Broadband Speed Test: ADSL, Cable, Satellite, Mobile | finder.com

Broadband Speed Test

Test your Internet connection and see if you’re getting what you pay for.

Test broadband speed button

The finder Broadband Speed Test calculates a number of different factors related to your broadband speed.
Results are only an indication of the speeds you are receiving and should be used as general advice to compare broadband plans.

What is a speed test?

Being able to connect to the Internet is an essential part of modern life, but it’s becoming increasingly important to be able to connect at speed, so you can get to the information you want as quickly as possible.

A speed test is a way of tracking that speed. While every speed test is different and is influenced by many different factors, which means you’ll probably never get the same results two times in a row, it’s the best indicator of what kind of speeds you get on your connection.

How do speed tests work?

Like all speed tests, the finder broadband speed test calculates the time it takes to transfer small amounts of data both to and from your computer from the speed-test server.

By monitoring the time it takes to transfer files, you can get an indication of what speed, measured in Mbps (megabits per second), your connection is getting.

What does a speed test actually test?

The finder Broadband Speed Test will calculate a number of different factors related to your broadband speed. While all of them are important, depending on your particular needs some may be more important than others.

Ping

Ping measures the time it takes for a signal to be sent from one computer to another computer and then back. It’s not so much about the transmission of data as it is about how long it takes for the two computers to actually get connected. Ping is generally measured in milliseconds, and the lower the ping result, the better the connection. A low ping is essential for online gaming, where you need your button presses and mouse clicks to be registered on the server as quickly as they happen so you aren’t at a disadvantage against your competitors.

Jitter

In order to get an accurate Ping result, the speed test will run it multiple times. Jitter records how much variation there is between those results. The lower the number, the more stable your connection is, but if you are seeing larger numbers for the Jitter result, it indicates some big variations in how quickly your computer can connect to the speed-test server. That might not be too bad if you’re testing from a mobile device, but if it’s consistently high on your computer, the results may indicate bigger issues with your connection.

Download Speed

This measurement records the speed at which your broadband connection can download files to your computer in Mbps. For many people, this is the most important factor of the speed test as it offers an indication of how quickly your connection will download large files. Having a high download speed can impact the quality of your Netflix stream (especially if you want to watch in 4K resolution) or how quickly you can download the latest game to your PlayStation 4 console. When it comes to download speed, the higher the number (in Mbps), the better your connection.

Upload Speed

Upload speed uses the same methodology as download speed, except it tracks how quickly your connection to the Internet can send files. Internet connections are asynchronous, which means that download speeds are given preference over upload speeds, making them faster. Upload speeds are especially important for sharing video files, so budding YouTube stars and videographers should consider plans promising high upload speeds. As with download speeds, the higher the number in Mbps, the better the speed.

Why aren’t I getting the speed I paid for?

There are many factors that can influence the actual speeds a broadband connection can achieve, ranging from the type of broadband connection to the number of people that are trying to connect at the same time. In some cases, the ISP you choose for your Internet connection can also affect the speeds you get.

For ADSL connections, the distance your address is from the telephone exchange and the quality of the copper wire will have the biggest effect on your speed performance, though congestion can also play a big part in how fast your speed test results will be.

I’m not happy with the speeds I’m getting. What can I do?

If you’re completely underwhelmed by the results of your speed test, try these tips to see if things improve.

1. Go wired

If you’re testing your broadband speed through a Wi-Fi connection, there’s a chance that it could be the wireless network that’s causing the speed issues. Fortunately, you can easily rule this out by directly connecting your computer to the router with an ethernet cable and running the test again. If the speeds are more in line with your expectations, then you know you should look at ways to speed up your Wi-Fi connection.

2. Check for viruses

It’s best practice to run anti-virus software to ensure your computer is safe, but if you’re not getting the speeds you hoped for, it might be worth running a scan again to make sure your machine hasn’t been infected. Viruses can often use up precious bandwidth in the background, and affect the speed results you might be getting.

3. Try a different modem

Not all modems are created equal. Some are designed specifically for ADSL2+ connections, while others are optimized for a full fiber connection. Quite often, the modem supplied by your ISP isn’t the best quality, so trying an alternative device may solve your problem. Remember to try both wired and wireless tests with the new modem to rule out the wireless factor.

4. Try a different DNS server

A DNS server is like the yellow pages for websites, letting you connect to the website you want. Most ISPs use their own DNS server, and sometimes that server isn’t very fast. Fortunately, it’s possible to configure your modem to access free, open DNS servers, which could speed up your broadband connection.

5. Check your cables

It’s important to remember to change the cable that connects your modem to the phone jack in the wall if you’re on FTTN since those older cables are often incapable of handling the speed of your connection.

6. Turn it off and on again

No, we’re not joking. Modems have a cache that can affect performance, so power cycling the hardware can clear out any processes that are causing it to slow down.

7. Contact your ISP.

If you’re still unhappy after testing all of the above tips, it’s time to contact your ISP. They may send a technician to your address to investigate as well as run diagnostics on your line. Alternatively, if you’ve noticed that your 100Mbps connection slows down at 8pm, it could be that the ISP hasn’t bought enough capacity to deal with the demand. If that’s the case, you may want to switch to a different provider with more backhaul to avoid congestion issues.

Compare broadband plans for a faster connection

Rates last updated December 11th, 2018
Details Features
Verizon FIOS
Verizon FIOS
  • Speeds: 50/50Mbps
  • From: $54.99 monthly
  • Min. contract: 12 months
  • Upload, download and stream movies superfast
    and virtually seamlessly.
  • Bundles:Internet, Phone
  • Offers: Price includes $10/mo. savings for 2-years
    and the standard setup charge is waived ($90 value).
Go to site More info
Cox Communications
Cox Communications
  • Speeds: Up to 300Mbps
  • From: $89.99 monthly
  • Min. contract: 12 or 24 months
  • On-time guarantee and 24/7 support
  • Bundles: Internet, TV, Home Phone
  • Offers: Free installation and receiver.
Go to site More info
AT&T Internet
AT&T Internet
  • Speeds: Up to 100Mbps
  • From: $40.00 monthly
  • Min. contract: 12 or 24 months
  • Your monthly rate is locked in - it won't change partway through your contract
  • Bundles: Internet, DirecTV, Home Phone
  • Offers: Price includes necessary equipment (like modem and/or HD DVR).
Go to site More info
Comcast XFINITY
Comcast XFINITY
  • Speeds: 25 to 75 Mbps
  • From: $49.99 monthly
  • Min. contract: 12 months
  • Bundle your internet with TV from this cable provider for tons of channel options
  • Bundles: Internet, Phone, TV
  • Offers:Get up to $100 back on qualifying plans.
Go to site More info
Charter Spectrum
Charter Spectrum
  • Speeds: Up to 60Mbps
  • From: $29.99 monthly
  • Min. contract: 12 months
  • Faster than standard DSL speeds
  • Bundles: Internet, TV, Home Phone
  • Offers: Free modem & DVR service included
Go to site More info
HughesNet Gen5
HughesNet Gen5
  • Speeds: Up to 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload
  • From: $49.99 monthly
  • Min. contract: 24 months
  • No hard data limits & Bonus Zone of free data
  • Bundles:Voice
  • Offers: Free standard installation
Go to site More info

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site