Why does my download speed not match speed test: 8 Underlying causes

Sep 21, 2020 - Views: 9977

Rating:4.4 - 58Votes

Why does my download speed not match speed test

While using an Internet speed test, you can meet this situation sometimes.

Therefore, we are going to guide you in detail on how to quickly check the Internet performance correctly. 

At the same time, the reasons for the contradiction between the real Internet speed and the test result also are disclosed in the article.

Let’s check!

Why does my download speed not match speed test?

Why does my download speed not match speed test?

How to test download speed on a PC?

Before going to find out possible reasons for unequal between the downloading result and speed check online results, make sure you run a test in the right way.

It can be said that the download speed check is the fastest and most effective way to test Internet connection performance. 

With just a few simple steps, you can check download speed along with ping and upload.

How do I test my download speed on Windows? 

How to check download speed on MAC

Check download speed Mac is similar to that on Windows.

Follow the below steps:

  • Step 1: Go to an Internet speed test website

Search “speed test”  on the Google search bar and Google will return a lot of results for you to choose from. 

Visit the website

Visit the website

However, you need to be careful when opening a strange speed check online because it can be a fake and toxic website. 

You may be stolen private information or simply can't check your Internet connection. 

Some credible websites you can select are MySpeed, Speedtest by Ookla, FAST, or GTMetrix.

Visit MySpeed (https://gospeedcheck.com/), for example. 

Hundreds of people use this tool daily to check the download speed because of its reliability along with convenient features.

  • Step 2: Click the “Go” button

When going to the homepage, there will be a button called “Go” or “Start” to start the test. 

Click them.

Click “GO”

Click “GO”

To test Internet speed, MySpeed will conduct 3 small tests: ping, download, and upload speed test. 

First of all, your computer will attempt to download large files from the test server. 

As the process completes, your downloading result will be measured in Mbps (megabits per second). 

After that, your computer will continue to upload a file to the test server, thus calculating the upload speed. 

At the same time, Gospeedcheck will do some activities to measure ping speed (millisecond). The process is supposed to take from a few seconds to one minute.

  • Step 3: Get the result

After a couple of seconds, you see your download, upload speed, and ping time. 

Let’s see how to use MySpeed to get the final result:

MySpeed is easy to use

MySpeed is easy to use

It is advised that you conduct the test several times per day and take an average result. 

A good network connection has a speed of at least 25 Mbps. 

Most online activities, including HD streaming, online gaming, web surfing, and music downloading, will be supported at these speeds.

Fast Internet speeds (100+ Mbps) are typically preferable, especially if you want your Internet package to enable numerous devices and users simultaneously.

How to understand speed test results?

As discussed in step 3, the test result will show you 3 specifications: download, upload, and ping.

You can use them to assess general health and your Internet connection speed.

A speed test result

A speed test result

  • Network delay is connected to ping tests. 

The amount of time it takes for a packet of data to transit across a network from one computer to another is known as latency.

Most Internet users don't need to run ping tests because they are connected to upload and download testing in any case. 

Instead, ping tests are crucial for gamers because latency can cause substantial lag in network gaming.

  • You can find out how quickly your computer can download stuff from the Internet by running download tests. 

This includes the time it will take to download files or stream content from video streaming services to your computer.

  • You can find out how long it will take to upload files or other content from your computer to the Internet by running upload tests. 

Adding files from your computer to Google Drive or another cloud storage account is one example.

What is used to measure download speeds, upload speeds, and ping?

The download and upload speeds in Mbps and the ping time in milliseconds (ms) are provided by all speed test programs.

Why does my download speed not match the speed test?

After Internet speed tests work completely, you’ll get a good result but your network connection seems still slow. 

In other words, the download speed not matching speed test. 

Why does my download speed not match speed test?

The below things may be the reasons:

8 reasons causing download speed to differ from the test result

8 reasons causing download speed to differ from the test result

“Up to” speeds

Your Internet service provider (ISP) can't control your overall online experience.

It’s because your speed is only going to be as fast as the slowest segment between you and the site you’re trying to visit.

Think of your promised Internet speeds by ISP, it is the same way you think of a speed limit sign. 

Although the freeway sign says you can go 75 mph, you’ve got no shot of going fast at that speed during rush hour because of the congestion on the freeway.

ISPs offer “up to” speed

ISPs offer “up to” speed

ISPs offer you the Internet connection with perfect “up to” speed as an incentive trick for customers to choose them. 

That number also represents the best-case scenario with one device connecting to the Internet.  

Therefore, if test results aren’t the same as their actual speed, you may fall into the trap of the Internet provider.

ISP-hosted tests

Many of the most popular Internet speed tests encourage ISPs to host a testing server on their network.

The purpose is to help increase the chances that their users will get the fastest test results. 

You may get high speed when using ISP-hosted tests

You may get high speed when using ISP-hosted tests

This is a good thing.

Yet, there comes a problem. 

Unless you only use websites hosted by the company connecting you to the Internet or their peering networks, it doesn't represent the real world. 

Thus, to get the real result and not have that contrary, you should be suspicious of any speed-testing website or app your ISP suggests using.

Independent testing site

Test results don’t reflect the true situation that can be if you don’t still use an independent and credible testing site. 

One test site that has no affiliation to any of the ISPs, independent and safe for users is MySpeed or you can access https://gospeedcheck.com/.

