When it comes to choosing an internet service provider, upload and download speeds are some of the most important considerations to take into account. Unfortunately, however, not all of us receive the sorts of internet speeds that we’d expect to. That’s where a broadband speed test comes in handy!
A speed test, a speed check, a WiFi speed test…. Whatever you call it, this handy tool is a quick and easy way to see exactly what sort of upload and download speeds you’re getting from your broadband provider. The way it works is simple; a request is sent from your computer to a server, which measures upload speed, and a response is created from the server to your computer, which gives a download speed. It may sound like there’s a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, but the speed test only takes 30 seconds!
There’s many different reasons why it can be good to know what upload and download speeds you’re receiving at your business. Here are just a few of the reasons why internet speeds tests are so popular:
If the test shows that your internet speed is what you’d expect from your current broadband service, then there’s nothing else you need to do! However, keep in mind that you may be able to take advantage of even faster speeds by upgrading to a different package, or considering a whole new type of connection altogether, such as a leased line, for example. Even if your bandwidth meets your business needs today, what about tomorrow? What about next year? It never hurts to start future-proofing!
If the results of your WiFi speed test aren’t that great, don’t panic! While this can be frustrating, it’s actually very common to discover that the internet speed that you’re receiving isn’t quite what your internet service provider advertised. It’s called the ‘speed gap’, and Ofcom estimates that around 20% of businesses are affected by this. The good news is that there is something you can do about slow speeds.
A slow internet speed can happen for a number of reasons, but is usually due to contention. With a standard broadband package, bandwidth is shared between multiple users; for businesses this normally means that 20 users may be sharing the same service (this number increases to around 50 for residential customers). This means that during peak business hours of 9-5, speeds may slow down significantly. This is why most internet service providers add ‘up to’ to their advertised speeds; there’s no guarantees.
The first course of action should always be contacting your internet service provider, who may be able to provide useful tips for improving your internet speed. However, in many cases, you may need to switch providers or upgrade to a faster service to see noticeable results. In some cases, it may prove beneficial to upgrade to a leased line which offers dedicated bandwidth; it’s not shared with anyone, and both upload and download speeds are guaranteed, meaning there’s never any nasty surprises along the way!