Five tips to look for when testing your network speed
By Eli Riles
Eli Riles is a retired Insurance Agent from New York. He is a self taught expert in network infrastructure. He spends half the year traveling and visiting remote corners of the earth. The other half of the year you’ll find him in his computer labs testing and tinkering with the latest network technology. For questions or comments please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the United States, there are no rules governing truth in bandwidth claims, at least none that we are aware of. Just imagine if every time you went to a gas station, the meters were adjusted to exaggerate the amount of fuel pumped, or the gas contained inert additives. Most consumers count on the fact that state and federal regulators monitor your local gas station to insure that a gallon is a gallon and the fuel is not a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol.
Unfortunately in the Internet service provider world, there is no regulation at this time. So it is up to you the consumer to ensure you are getting what you are paying for.
Network operators deploy an array of strategies to make their service seem faster than others. The most common technique is to simply oversell the amount of bandwidth they can actually handle and hope that not all users are active at one time.
It is up to the consumer, who often has a choice of service providers, Satellite, Cable, Phone company, wireless operator etc, to insure that they are getting what they are paying for.
We at Network Optimization news want to help you level the playing field so here are some tips to use when testing your network speed.
1)Use a speed test site that transfers at least 10 megabits of data with each test.
Some providers will start slowing your speed after a certain amount of data is passed in a short period, the larger the file in the test the better
2)Repeat your tests with at least three different speed test sites.
Different speed test sites use different methods for passing data and results will vary.
3)Try not to use speed test sites recommended by your provider.
Or at least augment their recommended sites with other sites.
4)Run your tests during busy hours typically between 5 and 9 p.m. in the evening, try running them at different times.
Often times providers have trouble providing their top advertised speeds during busy hours.
5)Make sure you test your speed in both directions.
The test you use should upload as well as download information.
To find the latest speed test sites on the network, we suggest you use a Google search with the terms:
“test my network speed”
Dig down deep in the list of results for more obscure sites.
Lastly, remember the grass is not always greener. If you find your speeds are not always up to their advertised rates don’t be alarmed – the industry is not regulated in the US and speeds can vary for a variety of reasons. Your provider is likely doing the best job it can while trying to stay profitable.
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