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Broadband Speed Tests

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barry1010 | 15:44 Thu 02nd Jul 2020 | Technology
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Are they accurate?

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Yep, within about 10%.
They give you a good snapshot of the speed that you're getting at any particular moment but they don't take account of differences across different times of day or, if you're connecting to your router via wifi, any problems there might be between your router and your device.

Scroll down below all the ads here to learn more:
https://www.moneysupermarket.com/broadband/tools/speed-test/

For routine broadband speed testing I use this service:
https://www.speedtest.net/

However, assuming that the phone line to your home belongs to BT Openreach (as the vast majority do, even if you pay a completely different company for your phone and/or broadband service), then BT Wholesale's own test site is likely to be the one that provides the most accurate results:
https://speedtest.btwholesale.com/
I've found them OK in the past, can't remember which one I used. Difficult to say if they are accurate, as you have nothing to calibrate against. I used one before and after a disc clean and defrag. Did show an improvement in performance.
How do you know if your speeds are good?
Question Author
I'm paying for 100Mbps and getting 130. Just a bit surprised.
No they are not accurate.
Your different devices have different antenna and software.
So I can test from my computer, my TV, my phone and my iPad, and get different download speeds.

They will tell you if you router is broken, but you probably know that already.
barry1010
I too am paying for 100Mb and getting 115.
Can someone tell me if this is ok or not please?
I get 44MS Download 2.96 Mbps and Upload .62 Mbps
Question Author
I am getting 130 over Ethernet and WiFi on the iPad in the same room. 110 on Android phone upstairs. Not like Virgin to give more than you pay for.

Barsel, what is 44MS? I don’t understand that bit
Gromit is 100% correct. All of the speed "test" sites range from being wildly inaccurate to, essentially, making it up, and speedtest.net is by far the worst!

The only way to gauge if you're getting anything like the bandwidth you're paying for is to download enough data simultaneously to max out your connection and then add up the results.
barry 44 milli seconds (MS) is the response time when you are accessing internet.
Barsel's figures appear to show a ping response time of 44 miiliseconds, with a download speed of 2.96 Mbps and an upload speed of 0.62 Mbps.

The ping response time reflects how quickly a remote server can respond to data sent from your computer. As long as it's not massively slow, the figure isn't really that important for people who aren't into online gaming. (Gamers need an almost instant response to every click of their mouse or keyboard, for example so that whatever they're shooting at hasn't already moved away. Other computer users won't notice at all if it takes a remote computer just a few extra milliseconds to respond to their input).

For what it's worth though, 44 ms is at the upper (slightly slower) end of a 'mid range' response. It wouldn't be too bad for gaming but a dedicated gamer might prefer to see a ping time of less than 30 ms.

Before saying whether an upload speed of 2.96 Mbps is 'good' or 'bad', it's important to know what you might expect to be getting:

If you've still got a copper-wired connection to your home, with a basic 'ADSL' (or ADSL Max') connection, then the fastest speed you might expect to get is around 5 Mbps but you'll only get that if you live fairly close to the exchange .

If you've got a copper-wired connection using 'ADSL 2+' (which effectively bundles two standard ADSL connections together) you should expect to get up to 10 Mbps as your download speed but, again, only if you live close to the exchange.

The majority of home users these days though have fibre-optic connections, giving them download speeds of at least 20 Mbps and often up to 100 Mbps. Such connections actually use fibre-optic cables as far as the cabinet in the street but stick with copper cables from there to your home.

A minority of home users have fibre connections all of the way into their houses, giving them download speeds of up to 1000 Mbps.

The average download speed that home users in the UK get is 54.2 Mbps:
https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/05/ofcom-2019-report-avg-home-broadband-isp-speeds-hit-54mbps.html

So your download speed, Barsel, of around 3 Mbps is VERY slow compared with what most other people get but not particularly unusual if you've never upgraded from a basic ADSL service (and you don't live just around the corner from your local exchange). It's about the bare minimum that you need for streaming from Youtube, iPlayer, etc, although a speed of at least 5 MBps might be more reliable for such services.

The 'A' in 'ADSL' stands for 'asymmetric', meaning that the connection is designed to give more weight to downloads than it is to uploads, so it's normal to have a much slower upload speed than a download one. (Upload speeds aren't that important unless, for example, you're connecting to cloud storage services).

Assuming that you've carried out the speed test properly, Barsel, (i.e. using a computer connected to your router via an Ethernet cable, rather than using wifi), your result suggests that either
(a) you've still got a copper-cabled connection that you've not sought to get upgraded ; or
(b) if you have already upgraded to 'superfast broadband', there's something seriously wrong with your connection!

(For comparison, I've never bothered upgrading from a copper-cabled ADSL 2+ connection because it's perfectly good enough for my needs. I'm seeing speed test results of 17 ms ping, 9.51 Mbps download and 1.03 Mbps upload).
Question Author
I'd find your speeds far too slow, Bueno, but maybe you haven't got a houseful of people with zillions of devices connected.

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