Why Speed Test Says My Internet Is FAST But It’s SLOW: Is The Test Accurate?

Sep 07, 2020 - Views: 2784

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If the speed test says my internet is fast but the actual speeds are so slow, does that mean the test results are not accurate?

Some first words

Well, “is speed test accurate?” is a common question.

For sure, the accuracy of speed test results does matter since it lets us know how the internet connection is actually performing. But to be honest, several factors can affect your speed test, possibly resulting in inaccuracy in your speed test results. 

So, what should we do to ensure the accuracy of internet test speeds? Keep reading on to find out!

Good internet speeds

Good internet speeds

Speed test says my internet is fast but it’s slow: Is the test inaccurate?

It’s not easy to affirmatively tell whether a speed test result is accurate or inaccurate if you just run only one test. As stated previously, several factors can affect your speed test.

If you question why “speed test says my internet is fast but its slow” or “speed test says my internet is fast but downloads are slow,” it’s good to re-run the tests. Of course, it’s necessary to ensure that you run the test the right way! 

Let’s move to the upcoming sections of this blog post to see what factors can affect your speed tests and what you should do to ensure the tests’ accuracy.

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, and more, all of these factors can affect the outcome of your speed test results. Following are the details.

  • Devices

Different devices like laptops, smartphones, tablets, …, can have very different cellular radio and Wi-Fi capabilities. Hence, you may get different results when testing your internet speed on different devices. Testing speeds on older devices even may not give you the full measure of your internet connection's speed. 

  • Location of the test servers

The physical distance between your devices and the testing servers does affect 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 given by different testing services are not uncommon. That's why you should run a speed test using three different websites or more, then see the differences in the given results.

  • 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 devices connected to the network, the position of your router (or sometimes known as a modem), the type of connection (WiFi or Ethernet), and many others also affect the test results.

Internet connection speeds

Internet connection speeds

What should you do to ensure accuracy?

Testing internet connection speed sounds simple thanks to the presence of lots of sites for internet speed test free. However, running the test the right way takes time and effort. Here are some suggestions which might help you get more accurate speed test results:

  • Testing your internet speed over both wired and WiFi connection

Due to being transmitted through the air, WiFi internet typically features a slower connection than a wired connection (Ethernet cable). As a result, running the tests over WiFi internet will likely produce poorer results than conducting the tests over an Ethernet cable. So, you should run the test over both wired and WiFi connections to see the difference in the results and make more accurate measurements of 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 measurements about the connection.

How fast is your connection?

How fast is your connection?

  • Running the tests over the course of the day. 

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might work great at off-peak hours, 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 a big difference in the results.

  • Ensure your connection is not under heavy use when you are running the test.

That means you should 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 bandwidth 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. …

Fast internet speeds

Fast internet speeds

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, according to lifewire.com. Yet, you can get a good source of information to measure how fast or slow your connection is.

See also: What is a good speed for internet Mbps?

Slow internet speeds

Slow internet speeds


After all, now we all have the answer to the question of “Is speed test accurate if speed test says my internet is fast but it’s slow?”, 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 sturdy your connection is. And that’s all for this post. The next articled will be about “good Mbps for internet” and “make internet speed fast” let’s check out now!

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