Improve Your Wifi Speed Test in 11 Easy Steps

Improve Your Wifi Speed Test in 11 Easy Steps
Published Feb 14, 2022

The speed test service is a program designed to measure the speeds between you and the testing service. The server will send data down your internet connection to your computer, which will calculate the amount of time it takes for this data to reach your computer.

The server then calculates how much data was sent during that time and reports back up towards the web browser how long it took for X units of data to travel between computers on their network.

For each test, three items should be tested: Download speed, upload speed, and ping latency. The results of all tests for all clients should then be printed to standard out. Keep in mind that typically download speeds are much higher than upload speeds:

 

“What is good Wi-Fi Speed”

A good internet speed is between 50 and 100 Mbps

Wi-Fi speed over 100 Mbps means:

  • Internet download speed means the speed at which you can download something, like a web page or email attachments, from the internet. Large files, like movies, or streaming services can drive your needs higher.
  • Determining exactly how much download speed you need, varies based on how many devices you have on the network, and what they are used for. Download speeds are by far the top complaint due to this variance.
  • You will not be able to reach 100 Mbps, without a broadband or fiber connection.

Wi-Fi speed over 1 Mbps allows means:

  • Internet upload speed means the speed at which you can upload something, like a photo or a video, to the internet. Unless you are providing external services through a server and/or connecting an office, you most likely will have a much slower upload speed.

Wi-Fi speed 30 ms or less means:

  • Ping speed is measured in milliseconds (ms) and is how long it takes for a packet of data to travel from your computer to the speed test server and back again.
  • Pings affect latency, not speed. The lower the ping latency the better.
  • Video calls will have the most visible impact on latency from longer ping times, as the communication is in real-time.

Here is an example of what good results look like:

good internet speed

After you have performed the speed test at the top of this page, and if you are not happy with the speed test results, there are things that you can do to improve your internet speed.

Read More>> How Bad Is Your Internet? FCC Asks the Public to Use Its Speed Test App

How to Get Faster Internet

Connect directly to your internet router

Use an Ethernet cable, and connect the computer directly to your internet router. A wireless connection is slower than a wired connection because your service goes through multiple devices before it reaches the router.

Wifi interference, signal strength, can also be one of the many factors and the fact that most wireless speeds are slower due to the lower maximum throughput of the particular device you are using.

Close unnecessary applications running on your computer to improve the speed

Close any unnecessary applications you have open. This includes, but is not limited to, web browsers, video calls, chat clients, email clients, and anything else that uses the network. Any application running on your computer will use up some of your current internet speed.

Pay special attention to high-speed applications that may include but are not limited to video chats, audio/video services such as YouTube and Spotify, online multiplayer games such as League of Legends and DOTA 2, etc.

High-speed applications require a stable and fast connection speed to function properly. If you have anything that is taking up speed on your computer then this will subtract from the speed at which you can download things with speedtest.net

Make sure other devices on the network are not utilizing the internet bandwidth

You likely have multiple devices on your network. If any of these connected devices are utilizing the bandwidth at the same time that you are attempting to get a speed test from the website, then you will not get an accurate measurement of speeds.

A common strategy is to disconnect all other connected devices on the network, perform an internet speed test using one computer, and then use that number as a baseline for comparison with future results.

Restart your internet modem and router

If you are still not satisfied with the results of the test after following all previous steps, check hardware-related problems by restarting your modem and router. Also, make sure that all cords are properly plugged in.

How to restart your internet modem and router:

  1. Note the state of the lights on the device. Record a short video of the lights, as it will help later on.
  2. Unplug cables from both ends. Wait at least a minute before plugging anything back in.
  3. Reseat the cables by wiggling them back and forth until firmly seated.
  4. Use a flashlight to verify that no cables are bent or broken (for example, look for kinks).
  5. You will need to wait for the lights on the modem and router to return to the state they were in before your rest the device. Here is where your previous video recording comes in handy.

Contact your ISP

Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) if internet speed problems persist even after internet speed tests and hardware restarting. Inform the ISP that you did not have other connected devices when you ran the test. Make sure to get a ticket number for your issue.

Keep in mind that upload speeds will be as stated previously considerably less than download speeds unless you have a business-grade internet connection.

