Test your Internet connection speed with the accurate HTML5 speed test tool from OpenSpeedTest.com. No Flash or Java needed. The higher the speed, the better.
Tip: For the best results, connect your computer directly to your modem with a wired Ethernet cable for this test. Additionally, this speed is often measured in Mbps (megabits per second not megabytes per second). The lower-case 'b' in Mbps stands for 'bits' and not 'bytes'.
About Download Speed
The download speed measures how fast your Internet connection receives data from the Internet (refer to as bandwidth). As you visit websites, watch online videos, listen to podcast, and perform other Internet activities, you are receiving (downloading) data onto your computer, Between your upload and download speeds, the download speed is typically the one that matters to most people. With higher your download speed, you'll be able to enough more smoother and higher quality video and audio and enjoy a better overall experience while on the Internet. If you have multiple devices streaming content from the Internet simultaneously (such as those in a family setting), you want to purchase sufficient bandwidth from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to meet the volume of data being downloaded.
About Upload Speed
The upload speed measures how fast your Internet connection can send data to the Internet. For most, a high upload speed is not necessary. However, if you often post videos to your social media channels (such as YouTube, Twitch, Facebook), hold video chat (such as Skype, FaceTime), play online games (such as on Xbox, PlayStation, multi-player games on your home computer), and send your data backups to a cloud storage, you would want to have a high upload speed. If you are a person that typically only browse through websites, send emails, doing online banking, watch videos, and similar, you do not need a high upload speed.
What is Network Latency/Jitter?
Latency and jitter is basically a measurement of delay in network communication. There are slight differences between the two but ultimately both are metrics to measure network performance. It is typically affected by the geographical distance between the devices and the quality of the medium in which the data travels through. It is measured in milliseconds (ms) and the lower the number, the better.
|Basic||The difference in the delay between two consecutive data packets.||The delay through a network (how much time is required for a data packet to reach its destination).|
|Causes||Congestion in the network. Geographical distance.||Network protocol and routing efficiency, data protocol. Geographical distance.|
|Prevention||Replace or upgrade your router and network Ethernet cables (use Category 6 or higher grade cables).||Reduce the number of hops, find more efficient network paths.|
Generally speaking, there isn't much you, as a consumer, can do to improve latency. However, changing your Internet Service Provider may. A network using fiber optic cables generally has a lower latency then one using copper. Satellite-based Internet service generally have poor latency and it is not recommended for real-time applications such as VoIP, video chat and online gaming.
The typical latency you can expect will be based on the type of connection to the Internet you have. For cable or fiber optic connections, you should easily see latency of 100ms or less. For satellite-based connections, this can increase to 800ms or more. A good latency for online gaming is 30ms or less. You cannot get rid of latency. The best anyone can do is to reduce it to an acceptable level for your usage.
You can use the command-line ping tool to test your latency to a server or website. Our article on ping provides detailed step-by-step instructions on how to measure your network latency.
Recommended Minimum Internet Speeds
The Internet speed (bandwidth) you should subscribe to will be based on how you use it. The list below will provide guidance on the bandwidth to consider purchasing.
|1Mbps - 3Mbps||Casual infrequent web browsing, emailing, compressed music streaming from one or two devices.|
|4Mbp - 10Mbps||Frequent daily web browsing, non-HD video streaming, music streaming from up to three devices.|
|11Mbps - 25Mbps||Frequent daily persistent web browsing, HD video steaming, music stream, upload of photos and videos to social media platforms from up to five devices. Or you work from home and use video chat (e.g., Skype), voice-over-IP (VoIP) communication, collaboration tool (e.g, WebEx, Teams) work with large volume of emails, and transfer large files..|
|25Mbp+||Streaming 4K or ultra HD video, sending data backup to cloud storage, online gaming, from multiple devices.|
What factors affect my Internet speed?
The speed (bandwidth) you experience while on the Internet can be affected by several factors. How much these affect your Internet experience will depend on the speed you are subscribing, how much network traffic your device and other devices on your network (e.g., home network, coffee shop, hotel) are generating, and the overall performance on the network you are on. A summary of factors that can slow your speed are as follows:
- Multiple devices on your network is generating high volume of traffic. Streaming content, particularly high-quality video, can significantly reduce the available bandwidth to the Internet.
- If you are connected to your network wirelessly, you may be sitting at an area with weak wireless coverage.
- Programs on your device my be running consuming some of your bandwidth. Programs for video chat, audio chat, stock alerts, news feed, monitoring or surveillance and other that require a persistent connection to the Internet can individually or cumulatively hogging up your available bandwidth.
- The network you are on has too many devices connected to it. Public places such as hotels and airports offering free Wi-Fi will undoubtedly have many people connected to it. The collective traffic generated by the connected devices may be more than the network can handle.
What can I do to improve my slow Internet speed?
Before contacting your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or mobile carrier to upgrade your service package, there may be some actions you can take to reclaim or improve your bandwidth.
- Close any unnecessary programs that are running on your device.
- If you are connected to your network wirelessly, relocate yourself closer to the wireless access point (at home, this is typically your router).
- If you are connected to your network wirelessly, relocate the wireless access point closer to your devices while avoid having concrete wall, high-power appliances, fluorescent lights and similar objects between you and the access point.
- If possible, connect to your network (to the router or network switch) with a physical Ethernet cable as oppose to wirelessly.
- Close any streaming application on devices not being used (such as TVs streaming Netflix, YouTube, or Amazon Prime videos).
- The problem may be with the ISP and may only be intermittent. Call your provider and ask if they known service issues in your area.
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