A Simple Guide to Testing Your Broadband | Microbyte

A Simple Guide to Testing Your Broadband


Our world now revolves around the internet. Whether we are tapping away at our desks 9 to 5 or scrolling through social media on our smartphones, we’re a nation of addicts and the internet is our fuel.

If it all went wrong though, would you know how to test your broadband speed to ensure you’re receiving the best connection? If not we’ve got all the essential details to ensure you’re in the know and not left out in internet darkness!

Broadband Speeds Explained

Broadband connections are available in both standard and superfast speeds. Which speed you require is dependent upon how you use the internet and your specific requirements. Standard speeds are tethered through existing phone lines, whereas superfast speeds are through fibre optic collections.

The best way to compare speeds of standard and superfast connections is through comparing download speeds of music or films. A standard connection will download an album in 1 minute and 20 second whereas downloading an album on a superfast connection will take just 5 seconds.

What affects Broadband Speed?

A number of things can affect your broadband speed and mean you may experience a decrease in speed. One the biggest impacts is the time of day you are using the internet. The majority of internet providers experience peak usage from around 6pm-9pm in the evenings when people are usually browsing the internet. If your household or workplace has a number of devices such as smartphones and tablets connected to the internet this may also affect speeds.

If you are using the internet to download, upload or stream services then this may also slow your broadband speed down. Other impacts include whether you have software packages running in the background which rely upon an internet connection to provide their services.

Some providers put traffic management steps in place which restrict broadband speeds to some users at specific times. Often, restrictions are put in place on the heaviest broadband users to ensure a fair quota is being used.

How to test your Speed

Testing your broadband speed is the easiest and quickest way to ensure you’re receiving the broadband speeds you’re paying for. There a various methods of testing your broadband speed, however the most effective is to use an online broadband speedchecker. An online checker will perform a number of tests on your broadband to measure how quickly you can download files, which will then give you your final score.

When performing a broadband speed test it is important to remember that the test result is reflective of the time of day it has been run. For example, if you have other devices using the internet or conduct the test during peak broadband periods then your result may be affected.

What to do if you’re Unhappy

If you are unhappy with the speed you are being provided it is best to contact your internet service provider. Whilst they are not breaking the law by advertising connections as ‘speeds of up to’, if you are unhappy then it is in their best interests to try and keep you as a customer. This may result in your monthly cost being downgraded due to slower download speeds or an upgraded package.

If you do change internet providers then you will be tied into another new contract where speeds may still not be up to scratch. You are also able to test the best speeds for your postcode which should enable you to identify the best provider for your usage and address.

If you are still experiencing broadband difficulties then speak to an IT support specialist who will be able to assist you on all things tech!