How to measure download speeds? Understand more download speed test

Jul 04, 2022 - Views: 778 - this post if you find it interesting!

Download speed refers to how fast data is retrieved via the Internet and mostly online activities take up downloading data. But do you know “How to measure download speeds?”? Today, we are going to introduce quick ways to test speeds as well as help you understand more about a download speed test. 

How to check download speed on PC?

How to check download speed on PC?

How to check internet download speed?

To check download speed or current internet speed, you can do it in 2 ways: check it right on PC and use a download speed test. Each way has different pros and cons, however, both are easy and simple for users.

How to check download speed on PC?

Check download speed Mac OS X: 

Step 1: Navigate “Spotlight” by pressing “Command” and “Space” keyboard

Step 2: Search “Network Utility”

Step 3: Click the “Info”. Now, you see the download speed of your network. That’s the “link Speed” line.

How to check download speed on Mac? 

How to check download speed on Mac? 

Besides, you also test internet speed by using the WiFi icon in the Menu Bar. However, simply clicking on it will not give you this information. You'll need to hold down the OPTION (or ALT) key when clicking the WiFi icon.

Using Wifi icon on the menu bar

Using the Wifi icon on the menu bar

Measure download speeds on Windows 10:

Step 1: Open the “Setting” and then click “Network & Internet”

Step 2:On the left sidebar, click “Wifi”. Scroll down, find and click “Change adapter options”

Step 3: Find your network and double click on it

Step 4: The Wi-Fi status window will be shown. Check the connection speed.

Measure download speed by using “Network & Internet”

Measure download speed by using “Network & Internet”

Alternatively, you may access the Run windows by hitting the Windows + R keys together to bring up the Run dialogue box. Enter Napa.CPL into the address bar. Double-click on your Wi-Fi network.

Download speed test

Aside from checking download speed right on desktop devices, you are able to use a download speed test. Thanks to this, you can get the whole picture of your network connection through 3 main specs: ping, download and upload speeds. 

Also, there are many options for upload download speed tests such as MySpeed, Fast, Speedtest Ookla, Testmy.net, etc.

Taking MySpeed as an example, follow the simple steps below:

Step 1: Visit MySpeed through https://gospeedcheck.com/ or search MySpeed on Google searching bar

Step 2: On its homepage, click the “Go” button to run the test

Step 3: Get the results after some seconds

MySpeed test internet download speed

MySpeed test internet download speed

As you see, it is easy for everyone to measure download speed online without installing any software or application. Even just wait some seconds, you get the nearly exact results.

Why does my download speed not match speed test? Keep in mind that your real speed is difficult to match its advertised rates due to several external factors. Therefore, your download speed can be the same as in contract but if the difference is too big, call your ISP to ask for help.

Why is my download speed slower than speed test? Might be you do tests in the wrong way. Conduct a speed test several times per day and get the average result. 

How to interpret internet speed results?

If you check internet speed on the PC directly, you just get download speed in general. Want to know more, you need to do an internet speed test. So, how do you read the results? What is Ping? What is download speed? Let’s find out.

How to read the speed test results?

How to read the speed test results?

 

3 main specs in a download speed test:

  • Ping: Ping is a network utility that refers to a signal transmitted over the network to another computer, which subsequently responds with its own signal. (Measurement: Ms - millisecond)

  • Download speed: It is the rate at which your network allows data is retrieved from the Internet.

  • Upload speed: It is the rate at which your network allows data is sent to the Internet.

 

Both download and uploads are measured in Mbps which stand for megabits per second. This measurement is used for calculating how much data is transferred per second. A megabit equals 1,024 kilobits. This indicates that 1.0 Mbps is 1,000 times quicker than 1.0 kilobits per second (Kbps).

Besides, you also need to go deep into some technical terms to understand more the tool. First of all, it’s bandwidth. The maximum quantity of data that may be sent through your internet connection in a given length of time is referred to as bandwidth. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that may be transferred rather than the pace at which it is carried. Its measurement is Mbps. It differs from speed. Speed refers to the maximum pace at which data may be carried via a network. 

Second, you also need to distinguish between bits and bytes. The fundamental contrast between bits and bytes is that bits are frequently used to determine speed, whereas bytes are typically used to measure size. Consider bits per second to be a speed in km/h. Bytes, on the other hand, are equivalent to liters when it comes to filling up a hard disc or storage device.

Difference between bits and bytes

Difference between bits and bytes

 

Which factors affect your internet speed?

There are a lot of factors influencing the internet speed or your connection to the Internet. You can eliminate or just limit the effect of that factor. 

