Speed Testing

June 4, 2021

Speed test done through your browser were fairly accurate when speeds were only 50MB or 100MB, but now with speeds racing up to 1GB your browser just can’t handle it. Your browser may have several processes going on that could slow down the results. Also, your browser attempts to find the shortest route from your home to the speed test server. But much like like finding a location using Google Maps the route taken might head down some questionable streets and not take into account any new road construction that can slow you down. Using the Speed Test app helps eliminate these issues and give you the best results. 

Accurate Testing Requirements

Using the app is the first step in getting accurate results. The next is making sure you’re testing on a computer with a wired connection to your modem. Why A Wired Connection? The Internet speed that comes from your ISP can only be testing accurately with a direct connection. Testing through your home WiFi has far too many variables to call it accurate. Your ISP provides the speed TO your home. Your WiFi is something that you have IN your home. WiFi signals are affected by everything from stainless steel appliances, to microwaves, to baby monitors. Walls can degrade the signal or even block it from some areas in your home. All these things are obviously beyond your ISP's control. So testing with these obstacles can NOT give an accurate result.

Doesn't my ISP supply my WiFi?

Yes, and No. Your ISP will usually provide the equipment to give you wireless connection in your home. The entry level WiFi is a combination modem/router unit that provides coverage, but it’s still affected by all the other devices in your home that the ISP has no control over. They will try to place your router in the best location in your home, but the router is much like a garden hose spraying water. The farther you get from the hose the weaker the stream gets and anything that gets in the way will block the stream. The same is true with your WiFi signal. 

Can WiFi cover my entire house?

Yes it can. Technology is always jumping forward in leaps and bounds. Today most ISP's have whole home solutions. One of the best one the market is the PLUME system. This consists of a Superpod (main control unit) that connects to your modem and is your WiFi connection. The Plume system delivers reliable speeds up the level of your subscription. If you have a super fast 1GB connection, Plume can handle it. If you have a large home and the Superpod can't reach the distance or into all the corners, you can simply add additional pods that boost the signal anywhere you need them. The other benefit of the Plume system is the fantastic phone app that helps control everything from guest access to parental controls to limit children from getting online late at night. It also tracks usage of every device connected to your WiFi. 

Conclusion

If you're experiencing slow speeds, before you blame your ISP, you need to check out your speed via the Speed Test app with a direct connection to your modem. This will let you know if they are delivering the speed they promised. You need to give the ISP a little grace. If you've subscribed to a 300MB plan and you're getting 220MB... you're not all that far off and you shouldn't notice any delays in anything you're doing on your computer or game system. If you've subscribed to 300MB and your only getting 25MB... call right away.  If you're getting the correct speed of your plan with a direct connection, then the issue is inside your home and the ISP may or may not be able to assist you. Sometimes you have interference from other WiFi networks in your neighborhood. (When my computer looks for a WiFi connection I can see 15 different access points from all my neighbors. If you live in an apartment or more congested area there could be double that many). Usually this type of interference is cured by a channel change on your router. As a quick fix to a slow WiFi connection, power cycle your WiFi modem or router. This will cure 98% of all issues. Much like rebooting a stuck computer. Just remember that an internet speed issue can be a complicated problem that I can guarantee will never be solved by yelling at a customer service rep at your ISP. Most problems are caused within your own home... but the ISP will be happy to help you solve them.