Why do your speed test results not match your internet plan?

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Don’t worry if you run an online internet connection speed test and find the results lower than the bandwidth that you are paying for. This is a normal situation that many of us might experience when testing our connection speed. Check out this article to know why do your speed test results not match your internet plan and what to do if it happens!

It’s a good idea to run speed tests when you want to know how fast (or slow) your connection is or if it matches the bandwidth you are paying for. But what if you get the result showing really sluggish speed that’s slower than the speed that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) promises. Here are some reasons for this difference.

speed test results

It’s a good idea to run speed tests 

Perform your speed test improperly

In case your speed test results don’t match your internet plan, you need to run the test again and again to ensure accuracy of the test. Running the test improperly is one of the reasons causing your speed results to be lower than its actual speed. In other words, it means that you get inaccurate results.

Running a speed test sounds so easy and simple. That’s true. It’s definitely simple to test internet speed when we just need to visit a testing site, make a few clicks, and wait for a few seconds. Well, that’s how we run a test, but everything seems a little bit complicated when it comes to running it the right way.

speed test results

Running the test the right way is not really simple


To make sure that you test your speed the right way, firstly, you need to close all of the unnecessary programs or applications running in the background of the test device. For example, if you are using bandwidth-consuming apps such as Netflix streaming while running the test, then the test results you get will not be accurate.

Besides, using older devices to run the test also results in lower speeds. Due to their hardware, older devices may not be able to fully measure your internet speed. Choosing an inappropriate testing server is another reason causing inaccurate speed results because the physical distance from your device to the testing server affects the test. In fact, the farther you’re to a testing server, the slower your internet speeds will be.

Not disconnecting your different devices from your network when you run the test also leads to an inaccuracy in its results. Along with that, performing the test on unreliable testing sites, perhaps, makes your results incorrect. That’s why you should choose to run the test on popular speed testing sites to get more accurate results.

The speed test results are not accurate due to factors affecting the test

Perhaps, no speed test in this world is 100% accurate. And you should know that many different factors are interfering with your test’s accuracy, including factors that you are not able to control. That means even if you run the test the right way, you still probably get inaccurate results due to the impacts of both internal and external factors.

speed test results

Generally speaking, the internet speeds at peak hours and off-peak hours are not the same

Off-peak hours vs peak hours

Generally speaking, the internet speeds at peak hours and off-peak hours are not the same. You will likely get poorer speed test results when running the test at peak hours of the day.

During peak hours such as on a weekend evening when a lot of people are watching Netflix streaming, you might experience lower internet speed than usual. So, you should perform speed tests at different times of the day to exactly measure the speed of your internet connection.

Wireless connection vs wired connection

Testing the speed over a wireless connection will produce lower results than testing it over a wired connection. Unlike the wired connection, the wireless connection is transmitted through the air. Because of that, physical obstacles can potentially interfere with WiFi signal strength. So, if you want to more accurately measure your internet speed, you should run the test over a wired Ethernet connection.

wifi signal strengthThe distance between your test device and your router also affects the speed test results

Router position

If you want to test your Wi-Fi speed, you should know that the distance between your test device and your router also affects the speed test results. As mentioned before, the wireless connection is interfered with by the distance and physical obstacles such as the wall materials.

So, when you run the test at a position that’s far away from your router and there are physical obstacles between your test device and the router, then the results will likely be so slow. That’s the reason why you should run the test in the same room as your router to get more accurate results.

Existing internal network traffic

In addition to the above factors, other things could affect your speed test results’ accuracy like the existing internal network traffic, for example. This internet traffic comes from other people in your house connecting to the network, causing it to be split up.

So, it’s important to run the test when there’s just your device using the internet. Besides, you also should run the test multiple times to have a full picture of your speed. Just a single test is never enough.

speed test results

You should run the test multiple times to have a full picture of your speed

Problems with internet service

After performing enough speed tests to ensure accurate measurements about your speed, if it’s still so slower than the speed that you are paying for, then there’s a possibility that your connection is suffering from troubles and the cause may be from your ISP’s service quality.

For example, there might be a problem with the cable line running from your ISP to your house or a problem with some other equipment they have. Well, in this case, what you need to do is to call your ISP and report the problem. Because you are paying your ISP to get a good internet connection, it is their job to fix problems with their services. But be sure that it’s actually their problem.


Now, you all have the answer to the question of why the speed test result doesn’t match what you are paying for, don’t you? Perhaps, the problem occurs because of the way you run the test. Or it might be because of your ISP’s problem. When you determine that it’s actually the problem of your ISP, you need to call them and report the problem as soon as possible. 

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Cre: howtogeek.com/341538/why-is-my-internet-so-slow/