Testing the speed of your internet connection is easy, but it’s also easy to misunderstand the results. Your devices — TVs, routers, smartphones, laptops, desktops, etc. — have different capabilities, and you can get different results on each one, even while using the same internet connection. This is particularly noticeable to users taking advantage of higher speed packages, like the 1 Gig (Gbps) service offered by RTC Communications. Here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating your speed test results:
Hard-Wire VS. Wireless
That old-school cord-and-plug is simply more reliable than Wi-Fi (wireless) connectivity. Even those super-fast 1 Gbps connections, won’t test out at higher than 500 to 700 Mbps when tested over WiFi.
For the most accurate speed test result you must test with a hard-wired device. Why? Because there are nearly endless variables that can negatively affect a Wi-Fi signal, everything from nearby construction or the wireless printer in the home office to a baby monitor or microwave in use in the home.
Keep in mind that one limitation with a hard-wired connection is testing with a device that has a 100 Mbps NIC (Network Interface Card). This can cause you to consistently receive speed test results at 90-98 Mbps. RTC Communications recommends testing on a device that has a 1 Gbps NIC.
Possible Problems Affecting Speed and Speed Test
Slow internet speeds are sometimes caused by malware such as adware and viruses. There are several free and inexpensive programs and apps to deal with that, and they’re important to use for many reasons. This also sounds obvious, but it’s very easy to overlook any ongoing downloads or programs like video chat that may be turned on while you’re conducting a speed test on your device.
Close these applications, reboot your device, and test again. Even the browser you use — Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft’s new Edge, etc. — can affect your test speed. Try different browsers to see if that’s the case on your system. If you have a Wi-Fi extender, make sure you turn it off before you run a speed test. Otherwise, your computer may test the wrong connection. This brings us to a final point about equipment.
Technology advances constantly, and many older devices and network equipment cannot take full advantage of the blazing speed and bandwidth of today’s fiber broadband connectivity. Make sure your devices and equipment have the network cards and internal processing power that can leverage the speed of market-leading fiber broadband like that from RTC Communications.
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