It is important to subscribe to an internet service that offers the best possible speed. Not all major or local internet providers offer you the speed they advertise. For instance, an ISP might advertise a gigabit internet service but the actual speed may vary slightly below the 1000 Mbps mark. However, a drastic speed difference could affect your productivity. A slow speed connection can also make you impatient.
Most speed test services measure the internet connection’s speed with the following tests. Yet your overall test result could be affected by other factors too.
Also known as latency, ping rate is a measure of the response time or the time a user device takes to connect to a web server. Usually, this is measured in milliseconds. The quicker the response, the lower the latency is. A rate of 50 milliseconds is regarded as good for streaming or online gaming. Similarly, a rate of 250 milliseconds or less is considered good for normal web surfing; anything higher than that may be regarded as slow.
Bandwidth is measured usually in megabits per second. A 1 Mbps internet connection should take around 8 seconds to transfer a file sized one megabyte. The greater the bandwidth, the quicker one can download a file. The bandwidth requirements will depend upon different factors though, comprising how many people and devices are connected at the same time. While a 50 Mbps download bandwidth should cover 5 moderate data users’ requirements, a rate of 200 megabits per second or more may be necessitated for ten heavy data users.
As most users of the internet spend more time downloading than uploading, internet services give priority to the former. For this reason, the upload bandwidth is usually lower than the download bandwidth. As a result, a 5 Mbps upload bandwidth can cover up to five users’ requirements, whereas a rate of 20 megabits per second may be necessitated for ten users.
Some tests will comprise a jitter score. It is the variation amid response times. A good internet connection will have reliable as well as consistent response time, and a low jitter score is an indication of such service. As a general rule, it should be below 30 milliseconds.
As said, many other factors may also affect the internet speed test’s results. If you have an old PC, it may not be capable of downloading and uploading at the latest speeds. Other factors such as the cable modem, website traffic, and physical attributes of the environment in which you use the internet, as well as the number of wireless networks in your nearest place, can also affect the speed.
After all the other variables have been taken into account, the test speed has to be consistent with what you are paying for. In case not, then you might want to consider switching to a different service provider in your area.