broadband connections, according to the Association of Internet Service Providers of SA (ISPA).
An Internet speed test measures connection speed – as well as the quality of the connected device – by running consecutive tests that analyze different aspects of the connection; including latency, upload and download speeds. This can be very useful for debugging issues, especially when comparing historical results from the same device using the same connection. However, they can sometimes be misleading.
Normal internet use picks up content from many different locations which may have different quality connections to the global web. Speed ââtests, however, measure the speed between specific points that may not exactly match the consumer’s Internet usage patterns.
The type of browser, the age and quality of the device, the operating system and whether the connection is via mobile, landline or Wi-Fi can all influence the overall result. Additionally, some online speed tests are âplayingâ their test servers to influence consumers with bloated upload and download speeds. Browser-based speed tests are useful for checking internet speeds on a computer, while downloading an appropriate application is advised for better accuracy on mobiles.
“Performing a speed test and then assessing your satisfaction with an ISP based on the result provides some information, but there are other considerations when selecting an ISP,” says the president of the ISPA, AndrÃ© van der Walt. He proposes to ask himself the following questions:
What does the web say about the ISP?
A quick Google search of an established and reputable ISP should soon reveal consumer ratings of their overall service on platforms like HelloPeter, Facebook and others.
What does your network of contacts think?
Check all applicable comments on neighborhood social media and messaging groups and you may also consider simply asking knowledgeable tech-savvy friends who they use to access the internet.
Can you talk to someone when you need to?
When things go wrong, you might not be able to email or fill out a Contact Us form, for obvious reasons. Consumers need to determine if their potential ISP runs a full-fledged call center or provides at least one phone number for customer service. If you have any questions or concerns, try calling the ISP and see what response you get.
Is the ISP an established business entity?
In the past, a business card could have convinced a potential customer that a particular business was legitimate. Today, consumers should be looking for a business website, online directory listings, CIPRO registration or the like that would suggest equipment reputed to be able to meet their access needs. to the Internet.
ISPA has represented the interests of Internet service providers and Internet consumers in South Africa since 1996. More information is available at www.ispa.org.za.