How to Check Your Broadband Performance with Internet Speed Tests

Published: February 16, 2018 | Updated: January 20, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Lifestyle


internet speed test
How’s your internet speed at home? Does your broadband service feel like it’s slower than the speed you signed up for?
A good portion of your monthly budget goes to your internet service, so make sure it’s measuring up to what you’re paying for. Check your internet speed regularly. This will allow you to fix any problem and decide if you need to upgrade your broadband plan or switch to a new service provider to get your desired speeds.
Running an internet speed test is also useful when you’re looking for the best broadband plan in your area.
Here’s everything you need to know about finding out how fast (or slow) your connection speed actually is with an internet speed test.

How to Check Internet Speed

slow internet speed
Plenty of browser-based and app-based internet speed tests are available to help you monitor your internet service quality in real time.
Some of these online tools even provide deeper insights on your speed test results. For example, a speed test can show how your results compare to the average internet speed in the Philippines and worldwide. It may also tell you what online activities will work and won’t work based on your internet speed.
Here are five free internet speed tests for measuring your broadband and mobile internet performance:

1. BASS PH


BASS PH (Bandwidth and Signal Statistics) is an independent, community-based mobile app developed by IT volunteers all over the Philippines. Also called Project Bass, this online tool helps both Android and iOS users track their mobile internet speed.
The team behind the app aims to push internet service providers in the Philippines to improve their services and consistently deliver their promised speeds. The app features a virtual map that lets a user know which telco has the best coverage, signal strength, and internet speed where they live or work. This information is based on the internet speed test results of other BASS PH users in their area.

2. Fast.com

internet speed test
This simple internet speed test gives a quick snapshot of your download speed, showing just a huge number in Mbps. Run by Netflix, Fast.com is designed for users who want to check if they can stream high-definition movies with their current internet speed. Non-Netflix users can test their speed with this tool as well.

3. Google Homepage


Another quick way to check your internet speed is to run Google’s built-in speed test. At the Google homepage, simply type “speed test” into the search box. You’ll see the tool on top of the search results. Click on Run Speed Test and wait for your results. After about 30 seconds, Google will display your download and upload speeds, latency, server location, and a short assessment of your internet quality.

4. Speedtest.net

internet speed tests
Ookla’s Speedtest.net is among the world’s most popular internet speed tests. The Seattle, Washington-based web service allows checking speeds on both Mac and Windows computers. It also has a mobile app version for Android, iOS, and Windows devices.

5. Speedtest.ph

internet speed test
If you prefer an internet speed test that provides an in-depth analysis of your broadband or mobile connection, Speedtest.ph fits the bill. Aside from the standard internet speed data, this tool also shows a quick comparison of your results versus the world and country averages. This speed test displays how long it will take you to perform certain online activities based on your results. For example, it lets you see how fast you can download a 700 MB movie and a 10 MB file.

How to Understand Your Internet Speed Test Results

To determine what your internet speed results exactly mean, you have to be able to interpret the data generated by speed tests. Internet speed tests commonly measure download speed, upload speed, and latency or ping.

Download speed

Measured in megabits per second (Mbps), download speed describes how fast you can receive content from the internet. It’s the crucial data in your speed test results if you often perform online activities that consist of downloads, such as browsing and streaming videos, movie, and music. The higher your download speed, the faster you can download internet content.

Upload speed

Upload speed tells you how fast you can send content to the internet in Mbps. You need a higher upload speed if you often share or upload videos, photos, music, and other large files via email and social networks. The higher the value, the better your connection is.

Latency/Ping

Measured in milliseconds (ms), latency or ping shows how responsive your internet connection is. The lower your ping is, the better. You need a fast ping for video games and other applications in which timing is crucial.

What is a Good Internet Speed?

How fast is a fast internet? It depends on various factors, such as what you’re using the internet for and the number of devices that share the connection in your household. The more internet users and heavier usage you have at home, the higher connection speed you need.
To give you a clearer picture of the ideal internet speed, here are the recommended connection speeds for the most commonly used websites and apps.

Website/AppIdeal internet speeds
Skype
  • Voice calls: 0.1 Mbps download / 0.1 Mbps upload
  • Video calls: 0.5 Mbps download / 0.5 Mbps upload
  • Group video (3 people): 2 Mbps download / 0.512 Mbps upload (higher speeds needed for more people joining a group video call)
YouTube       At least 1 Mbps download
Netflix
  • Standard quality: 1.5 Mbps download
  • HD quality: 5 Mbps for HD quality
Spotify 

        1-2 Mbps download

Email0.075 Mbps upload (sending an email without attachments)
Video gamesLess than 100 ms ping
Facebook0.03 Mbps download

Final Thoughts

After getting your internet speed test results, compare them with the advertised maximum speeds of your broadband plan. Let’s say your package has a 3 Mbps speed, and your results show that your speed averages at 3-4 Mbps. If you’re still dissatisfied with your actual speed even if the data matches up, it means you’re just paying for slow internet. In that case, consider upgrading to a broadband plan with a higher speed.
On the other hand, if your actual internet speed is way lower than your broadband plan’s promised speed, contact your provider to check if the issue is coming from their end. Seek their help in improving your connection speed. No matter how frustrated you are with their service, always remember to treat their customer service representatives with respect.
Lastly, if you’re still unhappy with your slow internet connection and your provider’s customer service, you’ll be better off finding a new broadband provider.

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