Working online can be very frustrating if our internet isn’t as fast as you would like it to be. A speed test allows you to find out how fast your internet is, especially when uploading or downloading content on the internet. Internet service providers usually promise a maximum speed limit in optimal conditions for the connection they are offering you; testing your broadband internet speed allows you to access how fast or how slow your connection is in actuality. This article provides you with the necessary information to test your broadband internet speed and to learn how to read the test.
What is a speed test?
The best way to check how fast or slow your internet is is by using a speed test. A speed test calculates the speed between a server and your devices using your internet connection. The speed of your internet connection is affected by the optimal speed your internet service provider promises. This will consequently limit your upload and download speed to be at or below the promised speed rate.
Vodacom South Africa, for example, notifies its customers when they have maxed out their Vodacom fibre broadband FUP, and their limit speed is reduced to 2Mbps for customers who have subscribed to the 10/5Mbps uncapped internet package. Internet service providers lure customers to their networks by promising “up to” a certain speed of internet connection. If you realize that your connection is slower than you would like, you can take a speed test to certify how far or slow your connection is.
Speed tests pay more attention to your upload, download and PING speeds. In South Africa, internet subscribers are most likely to subscribe to an internet package that provides faster download speed and slower upload speed.
How a speed test works
A speed test tests three aspects that is the PING, upload and download speeds. It does so by using a test server. A speed test is carried out in a series of steps:
First, the client detects your exact location and finds a test server that is closest to you. Depending on the speed test tool you use, you may be able to change or choose a server by yourself.
Next, a signal known as a PING is sent to the nearest server to you, and the server responds. The speed test would then calculate in milliseconds the time it took for the signal to reach the server and the time it took the server to respond.
After testing the PING, it will then proceed to test the download speed. The client does this by trying to download a small piece of data from the multiple connections to the server that most have opened. During this process, the speed test would calculate how long it takes for it to grab that piece of data and how much of your network’s resources are used in the process. After establishing clear connections with your internet service, another attempt at downloading another fragment of data would be made. It will then proceed to calculate the amount downloaded in the time and then provides the download speed.
After calculating the download speed, the client would then proceed to the final test, which is the upload speed test. The process is a reverse of the download speed test. Instead of downloading a piece of data, the client uploads a piece of data from your pc to the server. It then calculates the amount of time and resources is times to upload that contact on the server.
When you have gone through this process, you will be provided with a speed test result telling you how fast or slow your internet connection is.
How to perform an internet speed test in South Africa
You can perform your broadband internet speed test in South Africa by following these simple steps:
Step 1: Open the web browser on your device
Step 2: visit the speed test website at www.speedtest.net
Step 3: to begin your speed test, simply click on “GO”, and the speed test will start running automatically.
There is an alternative means of running a broadband internet speed test should you choose to use it. Simply Google searche “speed test”, and the internet knowledge toolbox will appear on your screen. To start running the test, click on the “run speed test” button. By following these simple steps, you can commerce the search on your internet broadband.
How to read a speed test
To determine if your test had a positive or negative turnout, you would need to be able to read the test. Since the test involves testing the PING, download and upload speed, you would need to be able to interpret the data accordingly and correctly.
The PING is the reaction time of your connection, and it is measured in milliseconds. It calculates the amount of time it takes for data to travel from your computer to a test server after you must have sent a request.
The download speed calculates how fast data is transferred to your computer. This speed is recorded in megabits per second (Mbps). Most of the activities performed online circle around streaming, downloading and loading web pages; thus, the download speed is more often than not faster than the upload speed.
As explained above, most internet users download more than they upload, and as such, internet service providers usually offer a slower upload speed depending on your package. The upload speed is the time it takes to send data to the internet. For instance, sharing content such as videos, images, and music on social media, or even sending files via email. Like the download speed, the upload speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
Having this knowledge will help you understand and read your test result better.
Your download speed is key when streaming videos.
With so many online streaming services available to users in South Africa, you want to get the best out of your online streaming experience by ensuring that your internet download speed results are good. We have provided you with a list of high-speed internet streaming activities and the internet speed you will need to have to stream videos without facing any problems.
- 1 Mbps:
With this, you can stream SD quality videos on your pc or your laptop. You can also stream music in compressed formats such as Mp3, AAC etc., and you can surf the web normally.
- 2 Mbps:
This internet speed allows you to stream lossless music as well as stream SD quality videos on your television.
- 5 Mbps: with this internet speed, you can stream HD (720p) videos.
- 10 Mbps: at this speed, you can stream full HD (1080p) videos with high definition audio.
- 25 Mbps: stream up to 4k or ultra HD videos.
These bandwidth ratings are only accurate if only one device is connected to the internet connection at a time. If your home router has several devices connected to it at a time, the overall speed would be affected.
Are speed tests accurate?
Internet speed tests may not be accurate, sometimes because of the method the services use. To ensure that your speed tests are as accurate as possible, restart your device, your modem or router and clear your browser cache before running the test. Also, remember to choose an HTML5 internet speed test rather than a flash-based one.
With the information contained in this article, you will be able to test your broadband internet speed and interpret the results to see if they are favourable or not. You may go ahead and test your internet connection speed at your convenience.