Types of connection

Internet speeds may be affected by the type of Internet connection you are now connecting. You have various choices of connection such as dial-up, DSL, cable, fiber, and satellite. Each type will have its pros and cons.

  • Fiber: Fiber internet is the most commonly available and fastest internet technology. It employs fiber-optic cables, which are capable of rapidly transporting massive volumes of data. While fibre is fast, it is not as widely available as other types of internet. Much of its limited availability is due to the expensive expense of developing its network infrastructure.

  • Cable: Cable internet employs the same wires that are used to carry cable TV services. It is broadband-capable and hence capable of reaching high speeds. It is often available through current or former cable television providers in their respective locations. Cable internet speeds are typically comparable to DSL speeds, but in certain areas, they can be significantly quicker.

Types of internet connection

Types of internet connection

  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Line): DSL provides a connection that resembles a phone line, but the wiring inside is different, allowing for broadband transmission. As a result, DSL is substantially quicker than dial-up. This technology is frequently used by current or previous telephone companies that also provide internet service, and it is generally available throughout their service areas.

  • Satellite: It is delivered wirelessly to the receiver, however, it still needs wiring to transmit the signal from the receivers to others. It’s available almost anywhere and has bandwidth comparable to DSL and cable but slower due to latency.

  • Dial-up: Dial-up is the slowest connection technique due to its inability to handle broadband and so has restricted bandwidth. It is nearly outdated due to technical restrictions.

Data cap

Connection speed may be affected by the capabilities of a website or an Internet network by restricting the amount of data that Internet users can download, upload, or stream. When browsing a very popular website, your Internet connection may become more sluggish. 

If a third-party network imposes such Internet speed restrictions, you may be unable to download or upload material at top-performing Internet speeds when accessing that website.

Minimum system requirement

A high-speed Internet service provider will recommend that your home computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone satisfy the minimum system requirements. The setup and performance of computers, hardware, software, apps, and other equipment systems can affect Internet speeds. 

Running several devices on the same network can reduce internet performance

Running several devices on the same network can reduce internet performance

 

Running several devices on the same home network may have an impact on download speed, upload speeds, and overall Internet speeds. Turn off unnecessary devices if you do not want to experience slow performance.

What is a good download speed?

Before deciding on the best Internet speeds and Internet Service Provider (ISP) as well as finding your good download speed, consider the following:

  • Why do you use the Internet - for leisure or for commercial purposes?

  • What is the purpose of your hourly, daily, or monthly Internet usage?

  • Are you often downloading and uploading high-quality videos/photos?

  • Do you like to communicate with friends, use social networking, or browse the Internet casually?

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a good internet speed threshold starts with a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps for doing basic online tasks. In terms of the good download speed for common online activities, your connection must satisfy the following minimum requirement:

  • 1-5 Mbps: good for email and web browsing

  • 15-25 Mbps: you can watch streaming HD video

  • 40-100 Mbps:  good enough for watching 4K video and light online gaming

  • 200+ Mbps: streaming 4K video, online gaming, and downloading large files are fine

At 25 Mbps download speed, you can watch HD video smoothly

At 25 Mbps download speed, you can watch HD video smoothly


 

How to speed up your download speed?

What if your download speed is as good as expected? Try out some free ways below before calling your internet provider to ask for help.

  • Check your tech: make sure your devices such as mobile phone, PC, modem/ router are good. Check with your Internet service provider to check that your equipment is up to date. Most of the time, they will improve your setup for free, however, a monthly fee may apply. You might also try acquiring your own modem and router to reduce your monthly costs.

  • Limit internet users: If you do something online that consumes lots of bandwidth such as downloading a movie, streaming Netflix, you should limit the number of users accessing your wireless router. Multiple users sharing the same network frequently degrades overall speed.

  • Router Location Matters: Routers are influenced by their location. To maximize the overall streaming experience, consider positioning your wireless router near your ideal television viewing location. Additionally, aim to minimize any obstacles between your router and your streaming devices. This allows you to get the most out of your bandwidth without having to spend extra money on a high-end router. Certain appliances, most notably microwaves, interfere with the signal of your router. As a result, make sure to install the router in an area where the microwave will not interfere with your WiFi.

Place a router in the right position

Place a router in the right position 

  • Consider using a Wifi extender: You may have problems maintaining a strong Internet signal throughout your home depending on the layout of your home and the position of your wireless router. Range extenders are a low-cost solution to spread your wifi signal around your home.

  • If possible, using wired connection: Wired connection is a stable, reliable connection as well as offers fast internet speed. Thus, if possible, you can use this way when you watch Netflix or download a large file.