The Way You Test Your broadband Is Useless

Jul 25 09:49 2013 SelJones Print This Article

This article explains in detail why testing your broadband may be a useless exercise.  It guides you through the pros and cons of the assorted methods available and advises you how to properly check your broadband speeds.

Sorry to tell you but the way that you test your broadband speed may well be pointless.  You’ve got a do a logical comprehensive test and go through a certain process in order to make it an accurate result and actually understand what’s going on with your connection.  In this article,Guest Posting we’ll show you how to go through a proper process so that don’t end up mislead by the results you get.

Why you ask “how fast is my broadband?”

I will ask myself how fast is my broadband from time to time in order to find out whether I should be troubleshooting issues considering a switch or simply moving where I am connecting.  Indeed, if you’re looking to find out whether you have issues with your connection then you should test your speed to find out whether there is a drop in performance over the bench mark test you did in the past.

If you have no benchmark test, then you’ll have to base on the advertised speed you are provided and factor in the fact the distance you are from the telephone exchange.  With ADSL, the distance from telephone exchange is a crucial aspect of the speed you can get as well whether you are on an increased bandwidth type of ADSL such as ADSL 2 or ADSL 2+.

A good way to find these details is jumping on to the website Sam Knows Best where you can look at what equipment is installed in your local telephone exchange and exactly how far away it is.

When I’m looking for a switch at the end of a broadband contract, I want to find out what my internet speed is so I could compare with other offerings available in the area.  By doing a broadband test properly, you can understand whether you’re likely to see improvement and how big that improvement is.  There’s no point going through the hustle of changing providers if you could just speak to your provider to negotiate a few pounds off your contract and be satisfied with the value for money you’re receiving.

It’s important that you also look at the actual speed test of other people in your area.  Services such as uSwitch offer you the opportunity to view the internet service provider speed test done by consumers in your neighbourhood simply by popping in your post code. This will be actual results so will be a better way of judging speed of internet service providers than by simply looking at advertised rates.

Sometimes I also check my broadband speed in order to find out whether I’m getting poor performance in certain parts of my home.  For example if I’m in my bedroom and I’m watching a movie with my wife, I may test my broadband speed to see whether the connection is capable of streaming a high definition movie.  I know that I probably need around 5Mbps in order to do so and my connection is fast enough but if the kids are online, doing their own streaming and multiplayer gaming then it can put strain on my ADSL connection.  If I find that the speed doesn’t seem to be up to it or the bandwidth this being used elsewhere, then I may well have a word with the family and say “get offline.”

The Proper Way to Test Your Broadband Speed

The best way to test your broadband speed is simply jumping online and using one of the many tools available on websites.  If you type in ‘test my broadband speed’ or ‘how fast is my broadband’, you’ll be able to come up with a number of website tools to select from.  It’s important that you select a tool that has service based close to you.  There’s no point testing your speed based on a server in the USA if you’re based in the UK; after all, there will be additional bottlenecks  along the way.

What the test will do is send a file up and down to your computer so that it can work out what your upload speed, download is and how long it took to get a response to send and receive the file.  Therefore you’ll get an upload, download, and latency speed result for your connection.  Rather than just doing it at once and relying on these results you should test three to five times.  This will provide you an average and you’ll be better able to see whether there is instability on your line and whether your connection is regular.

You may also want to test different times of the day because your internet may well perform very differently during peak and off peak periods.  Indeed, if there are serious issues with contention ratios on your line, then you may find that you get very poor performance in the evenings when other people are online.

If you are on a package that is traffic managed and has fair usage policies.  You should consider the implication this is having on your broadband.  As well as testing several times at different times of the day, you should also test in different ways.

Test Wirelessly

If you’re asking “how fast is my broadband” you may well not get the right answer unless you do the correct test.  If you’re testing wirelessly, then you may be subject to certain interference from other wireless signals and also obstruction from physical objects between the wireless router and your device.  On top of these, you may be impeded by the fact that the router cannot send the signal fast enough or your device cannot receive it at the speed required. 

After testing wirelessly, you should go on to the next test.

Test Wired

You can then test wired in to your Ethernet port.  This will remove the wireless issues and therefore you’ll be able to see the disparity between the wireless connection speed and the Ethernet connected speed.  This can help you understand where issues may lie and also whether it may be possible to run wires around your home in order to get better speed.

Test through the Testing Port

The main telephone socket in your home through which your router should be plugged will have two screws.  The bottom half of the face of the BT landline port will come off when you unscrew these and there should be a testing point inside.  This is a point that comes directly in to your home before accessing your telephone line and therefore you can test without any impact from the inside, except for the quality of your filters, router, and device of connection.

Therefore, you can get a pretty good measure of the speed you’re actually achieving.  If you find you’re having problems at this level then you should make sure that your devices are up to the job in terms of your laptop being clean and virus free and having the processing power to do the job, your router being high enough capacity, your cables being good quality and your microfilters likewise.

If all of your equipment seems to be fine, then it could be that you have issues on the line from the telephone exchange to your home or in the telephone exchange itself.  Speak to your provider and see if they can identify any faults that need to be escalated to BT Openreach.


When you ask yourself what is my broadband speed, you need to ensure that you are asking the right question for the task that you’re trying to complete.  It could be that the broadband speed wirelessly, wired and coming in to your home are very different. Therefore, they may need to be solutions put into place at different points in your broadband data journey in order to ensure that you get the best possible service that you can.

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Sam Jones knew that one of the main queries for most people was 'How fast is my broadband?’  To help people find out more he showed them how to use uSwitch and similar sites.

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