When we talk about speed tests, we are talking about a tool that we can consult when we find ourselves in extreme situations, due to a failure with respect to the internet connection.
That is why when you have a problem with the connection, you must go to a speed test which will carry out an exhaustive review of your connection. In order to really understand what it is about and clarify your doubts, you will need to know some terms, and thus carry out the speed test with full knowledge.
What do you need
What do you need to apply a speed test?
Before being able to understand what a speed test is and what it is for, it is necessary that you know some terms that will complement your understanding of said test, and those are:
- Mbps: This term means megabits per second, and it is used to measure downloads and uploads, as well as the number of megabits that a connection can send in one second.
- Provider: The provider is the company that we have contracted to provide us with the network connection. It is necessary to make it clear that there are operators that depend on a common connection provider, that is to say that the provider is not always the operator that we have contracted.
- Peak: This represents the highest speed peaks that are located in a test. These should not be taken into consideration, since what is really relevant here is the average speed to be obtained.
- Download speed: This is the speed of our internet connection and where data is obtained from the server. In a nutshell, this is the time it will take for the group of files to be downloaded from an external point to our device. It will be measured in megabytes per second (megabytes that are downloaded per second).
- Upload speed: It is the time it takes for a file to be uploaded from an external server, and it measures the number of megabytes that the internet connection can upload in one second.
- Theoretical speed: This is the upload and downloads speed promised by the server operator. It is almost always higher than the actual speed.
- Ping and latency: Latency is when it comes to measuring the exact time it takes for data to be transmitted over a network. This is measured in pings, which are the milliseconds of transmission between the server and the device. The lower the latency, the better the ping, since the connection time will be less between the server and said device, which will be beneficial when it comes to streaming video games and movies.
- Jitter: consists of the variable time that can arise when the ping is sent. This term is related to latency and usually doesn’t show up in speed tests, but is very necessary when it comes to in-depth network investigation.
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Instructions for performing a speed test
Here we will leave you the instructions of the processes that you must follow correctly, to carry out a speed test:
You should know that:
- The speed test is basically based on downloading and uploading some file packages to the server. Depending on how long it takes to upload and download the packet, it will return the connection speed.
- The speed test is not only responsible for downloading the package that we already mentioned, but it is also responsible for determining which is the provider, and the company that provides us with the internet.
- This test also analyzes the proximity of other servers to ours. Depending on the location of these and the user, we will know from where they perform these tests.
You should also know that the speed test has its own server from where the file is downloaded. Being able to determine which the servers of this are will show the reliability of said test.
- If the speed test servers are far apart, the test connection speed will be very low. That is why these servers exist throughout the planet.
The procedure will be:
- Having selected the correct servers, what is measured is the latency (time it will take a file from the server to the user), and for this it sends pings to the server from our device, in order to know for sure how long it will take to answer. This time should be short, especially if it is about video games, video calls, or streaming movies.
- From there, the files are downloaded and then uploaded to the server. It is here where we will be able to see the needles that mark the speed, but the most important thing is the average speed that will later be thrown with the results.
- If there are more devices connected to the same network, this will influence the speed to be slower, since they are consuming the bandwidth of said connection to the server. This means that the speed will improve as there are fewer devices connected to the Wi-Fi network.
- It is also necessary to point out that the speed will not be the same if our computer is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
- If the PC in the background is performing other functions, such as downloading files or running a video game, the speed test will give a much lower result.
Tips to keep in mind when doing a speed test
In order for the speed test you perform on your computer to show a positive figure, you must take the following into account:
- Before performing the speed test, you must perform various tests at different times of the day or week, so that you can know when the server is congested, since that will not give us the best figures in said test.
- Disconnect all the devices you have at home, this will considerably affect the results of the speed test; if you don’t, it will show a very low figure, since they will be occupying the connection bandwidth.
- You must understand that the values of your speed test will always give lower figures than those supplied by the provider, and this is due to the conditions where said test was prepared by the company, which will always be the most suitable.
- To carry out the speed test, hire a company that has servers on different continents. Look for the most professional company in the field.
- It is important that it also has an app for mobile phones, because in this we also need to use the internet.
- The speed test that we use should preferably be independent, since the tests that depend on a certain service will prefer its optimization, before another function.
- According to what we have proposed to you, you will now know how to optimize your internet network, since you will have the necessary tools to determine which are the best and most reliable speed test as well as the provider that offers the best services on its servers. .
- You will also be able to understand that the speed test carried out by the provider is different in speed from your speed test. Although it is true that we can optimize it, the figures will never level out, since the provider for them would work in the ideal scenario with the server very close.
Tanner AbrahamData Scientist and Software Engineer with a focus on experimental projects in new budding technologies that incorporate machine learning and quantum computing into web applications.
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