Testing My Internet Speed? How To Check WiFi Speed

When you go looking for the perfect service operators and WiFi connections, you must have seen the brand making all kinds of promises to you—promising very smooth and high data speed. It’s not until you face any problems or slow connection that you decide to check your internet’s actual speed.

And even if your data works smoothly, you can’t help but wonder what the speed of your internet is. Well, if you want to test your internet connection or WiFi speed, then this article will definitely help you. There is more than just one way to get your accurate speed.

This article covers a few best practices on how to check wifi speed. Let’s not directly jump into the process and try to understand a few basics here. Most people think the Internet and WiFi are the same things. You did, too, right? Well, although they serve the same purpose, they are quite different.

Feel free to stop and take a minute or two to learn about this. This article will help you get the right speed for your Internet and WiFi separately.

Why is knowing your Internet Speed important?

There’s more to internet speed than the mere inconvenience or convenience caused by it. You, of course, want to know how fast your internet is or how poor it is. Your internet speed decides what kind of activities you can do over the internet without any interruption.

For example, sometimes your internet speed is too slow to watch a youtube video. Your Internet speed also determines how many devices can be connected to the same connection at once without causing an issue.

You need a minimum of 5Mbps speed to watch an HD quality video, given that only one device is connected to the internet connection. Most importantly, when you choose a certain Internet Provider because they promise a certain quality and speed of the internet.

To top that, we try to purchase the most effective plans, which may cost a little more than usual plans. If you put so much effort and money into the comfort of good internet, then it’s important to know if the current internet is working for you.

Sometimes it is the compatibility of your device or location that may be causing the internet issues. In that case, you need to find the connection that is suitable for you.

How To Run a Speed Test On Wifi

While discussing the quality of the internet or purchasing any device, a lot of different terms are tossed around in the conversation like – bandwidth, ping, jitter, etc. Well, most people mix up all of these and are clueless about the exact meanings. 

In order to get this confusion out of the way, let’s look into a few terminologies that you need to know about internet speed.

What is Bandwidth?

People usually think Bandwidth is the same as internet speed. Whereas it is completely different. Bandwidth refers to the amount or volume of data that can be transferred in the given amount of time, and it is measured in Mbps (megabytes per second).

It is true that Bandwidth does impact the upload or download speed of your connection. The more the bandwidth, the faster your data speed can get.

Upload Speed and Download Speed: How are they different?

People generally wonder why the two must be so different. Here’s why- 

  1. Upload Speed: it is the speed at which you can transfer the data from your device to the Internet. Upload speed is often ignored while judging the speed of the internet.
    But it is essential while making a video call, sending messages, sharing any kind of media or files online, and uploading anything of your social handles.
  2. Download Speed: download speed is quite the opposite of the upload speed; it refers to the speed at which you can get the data on your device from the internet. It is more of a pull medium. It is the most important factor while streaming any kind of video online, visiting any website, playing music, etc.

Most internet activities require a good download speed, and hence you can notice that the download speed is usually much higher than the Upload speed. 

There are a few more terminologies you need to know about in short in the order you understand the entire concept better. 

Basic Terminologies

  1. Ping – It helps you to understand whether you are able to reach the server. In short, it is a lag. The lower the ping time, the better it is. Ping has a huge impact on activities like gaming, texting, and video calling. 
  2. Jitter – to simply put it, jitter is a delay faced by your connection while sending the data over the internet. The longer it takes to transmit the data, the negative impact on the quality increases. The Jitter value is usually below 10 milliseconds. 
  3. Lag – Lag is simply the delay in receiving or sending data over the internet. It is caused by Jitter or Ping. It is also known as Latency. 
  4. Packet Loss: Packet loss is a fairly technical term. The data is transmitted over the internet in the form of Data packets. So packet loss is a scenario where the transmitted packet is either partially received or lost on the path. If the packet is lost, it is sent over the same connection. 

You now know everything you need to know to understand your internet connection better. Now all this is okay, but have you ever wondered how a certain software can guess my internet speed so accurately.

Well, in today’s world, where technology grows to surprise us every single day, we need to make the best out of these inventions.

Everything you need to test your Internet Speed

Testing your internet is daily simple, and there are so many ways to do it. But it’s important that you follow certain things in order to get an accurate measurement of your speed.

  1. Make sure you are not connected to the VPN. 
  2. Do not download, upload or stream anything while testing your internet. 
  3. Make sure yours is the only device that is connected to the internet connection. Turn off all the other routers or devices that could be connected to it. 
  4. You need to turn off any bandwidth-related features on your routers like QoS or Bandwidth Control.
  5. You will be needing a computer device on which you will be testing your internet. It should have a Gigabit port for a normal connection, but if you want to test faster internet, then you are going to need a Multi-gig capable computer. 
  6. Use a network cable and connect your computer directly to your internet courses like a modem, Fibre ONT, or a gateway.  

