When looking at broadband deals one of the most important factors is the speed of the connection. If you are up to date about connections you will know that only about 10% of people actually get their advertised speed. If you feel that you are not getting the right speed, or just feel that your connection is a bit slow, you might want to test it. To do this you can use a broadband checker that looks at the speed of your connection. This type of broadband checker is able to measure the speeds of any broadband connection including cable and mobile broadband.
Where to find a broadband checker
Before you can test your speeds you will need to actually find the checker. The easiest way to find these checkers is to search for them on a search engine like Google. Many broadband comparison sites will also offer free speed tests.
How does it work?
The most common way that these checker work is through the use of a ping. The checker will use a series of pings to upload and download pieces of data. The data will be sent to the local exchange and then circle back to your computer and the checker.
The checker will use these pings to determine your speeds. All broadband speed tests will give you two results which are the download speed and the upload speed. It is recommended that you complete the test a couple of times to ensure you are getting correct results and to provide an average speed.
What affects the broadband checker?
The reason it is recommended that you complete the test more than once has to do with the accuracy of the test. There are a number of factors which can affect the accuracy of these tests. By knowing what these are you can try and limit the effect they have.
Downloading if you are downloading any files while completing the test the results will not be accurate. Before you start the test you should stop all downloads. This is not only downloads via peer to peer networks but also any updates your computer is downloading.
Heavy usage programmes there are certain programmes you may run daily that use a lot of data. These programmes include RRS feeds, online radio and other streaming services. It is important that you close all of these programmes before you start the test. Like downloads these programmes will have an adverse effect on the checker.
Routers the location of your router at the time of the test is important. The further you are from the router the more interference there will be. If the wireless signal has to travel through walls and other objects the signal will be weaker and the speeds will generally be slower. Before you begin the test you should move to line of sight of the router.
Who is online? If your connection has more than one device connected to it you should identify them and see what they are going. If someone is downloading while you complete the test the results will not be accurate.
The time of day there are certain times of day when speeds are lower. These are generally peak times and this is when the network will have the most users online. It is recommended that you not complete a test during these times as they will not be accurate. Of course if you only use your broadband during these peak times you will have to complete the test then.
Where you are if you are testing a mobile connection you should not be on the move. The best test results will be from a static location. When you are moving the coverage will change for mobile broadband. Moving from one mobile tower to another can affect the speed of your connection. You should not test your connection while moving between towers.
How can you improve accuracy?
There are a number of ways that you can improve the accuracy of your results. The first step is to look at the potential problems and eradicate them. This means closing down heavy data programmes, stop downloading and close additional devices which are connected to the broadband. There are some other ways that you can increase the accuracy.
Make sure you broadband cables are attached. Something that can cause problems with your speeds is the broadband cables. You should ensure that these cables are correctly attached and that they have not become loose. If they have then you should attach them correctly and tighten them.
Remove certain devices from areas close to your router. You should not only be in line of sight of your router but also remove any devices which could cause interference. These devices will include microwaves, bug zappers, wireless doorbells and electric blankets. All of these devices should not be in the immediate area of your router.
Make sure your mobile broadband signal is stable. As you will be stationary you do not have to worry about bouncing from tower to tower. However, you need to ensure that the signal you have is stable. The reason for this is that you do not want to be disconnected halfway through your speed test.
There are the best ways that you can increase the accuracy of your test. The main problem is that you will not be able to tell how accurate the test is. You should conduct the test a few times at different times of day and on different dates to get the very best results.
What to do if the result is very slow?
Have you complete the speed test but find that the results are ridiculously slow? If this has happened you should go through the points about what affects the test. You may have something still running in the background which is affecting the results.
The most common culprit for bad test results is a download or programme that you forgot about. Windows updates may have been downloading while your test was being done. You need to ensure that this is closed.
Sam Jones found the broadband checker facility online to be really useful when his son went to university. He found a great deal after browsing on uSwitch and other price comparison sites but wanted to make sure the provider offered good coverage in the area where his son would be living.
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