So you are working on the internet and things are going slow. A little too slow. And it’s not getting any better. You call the cable company and they say their service is working fine. You hang up the phone thinking that it’s something else.
However, there are ways for you to check internet speeds before you call the company. That way, you have fuel for the fire when you call the cable company.
Check Your Internet Speed
It doesn’t matter if you are on Comcast, Time Warner, Charter or DSL like FIOS or AT&T. They all have Speed Test websites you can go to measure speed.
Independent Internet Speed Test
You can also run an independent speed test at Speedtest.net. This is a great tool, because they let you choose your location you want to test to. In the US or outside – Speedtest has almost 100 nodes you can select to run the test. They also have an app for iPhone and Android if you need to test speeds from there.
Speed Test Results Explained
There are three points on a Speed test. The ping rate, download speed and upload speed. Ping rate tells you how long it takes to get a response from another location. The lower the ping rate, the better (which means faster communication with the other location). You can easily ping Chicago and get a low rate, then ping Texas and see larger numbers.
Download speed is how fast you would get a webpage, video or download software. This is usually the fastest speed. When you sign up for internet, they say “Get speeds as fast as”… That is the speed they are talking about. If they say you get speeds up to 50 Mbps (Megabits per second), then this should be close to it.
Upload speed is how fast you can send something. Most people send things like emails and posts on Facebook, therefore, you have more than what you need. However, if you upload video to YouTube, then this will regulate how long it takes to upload that video.
What Happens if Your Speeds Are Low?
If you get numbers lower than what your provider advertises, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this the only computer running on your internet right now?
- Do you have TV over the Internet? If so, is someone watching a show right now?
- What other programs are you running on your computer? Are they using the internet connection?
- Do you have Internet phone? Is someone on a call right now?
Check the Lights on Your Modem
If you have a cable modem or DSL modem, you might want to check the lights and see if they are doing anything funky. If green lights are red, or solid lights are blinking, this is information the help desk might need.
With those pieces of information, then call your provider. Let them know your speed is not that great. If they advertise guaranteed speeds and are not providing them, then you will want to be adamant about the fact they guarantee numbers you are not getting.
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