Your online experience should always be a breeze since many of our daily activities rely on an internet connection. Most of the content we consume on the Internet requires a good connection. It is important to understand what makes an internet connection fast. One of the ways to check the speed of your internet connection is with a speed test. But what exactly are speed tests? And what is he actually looking at?
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ALSO READ: Understanding UCC’s NetQ-Ug Internet Speed Test App
One of the best ways to understand your current internet speed is to use internet speed tests. One aspect that many users may not be aware of is that internet service providers can often limit your upload and download speed depending on the specific plan you choose. They also do the same during peak hours and local traffic jams, throttling rules and other things as well.
Internet service provider agreements and contracts usually include the phrase “until”, which is a very open statement. If users are promised “up to 20 Mbps”, but your internet download speeds are consistently at 12 Mbps, the provider is sticking to their word. If you see it dropping very low, like 2 Mbps, it might be time to contact your internet service provider.
What do speed tests actually test?
This is where speed testing can be beneficial. Knowing the current internet speed is good to know, and in some cases even crucial when uploading or downloading sensitive data. An internet speed test measures your ping, upload speed, and upload speed. It’s good to know your upload and download speeds, as internet service providers usually include guarantees for these aspects.
Many users don’t need to worry about download speed tests unless they are creating content or uploading large files to a platform. For this reason, download speed guarantees are more easily visible than download speed guarantees, but you can find them in your contract details if needed. Since users generally download more data than they upload, download speeds are faster than upload speeds. Average internet speeds vary, but as I write this I have measured my internet speed. My random download speed was clocked at 62.23 Mbps and my upload speed was clocked at 2.06 Mbps on a 4G internet connection. Let’s break down the different aspects of what internet speed tests measure.
The ping measures the reaction time of your connection. The ping is the speed at which you get a response once you send the request. The faster the ping, the faster and more responsive your connection, in my case my ping was 28 milliseconds (ms). Ping is an important aspect for applications where timing is important. A good example of when ping matters is in video games.
the download speed measures how fast you can retrieve data from the server to your specific device. As mentioned earlier, internet speeds focus on download speeds because most internet users download more data than they upload. Loading websites and streaming music and videos are all forms of downloading.
The last aspect is internet download speed, which is the speed at which you can send data from your computer to the Internet. Although most of what we do online is about downloading, downloading is also an important aspect of internet speed. Download speed relates to uploading files such as photos and videos on social media, downloading research papers, online games, and even video conferencing. A video call uses both sides to download the data of the person you are video calling with and download the data you send to other people. Download speed affects the picture quality and sound quality of how others see you when video conferencing and online gaming.
How to Test Internet Speeds
NetQ-UG is an application developed by the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) to accurately measure the speed at which users browse the Internet. The application enables end users of communication services to monitor and provide independent feedback on the quality of voice and data services provided by service providers in Uganda. The app is available for iOS, Android and Web users. It is similar to the popular speed test app and basically does the same thing
Users do not need to use the UCC speed test to measure their internet service. A trusted third-party website that can test your internet speed is speedtest.net. Using different speed tests can give users a better idea of the speed of their internet connection. In the two images above, we see a disparity in download speeds 62.23 Mbps vs 42.80 Mbps on speedtest.net and Ookla’s NetQ-UG respectively. Download speed tests are relatively the same. Other popular apps include; Meteor, SpeedTest Master, V-SPEED, SpeedSmart Speed Test, Cloudflare Speed Test, FAST, and Speedof.Me.
Internet connectivity is an important aspect for many people, businesses and governments around the world. Understanding how internet speed works and knowing how to measure your internet speed is an important tool. If the speed of your internet connection is important to you, test your internet speed today.
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