The first thing you should do if you have a slow internet connection is to perform a speed test. spectrum speed test are a fantastic place to start troubleshooting because they just take a minute.
A Spectrum speed test evaluates your download and upload speeds, as well as your ping. Because most ISPs make separate guarantees for download and upload speeds, measuring the latter two is critical.
The download speed is usually highlighted, but if you dig deeper, you’ll find that the ISP often specifies a lesser upload speed for each level. For example, our local ISP provides a plan with a download speed of 500 Mbps but an upload speed of 125 Mbps.
What Is A Speed Test?
An internet speed test is the most accurate way to determine how fast your connection is currently. Your download and upload speeds are frequently limited by the service you connect to, which is depending on the plan you picked, local congestion, any throttling regulations it has, and so on.
The catch is that almost all guarantees made by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) include the word “up to.” This provides an ISP wiggle room: if it promised you “up to 30 Mbps,” but you consistently only get 28 Mbps, the company can claim it maintained its promise. If you see 10 Mbps, however, you’re not getting what you paid for, and you should contact your ISP.
How A Speed Test Works
When you begin a speed test, several things happen. The client first calculates your location and the nearest test server to you—this is a crucial step. Some versions, such as Ookla’s Speedtest.net, allow you to switch servers. The Speed Test sends a simple signal (a ping) to the test server when it has been set up, and the server responds. The roundtrip time is measured in milliseconds in this test.
The download test begins after the ping is completed. The client connects to the server numerous times and tries to download a small amount of data. Two factors are measured at this point: how long it took to grab the data fragment and how much of your network resources it consumed.
If the client detects that you have free space on your hard drive, it opens additional connections to the server and downloads additional material. The overall idea is to put a strain on your internet connection to discover how much it can handle at once.
Consider your internet service to be a high-speed freeway. Adding more connections is like adding lanes to a freeway. The speed limit hasn’t increased, but more automobiles can fit into the same space at a faster rate; as a result, the 50th car will arrive sooner on a four-lane highway than on a two-lane.
After determining that it has the proper connections to test your internet service, the client downloads more chunks of data, calculates the quantity downloaded in the time permitted, and displays the download speed.
The upload test comes next. It’s effectively the same procedure as the download test, but it’s done backward. The client uploads data from your PC to the server instead of pulling data from the server.
Are Speed Tests Accurate?
Spectrum speed test are straightforward, but precisely measuring how fast your connection is is far more difficult than it appears.
Consider the process’s initial step: selecting a test server. Frequently, the closest server is really close—possibly even in the same city. Because of the close closeness, the data does not have to travel as far. Businesses recognize the importance of proximity, which is why some, such as Netflix, utilize a content delivery network to send data closer to you.
However, the entire internet is not within your reach. Much of the data is stored on computers located in other countries or across the country. So, while your spectrum internet speed test may show astonishingly quick streams, downloading a program may be quite slow if the server storing the data is located far away. Your findings may suggest a faster performance than your actual usage in that case.
Because of the differences in server locations, different speed tests, such as Ookla’s, Netflix’s, and Google’s, may likely yield different results. Your ISP, such as Comcast, spectrum speed test, or AT&T, may also provide a speed test. However, you shouldn’t rely on a speed test issued by your ISP.
Their tests are designed to run in ideal conditions, with servers located close to you and frequently connected to the same ISP network as the one you’re using. That means you’ll obtain a speedier result than if you run a speed test on Netflix or Google. It’s wonderful if you just want to brag about how great your ISP is (that’s the point), but it’s terrible for determining your actual speeds.
The client attempts to open extra connections and maximize your network consumption in phase two of the testing procedure. If your network is currently overburdened, the speed test won’t be able to fully utilize your resources.
If you test while watching Netflix or downloading a major update, your results will almost certainly be lower than if you test without those things running.
The results are also influenced by how you’re connected and which devices you’re testing on. Because Wi-Fi is normally slower than ethernet, an ethernet-connected PC should have a faster speed result than a Wi-Fi-connected tablet. Even though all of your devices are connected to the same network, you may notice that the results vary.
How To Get The Most Accurate Results
What you want to measure determines how accurate your speed test results are. Do you want to see if your Internet service provider is delivering the stated speeds? Then aim for the best possible conditions. Use an ethernet-connected device, select the nearest test server, and turn off anything that could be demanding your internet connection (like a streaming service).
Before doing a speed test, you might wish to restart your router. Instead of doing a browser test, see if your router has a built-in speed test. This eliminates some of the hurdles that the procedure must overcome.
Use a browser or app test instead if you want results that are more realistic. Bypassing the router test, you should be able to choose a server that is further away. If you have one or two video or audio streams running on a regular basis, start them before beginning the internet speed test.
At the end of the day, no matter what steps you take or how you measure, you won’t receive an exact outcome. However, you can achieve a good enough result to either pique your interest or verify your ISP’s advertised speeds.
For a variety of reasons, your Spectrum speed test results may be inaccurate. To begin with, the tests themselves aren’t flawless. They frequently employ sample files, which are quite different from the files you’d find on the internet.