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How to do a proper Internet speed test

We’re going to show you how to perform a proper Internet speed test

Internet speeds can seem slow for a variety of reasons. Rogue programs using your bandwidth, poor Wi-Fi reception and other problems can make your Internet connection feel frustratingly slow.

Running a proper test will help you get started on diagnosing the problem.

Step one: plug your computer directly into the modem

Since your WiFi router can lower your Internet speed, you should plug your laptop or desktop computer directly into your fiber modem to measure the connection’s performance.

Before you do this, make sure your computer has a gigabit Ethernet port. Gigabit Ethernet ports don’t look very different from other high-speed ports, so you should look to see what type of port your computer has.

You can learn more about your computer’s Ethernet ports by opening the Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet then choosing Network and Sharing Center. The screen should show you your active networks. Next to Connections, you should see a link called Ethernet. When you click Ethernet, a status window should open with a lot of information about your connection, including its speed.

Pay particular attention to the connection’s speed. If it lists your speed in Gbps, then you have a gigabit port. If it lists your speed in Mbps, then you have a megabit port.

Mac users can get more information about their computers’ ports by visiting the Apple site and entering their products’ serial number.

Step two: disconnect all other devices from your network

Disconnect all devices from the Internet (except for the computer you’re using) so they don’t drain your speed. Some of the devices that you might not think about include:

  • Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and other content-streaming devices
  • Mobile devices with access to your home network
  • Any smart devices (surveillance cameras, stereo systems, etc.) that use your network to communicate with each other

You can double-check your network for connected devices by using network scanning apps like GlassWire or Angry IP Scanner.

Of course, you can also unplug your wireless router. If you have a lot of smart devices in your house, then unplugging the router will probably take less time than disconnecting each item.

Step three: use test sites to measure your real Internet speed

Now that you’ve connected your desktop to your modem and disconnected all other devices that might try to use the network, you can use a test site to measure your Internet speed accurately.
Some reliable test sites include:

Each site’s results may vary slightly because of several factors, such as whether their servers are located near your home. Test your speed several times on each site. The highest speed that you get tells you how fast your Internet connection is.

Once you perform a proper Internet speed test, you will have information that helps you make the most of your connection.

If the speed seems surprisingly slow, then you can try a number of ways to boost the speed, such as changing your WiFi channel and resetting your modem turning it off and letting it sit for at least 30 seconds.