Tips for Yielding an Accurate Speed Test

Internet speed tests are useful tools that allow users to check their Internet speed. Internet speed can affect everyone in the household as more devices are connected using internet bandwidth.

Common mistakes made when performing a speed test include administering the test while on a wireless connection and running the test on a device ill-equipped for testing. Speed tests should be conducted on computers connected to the internet using an Ethernet cable. Performing a speed test using a wireless connection will not yield accurate results because the full bandwidth rate will not be achieved wirelessly. This gives a false reading and isn’t a good basis to determine if your internet is slow.

Speed tests are dependent upon the computer’s performance ability along with the user’s bandwidth package, meaning the internet speed to which the user is subscribed. If you are testing at higher speeds, especially 200 megabits per second (Mbps) to 1000 Mbps, make sure your device has the capabilities of running a speed test at these higher speeds. If your device is limited to 100 Mbps and under, you may only have a 100 Mbps Ethernet port in your computer. To test higher internet speeds, such as 500 Mbps or higher, more memory and a faster CPU (central processing unit) might be needed.

Another way to know the capabilities of your system is by looking at the colors of the lights on the ethernet ports on your internet modem. An orange light on the port means that the modem is capable of transferring data at 100 Mbps and a green light on the port means the modem is capable of transferring data up to 1000 Mbps or 1 Gig.

Speed tests should also be run in the user’s own network. GRM Networks suggests customers check their performance speeds at http://speedtest.net/. GRM Networks is in no way affiliated with any speed test site and customers may use any site of their preference, but we recommend this site because it allows users to select an in-network server.

Customers subscribing to GRM Networks internet service should test using “GRM Networks Princeton” or “GRM Networks Leon.” Anything outside the company’s network will not produce an accurate speed test, as GRM Networks cannot control what bandwidth does once it leaves our network. When testing, make sure no other devices are using bandwidth such as streaming video, downloading files, or online gaming. Otherwise, your speed test will only test what bandwidth may be left.

When running a speed test and using a wireless connection versus an ethernet connection, another factor to consider is the device’s link rate. Link rates are different for each device. Link rate is the maximum speed that your device communicates with the device to which it is linked such as the wireless router or modem. Link rates are influenced by the strength of the WiFi signal, the amount of WiFi interference coming from other devices that transmit or receive wireless signals (such as garage door openers or wireless speakers), and the bandwidth being used by other wireless devices.  

Go to https://www.speedtest.net/apps/windows for windows based operating systems and https://www.speedtest.net/apps/mac for Macintosh based operating systems. To download this app on a mobile device, select ‘Speedtest by Ookla’ from the device’s app store. Downloading an app onto your device is better than using web sites to run speed tests, as web sites usually have programs running in the background.