Wi-Fi speed refers to how fast you can transfer data between the internet server and your device at any time. The speed of your Wi-Fi is really important. This speed determines the kind of activities you can do with your internet connection and the number of devices you can connect over Wi-Fi. Pages taking forever to load can be quite frustrating especially when you have a deadline, homework to complete, movies to stream, or files to transfer. The question “why is my Wi-Fi slow?” can be confusing as there’s no single answer to it.
There are different reasons why your Wi-Fi may be working at a slower speed. It could be the strength of the Wi-Fi signal, a problem with the router, or the network itself. However, before getting into the fixing part, the first step is to test your Wi-Fi speed. Thankfully, testing your Wi-Fi speed is a lot easier than visiting the dentist’s office. With the test, you can determine the performance of your internet, and if your internet service provider is delivering their advertised speed.
There are three basic measurements while testing your home Wi-Fi network:
The download speed, the upload speed, and the ping rate
The download speed measures the speed of data traveling to your home network which is useful for doing things such as: browsing the internet on any device (laptop, tablet, smartphone, smart TV), going through your emails, updating software and video games, streaming video or audio on Netflix, Youtube, and so on.
Upload speed shows how fast you can send data from your network to others. It is useful for doing things such as: attaching files to outgoing emails, adding files to cloud storage services like Google Drive, uploading pictures or videos to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
The Ping rate gauges the network reaction time. This is the travel time it takes data to move between the network and your device. If your connection has a high reaction time, it will cause lags. That’s bad news for activities like online gaming or video calls. Ideally, you want the ping rate to be less than 150 milliseconds because anything more will result in lags.
How to test your Wi-Fi speed
- Open just one browser tab and close all other applications on your device.
- Turn off other devices that are using Wi-Fi also.
- A very easy way is to visit a site where you can run a speed test on your device for free, wait for the test to finish.
- For example, visit Speedtest.net or Fast.com. You can also just Google any keywords related to the speed test and it will show you a button to test your Wifi speed.
- Just visit the site and click on the “Go” or “Run Speed Test” button.
- The test results will indicate the upload and download speed of your internet connection
- It will also show you a Ping result
- The ping rate is the reaction time of your connection. Fast ping result is required for activities like playing video games online.
- You can repeat the test to make sure your result is accurate.
Now once you have your results, you still have the job of identifying the cause of the slow Wi-Fi before contacting your ISP (Internet Service Provider), upgrading your router, or trying to fix the cause of the slow Wi-Fi