If you are in the US, also contact the Federal Communications Commission about speed-related issues -> https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=39744.

Be aware of ISP restrictions

The ISP may restrict the transfer rate or have other restrictions on usage. The speed test service will not take these restrictions into account.

The speed test service will determine your speed based on your connection, but there are limitations in your ISP’s speed that cannot be determined by the speed test program.

Upgrade your download and upload speeds

Check with your ISP to see if you can upgrade your current internet speeds which will depend on your street address. If you can, the ISP may install a new line in your home network or business which will provide faster download and upload speeds and improve overall performance.

If you have an option for a broadband connection or fiber connect that is the fastest and should consider it relative to the cost. Fiber connection speeds can be 10 Gbps, but require special infrastructure hardware that can support it and is certainly rarely necessary for a home network.

Disable IPv6

disable ipv6

By default, your computer is configured to use IPv6 when it is available. This can speed up connections however in some cases IPv6 cannot be disabled and will result in lower speeds. In this case, IPv4 should be used instead of IPv6 for maximum speed.

Click on the Windows menu at the bottom left corner of your screen and type “view network status and tasks” into the search bar that pops up. Now click on View Network Status and Tasks from the list of options available to you.

This option may not always show up but once selected look for a heading called “Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection” and double-click on it to open its properties box so we can change settings related to speed.

Now that you have opened up the properties box for your active Internet connection, click on the “Configure” button at the bottom of this box to open up the next window where you should click on “Advanced” to continue.

Once in Advanced settings, scroll down until you see two options called “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)”. Select IPv4 both times if they are not already selected. If you wish to disable IPv6 entirely then X out of all windows except for this one and move on to another article while waiting for these changes to take effect.

If you have a Mac, you can watch this short YouTube video.

Restart speed test

If at all possible, start testing after 10:00 PM local time when people are asleep and less likely to be streaming video or playing games online. This will result in more accurate results because there will be less interference from other devices using the network during the internet speed test.

A broadband connection at home is the most sensitive to the time of day as the connection is frequently shared. Make sure to not download files at the time, as that will impact download speed.

Re-run speed tests to make sure all upload speed and download speeds are accurate. If speed test results aren’t the same, repeat and record the speed test results to determine if slowdowns are consistent or intermittent.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try out different speed test services for yourself! Keep in mind that some tests will allow you to select the server location, in which case you should pick one that appears closest to you.

Contact ISP again

Contact your ISP again if speed problems persist after re-starting hardware and running speed tests multiple times. Your internet service provider “should” help with connection issues between you, them, and the internet speed test service, and should be able to solve speed problems faster than you can.

There are a few things that you can do to help increase the chances that you will get help from your ISP:

  1. Tell them in a respectful manner that you’ve done all of the speed tests and troubleshooting possible.
  2. Reference the previous call you made.
  3. Print the internet speed report out and keep a copy of it. If your ISP asks you to provide a speed test, you can show them the speed test report that you printed to prove that your internet speed has dropped below what is advertised. It is helpful to provide results from each speed test tool. Make sure to include download and upload speeds.
  4. Explain that you test with a wired connection.
  5. Review that you did not have multiple connected devices when you ran the tests and that you are aware that additional devices connected could impact the results.
  6. Mention that you were not downloading large files during the test when you noticed the slower speeds.
  7. If the speed test service results indicate that your speed issues are likely caused by your ISP, tell them you want better internet speeds at the same price or lower cost.
  8. Tell them you are considering changing ISP to one that can give you the speed levels advertised.

Test speed using another speed test service

To make sure the speed issue isn’t with the internet test service, try testing your connection speed with a different internet speeds test service. If speeds are normal, then speed problems are most likely not due to the speed test site; if speeds are still slow, there might be issues with hardware or internet settings.

Conclusion

When so much relies on a fast internet connection, it can be frustrating and cost money in terms of lost productivity. Hopefully, now you have a good internet speed, maybe not the maximum speed you desired but acceptable.

This is not a full list of things you might encounter, but rather these are the most common. If you have tried the steps above, are still having issues, and are a client of XL.net, please reach out to the Service Desk for additional troubleshooting steps.

If you are not a current client of XL.net, please reach out to our Sales Department to see how XL.net and our managed IT services can help your company with all its IT needs!

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