Is speed test accurate?

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Is speed test accurate?” is among familiar questions when it comes to running an internet speed check. Of course, it’s a very good question. We all want to get the most accurate speed test results so that we can know how the internet connection is actually performing. In this article, we’re going to find out the answer to this question and see what we should do to ensure the accuracy of a test result. 

To be honest, it’s hard to say whether a speed testing tool is accurate or inaccurate if you just run only one test. There are several reasons that might cause inaccuracy in your speed test results. So, to answer the question of “Is speed test accurate?”, first of all, we need to figure out what factors affect the test result.

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Is speed test accurate?

“Is speed test accurate?” - Factors affecting the speed test result’s accuracy

From your devices, the testing sites you choose to run the test on, to the way you run it, etc, those factors can all affect the outcome of your speed test results. Normally, the impacts of these factors often lead to a low number of measurements as compared to the actual speed. Before finding out the answer to the question “Is speed test accurate?”, let’s see what specific factors affect the accuracy of your speed test right below here.

  • Devices: Different devices like laptops, smartphones, tablets, …, can have very different cellular radio and different Wi-Fi capabilities. Hence, you may get different results when you test your internet speed on different devices. Some devices such as old ones even may not be able to fully measure the speed of your internet connection.

  • Location of the test servers: The physical distance between your devices and the testing servers really affects your speed test results. Generally speaking, the closer you are to a testing server, the faster your speeds will be.

  • The specific testing sites: Each testing site has different servers that may perform differently. So differences in speed test results among different testing services are not uncommon. That is the reason why you should run a speed test using three different websites or more, then see the difference.

  • Browsers: Different web browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc come with different capabilities and may produce different speed test results.

  • Others: Other factors like the number of users, the number of electronic devices connected to the network, the router (or sometimes known as a modem), and more also affect the test results.

 

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It is understandable and normal when people wonder “Is speed test accurate?”

What should you do to ensure you are getting accurate test results?

Speed tests sound simple, but as you can see, it is much harder than it might seem when it comes to accurately measuring how fast your internet connection is. So, it is understandable and normal when people wonder “Is speed test accurate?”. Due to the mentioned above factors, it’s advisable to apply some following suggestions which might help you get more accurate speed test results:

  • Testing your internet speed over multiple connections. Performing the tests over Wi-Fi, which typically features a slower connection as it is transmitted through the air, will output different results than performing the test over an Ethernet cord. So, you should run the test over multiple connections to see the difference in the results and make more accurate measurements about the connection.

  • Running the tests with only one or multiple devices. As mentioned above, the number of devices connected to your internet affects your speed. Performing the test with only one device connected to your network and then performing another test with multiple devices connected to your internet to see the difference in the results and make more accurate measurement about the connection

  • Running the tests over the course of the day. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might work great at off-peak hour but it might be weaker during peak hours of the day. Testing the speed at different hours of the day may reveal the difference in speed test results produced at different times of the day.

  • Running the tests in different rooms. Your wireless signal strength will be weaker as you get further away from the router. So, try running speed tests in the room placing your router and in other rooms further away to see if there’s any difference in the results and how much different they are.

  • Ensure your connection is not under heavy use when you are running the test. That means you need to make sure that there is just the device that’s used to run the test connected to the network during the test.

  • Ensure that you run the tests without unnecessary programs running on the device. The extra applications or programs like online storage applications, automatic updates, etc, could be using your connection while you’re performing the test. This might affect the accuracy of the test.

Along with the above advice, you should test on a variety of test servers so that you can get the overall picture of your speed. And of course, you also perform the test only on reliable speed testing sites that help ensure more accurate results.

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“Is speed test accurate?” - It depends mostly on the way we perform the test

No speed test is 100% perfect

Well, using several tips mentioned previously can help you minimize the noise during a speed test and have more accurate results. However, please keep in mind that running a speed test is to check how well your internet connection works between your device and a testing server itself.

Ultimately, no matter how you run the test, you won’t get a perfectly accurate speed result. Yet, you can get a good source of information to either satisfy your curiosity or determine if your ISP provides you with the speed they promised.

Conclusion - “Is speed test accurate?”

After all, now we all have the answer to the question of “Is speed test accurate?”, right? Well, it can be considered accurate if you run the test in the right way. But it might seem so hard for us to get highly accurate if factors affecting the test appear. Though there’s no completely perfect speed test, its results are still a good source of information for you to measure how strong your connection is.

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Cre: speedtest.net, lifewire.com, allconnect.com