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Are speed tests reliable?

Posted On     Friday, November 26th, 2021

Speed test is a very useful tool to measure download and upload speed, and ping. So if you are having any problem with your internet, you might give it a try 

 

“That is strange, my internet is a little slow…” 

I believe everyone in the world has experienced that at least once in their lives.  It is especially boring when you are gaming online and suddenly freezes or when your ping rate rises to the clouds out of the blue.  It happens because, unfortunately, internet technologies are not perfect worlds. Actually, internet signals are prone to many interferences and do not have the same quality everywhere in your house, in your neighbourhood, in your region and even in your country. 

But, nevertheless if you have paid for a service, you need to receive it, right? So, if your internet feels a little bit slow, you might want to take a speed test. Speed tests are each day more reliable tools for measuring different rates, such as download, upload or ping.  Even internet providers use it to make sure you have the right speed when they install a new modem and Wi-Fi router at your house. 

 If you are already trying to find the right internet plan for you, take the Cleverping Quizz. It is fast and easy. And remember, the best plan is the one that better suits your needs. 

Methodology 

Many internet speed tests work the same way. They first use geolocalization tools to detect where your device is, so it is important to make sure you have allowed the location function on your mobile or notebook. Therefore, it selects the best server around you. Remember, we have uncountable servers on the web. The speed test will find out the best you can access considering your location and also partner providers that allow the site to use their connections. 

Even though it should not be an issue, it is important to try two or three different speed tests. If you have bad luck, the first one you try might have some trouble working in your region or with your provider. From this moment on, the test will check your internet connection quality from three different perspectives. 

 

  1. Ping

Once connected, the test will start performing small downloads. That is how it will measure your latency, or ping. Ping is basically the time it takes for your action (a button click, for example) to reach the server, come back to your device and have an effect. It’s measured in milliseconds. 

So, if you and another player shoot at the same time, at the same target, if your latency, or ping, is bigger, you might lose the kill. Or, worse, you might get killed because it took too long for the internet to process your defense power. In any means, a speed test will tell your ping rate accurately. 

 

  1. Download

In the second phase, the test will measure your download speed. For that, it will download several files, simultaneously, to calculate it. Remember when you were looking for the best internet plan for your house? Then you were looking at prices and download speeds such as 25Mbps, 200Mbps and even 1Gbps. 

 Quick note: Mbps means megabyte per second, it tells you how much data your internet can download in a second. Gbps stands for Gigabyte per second and one gigabyte equals around 1,000 megabytes (so, it is faster than megabytes plans). 

 Coming back to where we were, your download speed is how you choose your internet plan  and is what decides how much you are paying your provider. So, if your result comes back lower than what your internet plan promises, as the classic 2001 movie used to tell us, “Houston, we have a problem”. 

 So make sure to take a close look at this part. If you are experiencing lag while playing online or if a movie stream is jamming, this part of the test might find the issue. 

 

 

  1. Upload

Finally, the test will start sending data packages to the server and will measure how long your internet will take to upload it.

Well, if you got here, you already know that this is how it will measure your upload speed —which is also pre-determined by your internet plan, so look if the result you have is the same you are paying for. If any of those results come back wrong, you should contact your internet provider for support.  But, nevertheless, there are some issues that you can fix by yourself or even be unrelated to your provider. 

 

Good practices 

First of all, there are several things in your own home that can make your internet speed slower.  Internet signal travels through the air, but it has limited range and gets weaker as far as it goes. 

 Also, physical objects along the way block signals. Metal and drywall are the worst obstacles, meanwhile glass is not that problematic.  Anyway, before starting the test, plug your notebook to the internet modem through an Ethernet cable. 

 “Wait, that ancient cable my family members used to use?” Yes, having an Ethernet cable connection is the best way to decrease ping at your game or optimize your stream quality. 

 If you can not use a cable, at least make sure your device is in line of sight with the Wi-Fi router, making a clear way for the internet signal to travel from one to another. Also, if your internet provider allows it, you might want to buy your own set of modem and router. Having good equipment makes you lose less internet quality. 

If you live in a big home, you should try buying a mesh, a set of routers that works together intelligently to take internet signals to every corner of your house and make sure your device is connected to the best one in range. 

 

Tricks 

Finally, there are some old tricks you can give a try that may fix your internet problems. Probably the most traditional strategy in the world is starting over. Or, in internet terms, rebooting your device. 

Just unplug it from the energy cable, wait for ten seconds and then plug it again. Wait until all the lights are ok again and give it a try. Although it is a very comom trick, if you are needing to use it much often, your device might be broken and the best solution could be buying a new one. 

Another option is changing both your Wi-Fi password and the device’s default password. This method can help if someone is using it without your authorization. 

Another possibility is that your software is outdated.  As any device, routers and modems often get firmwares updates made to improve its performances or fix bugs. Is pretty simple to check if they are up to date. A quick search on the web can tell you the latest available version of it and how to compare it with the one installed in your notebook. 

Anyway, many recent devices update automatically, so this might not be the answer to the problem you have.  If you keep having troubles, reach out for your internet provider’s support. They will fix the problem for you.

 

Written By: Larissa Bernardes

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