Sometimes, for various reasons, we’d like to know how fast our Internet connection is going. I work online, so ‘net speed is pretty important to me. When I test my upload/download speed, I go to www.speedtest.net.
Choose your location
When the page on speedtest.net loads, the first thing to do after clicking ‘Begin Test’ is to pick your location. It won’t be your exact location but rather, somewhere near. The map on the site will give your general area, so just pick the location nearest you for your Internet speed test.
The server at speedtest.net will show a gauge in the middle of the screen. Inside the gauge is a needle which points to different numbers, denoted in Mbps (Megabytes per second). First, it tests your download speed. Then it tests your upload speed. You can watch the progress of both tests on the gauge.
The end result will show you three things: your ping, your upload speed, and your download speed. If you aren’t familiar with any of this terminology, keep reading and I’ll give the general breakdown.
Ping is your network latency, sometimes called “Lag”. In a perfect world, it would be 0.00, but most of the time it’s higher. It’s rated in milliseconds, so 1,000 milliseconds of ping is one second of lag or delay. My setup averages about 25ms, which isn’t bad at all.
Your download speed is the rate, in Megabytes per second, that your computer is able to download information. This rate varies wildly depending on your hardware, your provider, your location, and your Internet type (dial-up, DSL, cable, etc). I average 24Mbps, which is a healthy connection. However, anything above 5Mbps is decent.
The upload speed is the rate at which your PC can upload information to the Internet. It’s always a lower number than the download speed, so don’t worry if your result is shockingly low. Even though my download speed is screaming, my upload speed is usually around 2Mbps. Again, the faster the connection, the better this rate will be.
And that’s it! speedtest.net is a fast and easy way to test your computer’s connection speed. If you are having Internet speed issues, test your connection often and log the results so that you can report them to your Internet Service Provider. A connection that is slow all the time is one thing, but if your speed fluctuates greatly, there could be an issue.
Happy Internet testing!