A Guideline To High Speed Internet Testing

By Alley Benton
Updated December 19, 2016
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A Guideline To High Speed Internet TestingSpeed is one of the most important things people think about when choosing their internet. All internet providers also use it to advertise and attract people to their service. They speak of speed tests, megabits, upload speeds, and more. But what do these things mean? Hopefully, these guidelines to high speed internet testing will lift some of that veil.

A Guideline To High Speed Internet Testing:

1. Megabytes and megabits

The megabits per second (Mbps) tells you the speed of the broadband. This is not the same as MB (megabytes), however, as that refers to file size. Every byte has eight bits, so an 8 Mbps speed is the same as a 1 MB per second speed.

2. Download speed

The download speed tells you how quickly you can see information online on your device. Usually, the range is between 8 and 200 Mbps. However, the speed of your download is actually not hugely important if you are a casual surfer. That said, if everyone in your household goes online, you like to download games, and stream online music and movies, then you need something fast when it comes to download speed.

3. Upload speed

This is, as the name suggests, how quickly data goes from your device onto the internet. For instance, how quickly you can get your vacation pictures on Facebook. Usually, this is much slower than the speed of download, because you are likely to use it less. If, however, you work from home on a remote network, then the upload speed is very important.

Guidelines to High Speed Internet Testing - Why Does Speed Matter?

It is easy enough to go online and get a speed test. However, this isn't gospel truth and may even be far from accurate, not in the least because the actual speed will vary depending on what day it is, and what time of the day. Plus, your provider may push certain uploads or downloads more than others, meaning that your average speed is not reflective of your usage speed.

How far is your location from the exchange also matters. That said, even if your exchange is literally on your doorstep, your speed may still be slower than advertised depending on how many people use it, the material used in the cables, and the quality of those materials. Copper wires, for instance, which are very commonly used, lose data the farther they go. However, more people are now using fiber optics, in which distance is a little less important.

So how do you find out how fast your internet is speed? The best way is to perform regular speed tests for each of the devices you use. But you have to do that properly, and know exactly what it is you're looking for as well. For instance, if you want to know the top speed of your internet, switch all your devices bar one off and test the speed late at night, when nobody in your geographical area is online. If you want to know your realistic speed, test your internet will all devices on, at a time of day when more people in your area will be online as well.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.