MySpeed is an independent speed check website

MySpeed is an independent speed check website

Their test results are more reflective of your actual speed and far more detailed. The results are returned quicker after a few seconds. 

It also keeps history tracks of your Internet after testing time. 

From that, you can compare the results at many different points a day or a week. It is so convenient and helpful. 

Also, it provides you with more accurate results as well as useful information to help you raise the Internet performance quality. 

Understanding the variables

There are so many variables that can impact your actual online experience. 

Even they can't relate to the Internet plan that your ISP is providing you. 

Those variables can be:

  • The time of day: peak hour & peak-off hour.

  • The website you’re trying to connect to foreign & local websites.

  • Whether you’re using wireless network Wi-Fi or have a wired connection: Wifi interference like Microwave, Bluetooth, cable materials, furniture, ...

  • The age of your modem: life cycle of a router-modem is 3-4 year.

  • An old cable, bitten, leaked cable.

  • How many other devices on your own network are currently using the same network connection.

  • …..

Wifi interference may impact your Internet

Wifi interference may impact your Internet

Each of the above factors can impact download speed test results somewhat. 

For example, when you are playing an online game, someone in your house tries to download files. 

That time, the result of a speed check online should be a bad, slow connection. 

If not, there is something wrong. 

Further, the other thing to remember is that when you run any of these tools, you’re taking a snapshot of that moment in time.

It can be extremely misleading. 

Therefore, it is necessary that you really need to run a series of tests at different times of the day over several days to truly determine your average speeds. 

That time, the test result is more objective and may delete the situation when the test result is good but the Internet is so slow and lagged.

Other things 

Moreover, the contraction between the test and the real result can be due to some errors while running the test. 

It is often advised that to perform speed tests correctly, you need to take notice of:

  • Turn off VPN (a virtual private network)

  • Disable firewall, malware

  • Turn off an unnecessary background process

  • Stop downloading large files, playing online games, or streaming movies,...

VPN or firewalls have no influence on download rate but they can create some errors in the speed check Internet. 

The reason is that VPN, firewall, and malware are the 3rd parties of your network connection.

If you check the Internet speeds while enabling them, the tool might misunderstand and measure the speed of the 3rd party. 

You should disable the firewall

You should disable the firewall

As a result, the download result isn't equal to the test result.

Similarly, online activities such as downloading large files, streaming Netflix movies, and background processes take up a large amount of downloading data.

When doing these activities at the same time, the results can't be completely correct.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is my speed test fast but downloads are slow?

The speed at which the website you are downloading from can transmit data from its server to your computer over your connection is restricted. 

Although this might occasionally be the fastest speed, if other people are also downloading from the same location, your speed may be slowed down.

Why am I not getting full download speed?

Some complain they don't receive the full download speed that the Internet service provider offered.

If the problem is internal, you should first determine what they are before canceling your subscription.

Below are some potential causes:

  • Mistake bits for bytes

  • Software issues

  • Hardware issues

  • Network-level issues

Why is my download speed so slow when I have fast Internet?

Well, it’s not rare at all.

If it’s your case, go over this list of possible reasons and check if you get at least one:

  • Weak and slow Wifi signal

  • A high number of users

  • Outdated devices

  • Your service provider is controlling your connection

  • Hijacked Internet subscriptions

The bottom line

It is advanced that you should choose a credible, independent download speed test to limit the situation that the Internet network is slow but the test result presents well. 

Hope with the above information on Why does my download speed not match speed test, you will get something useful as well as knowing to use the testing tool correctly.

Rating:4.4 - 58Votes


  1. Alina Stokes

    Another great post 😍 Great job

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    1. MySpeed

      You’re welcome

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  2. Stella Floyd

    Kinda off topic but I can't ask anyone else. For example, if I pay for 50mbps internet speed, why do I not get 50 mbps while downloading something (assuming the server I'm downloading from doesn't limit my download speed)?

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    1. MySpeed

      Hi, the Internet protocol has an overhead of roughly 8%, and TCP doesn’t like to fill links more than about 90% full. Put the two together, you should see a speedtest of about 43 Mbps of actual payload on a 50 Mbps connection.

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  3. Isabel Thomas

    I have a download/upload speed of around 30MB/1MB but when doing "strenuous" internet activities (torrents, uploading/downloading large files to web servers, etc), I get about 1MB/100KB. Is there a problem in my network settings or something that is slowing me down? Should I contact my ISP and ask them what's up?

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    1. MySpeed

      You should google Internet Health Report to see if there are major internet backbones down that could be causing your connection issue. If you're experiencing slow speeds intermittently then it could be due to an internet backbone having issues. Alternatively, you can try testing again

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  4. Ashley Kelly

    I got 320MG download speed when testing. But when I download files I only get 10MG maximum. Is there something wrong with my ISP or router? I am using ethernet to avoid interferences and get the best of my internet. Any tips, help, or explanations are very appreciated

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    1. MySpeed

      In fact, download speed also depends on the service you're downloading from. If they can't /won't deliver faster than that, you're not going to get faster downloads, no matter how fast your connection

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  5. Camden Wright

    When I run a speed test, does it test from computer to router or computer to the internet?

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    1. MySpeed

      You are measuring the actual data rate achievable between a server out there on the internet and the device on which you are running the test. That data goes through your modem and router. The speed can be limited either by the performance of the internet connection your ISP provides or by your own devices that are in the path

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