- Different tests will give you different results. Even the same test may give you different results between tests. This is due to the location of test servers and the number of people sharing your connection.
- Take multiple tests and find the average speed you are getting.
- You may need to have Flash installed to run the test.
- If given the option, pick the test server closest to your physical location. This will help get you the most accurate results (on speedtest.net, this is chosen automatically based on ping)
- If you haven't upgraded your internet in a long time, you may be able to get better speeds for less money. Companies aren't usually keen to inform you of better deals, so check to see if new services are available that weren't when you signed up. Check with all the providers in your area.
- Be aware of the megabyte/megabit difference. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) advertise in megabits, not megabytes. There are 8 megabits (Mb) in a megabyte (MB), so if you are paying for 25 megabits per second (Mbps), then that's just over 3 megabytes per second (MBps) of actual maximum transfer speed. If your test result was measured in Kbps, then you divide that number by 1000 to attain your measurement in Mbps.
Reset your modem. Restarting your modem and router can help alleviate some network issues by cleaning up old data and re-provisioning your modem configuration from your internet service provider. If necessary, your modem will automatically download firmware updates from the ISP. See this guide for details on resetting your network.
Check for sources of interference. If you are using a wireless router, some devices can affect your connection due to interference. Wireless routers come in multiple varieties; 802.11 b, g, and n (2.4 GHz) or 802.11 a (5.8 GHz). Common devices that can interfere with your wireless connection are microwaves and cell phones, many of which operate in the 2.4 GHz range. In order to minimize interference, turn off data on your phone and move your microwave oven away from wireless devices and your router when you're using the connection.
Check to see if you've reached a data cap. Some internet providers enforce a data cap on their customers' internet usage. A data cap limits the amount of information you can download and upload over the internet in the course of a month. Occasionally, they may call this a "data usage plan". Log in to your account page, or contact the customer service department to see if you have gone over your monthly allowance. Often, the penalty for going over the cap is decreased speed for the rest of the billing period or extra charges on your bill.
Call your internet service provider. Sometimes you just have a bad connection that can only be fixed on your provider's end. They can usually tell if your connection is substandard without having a technician come to your home by reading signal levels off of your modem. If necessary, they will send a line technician out to your house or neighborhood to check their infrastructure. If the problem is on your end, you might be charged a fee for the visit, so it's important to try troubleshooting over the phone or internet first.
Check all of the devices on your network. If someone else on your network is downloading a lot of media from the internet, such as watching streaming videos or downloading large files, it is probably using a significant percentage of your bandwidth. If you're familiar with your router's web interface, you may be able to find QoS (Quality of Service) settings to prioritize traffic from certain IPs or service and limit the throughput for others. Otherwise, ask them to keep their downloading habits to a minimum.
- Clean out the dust from your router and modem once in a while using a can of compressed air. This will help keep the unit from overheating and consequently, improve its stability.
- Maintain proper ventilation around all electrical components to avoid overheating.
Check your filters if you have DSL. When you activated DSL, you hooked the line from your phone jack into one side of a rectangular box filter. On the other side, you have 2 lines coming out, 1 for your phone and 1 for your modem. If you are using a DSL connection over your land-line, make sure that you have high-quality filters in place to get optimum signal speed.
Check the weather. If you are using satellite internet, your internet connection might be altered because of wind, heavy snow, rain, lightning, static, or other electrical interference.
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