That is all you need before testing your internet speed. Now that you are all set, it’s finally time to test your internet.

How To Check WiFi Speed?

There are so many websites and software available to test your internet. To name a few of them – Speed test by Ookla, Speedtest.net, Fast.com, Project Stream, etc. The most commonly used is Speedtest.net.

You should pick the one that works the best in your country or region. Make sure that the website itself is dynamic and does not have any issues. There’s no better or best website here amongst many. The key is to stick to one of them and compare your speed from time to time. 

All you need to do is connect your PC to the internet and follow all the requirements discussed earlier. Once you are connected, you just need to navigate yourself to the test button and start the test.

It will first calculate your download speed, and then it will calculate your upload speed. Once done, both the speeds will be reflected on your screen separately. Please note that your internet speed will always vary because it’s never constant.

It will also vary depending on the location you are in or weather conditions. But if you find out that even in ideal conditions, your internet speed is constantly lower than promised by the Internet Provider, then don’t hesitate to raise the issue.
If your Internet Provider can resolve it, you can continue using it, but if they can, then it’s time to change your operator or Internet Provider. Now that you know how to test your internet, it’s time to test the data speed of your WiFi. It is not going to be as easy as testing your Internet.

Everything you need to Test your WiFi

WiFi technology has evolved over the years. Each generation keeps getting faster and more robust. WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E are now faster than ever. WiFi 5, on the other hand, was always slower than the cable internet.

Testing your WiFi is different from testing your internet. Visiting a website or an app to let its software calculate the speed of your WiFi network isn’t the most accurate way.

Therefore the best way to test your WiFi speed is by transferring data from one computer to another on a shared network.  It may sound complicated, but it definitely isn’t. Let the steps mentioned below guide you.

So here’s all you need to test your WiFi Speed- 

  1. You need one Computer or Laptop that will work as your Server. If you have WiFi 6 or above, you need to make sure that the computer has a Gigabit Network port or a Gigabit Ethernet port.
    Now you need to connect the computer with the LAN port of the router you will be testing. You must share the test data on this computer since it acts as a server; it will be accessible to the rest of the devices connected to the WiFi Router. 
  2. You will need another computer or a Laptop to play the role of WiFi Client. You will then connect this device to the network you are testing. 
  3. Now focus on your computer acting as a WiFi Client and try to access the folder shared on the first computer (Server Computer). Once you have found it, you need to copy the data to the WiFi Client Computer simply.
  4. Note down the time required to copy and transfer this data and note the size of the folder. All you need to do is perform a simple division, and you will need the exact speed of your WiFi.  

After this, you will have your results. And just like your Internet speed, your WiFi speed may fluctuate due to various factors impacting it.

Other WiFi Tests that could be done

  1. Router NAS(network-attached-setting) Speed Test- this is used in case the router has an eSATA port or a USB port.
  2. Speed test for WiFi Mesh – it tests multiple Hardware units for the Wireless Network setup.
  3. WiFi Router test – using different routers, extenders, or access points
  4. Sever pecs- Custom built in your computer
  5. Client Spects- using multiple laptops or desktops. 

There are a lot of different Server or client specs that could be used to perform your tests but make sure you use one at a time.

How often should you rely on WiFi Speed Tests?

These tests are not the ultimate results of the quality of your WiFi or Internet. Internet and WiFi are far too vast to be judged by a simple software test. It’s best to test your WiFi if you find yourself stuck with a poor network and an inconvenient experience. 

It is always going to be impossible to find the most accurate WiFi or Internet Speed. And even if you do calculate the speed as directed above, it’s not correct to hold those results true in another time or place.

Always make sure you perform multiple tests using the same software at different hours of the day and different places before you raise it to your internet provider. And if you figure out your internet doesn’t work well in the area you live in, it is best to change your Internet Provider.

Final Words

Make the most of these free online speed tests and keep track of your data speed. To wrap it up, stick to one particular speed test for your Internet and test your WiFi speed using the client-server method.

Do multiple tests and feel free to consider the fastest speed as the ideal capacity on your network. Well, I hope this article helped you understand your network connection better and test your speed much easier.

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I am Steven S. Martin, the person behind HDMITechnologies. Personally, I run my tech hub in Texas and used almost thousands of devices for my hub for the last 15 years. I put all my experiences and knowledge to make your decision better and valuable.

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