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How To Test Wi-Fi Speed

Wi-Fi has become a necessity today, in both third-world countries and developed nations around the world. Without this invisible friend, we cannot enjoy the movies or shows on Hulu and Netflix or connect us to the rest of the world or even equip us to work from home or anywhere and at any time.

However, when the Wi-Fi speed slows to a crawl for no apparent reason, it can be an infuriating experience that you want to get rid of as fast as possible. The same feeling is evoked when you feel that you are not enjoying the best Wi-Fi speed you have subscribed to.

The best way to validate your suspicions is to test Wi-Fi speed, and this is an endeavor that is relatively easy to perform. “But how do I test my Wi-Fi speed?” you ask. Well, there are several Wi-Fi speed services on the internet these days, and most of them run inside any website browser.

Recommended Reading – How to Increase Internet Speed on Windows 10

These Wi-Fi speed test services provide accurate information that gives you an excellent picture of how fast – or slow – your internet connection is.

What is Wi-Fi speed?

Before addressing the question, “how do I test my Wi-Fi speed?” it is vital for you to know what Wi-Fi speed is in the first instance. Wi-Fi speed is a measure of both the upload-and-download speeds experienced during any particular session when using the internet via a Wi-Fi device.

If your Wi-Fi speed falls below expectation all of a sudden, then something is wrong somewhere which must be fixed as soon as possible so that you can get back up to speed and running.

Here’re possible reasons your Wi-Fi isn’t running at top speed.

You’re far from the router

Distance is a critical factor to consider when troubleshooting the speed of your Wi-Fi. If there’s a considerable distance from where the router is positioned to your workstation; you’re likely going to experience some lag time.

A quick hack is to move your router closer to your devices.

You can also consider moving the router to the center – or near the center – of your home so that Wi-Fi signals which usually broadcast 360 degrees will be accessible by all devices. Putting the router at one end of your home does not make any sense.

However, if you notice that the broadcast from the router is weak – or if you live in a fairly large house – you may have no choice than to boost up the range of the Wi-Fi waves.

To do this – that is, boost the Wi-Fi signal – you’ll need Wi-Fi repeaters or Wi-Fi extenders you can connect to the main router. When the signal is repeated, it covers an extensive area and can be used by anyone inside the house, no matter the distance of the devices being used.

Metals and concrete

Materials such as metal and concrete are a few of the biggest – and troublesome – blockers of Wi-Fi signals. These materials are highly effective at what they do such that they are used for constructing Faraday cages to block electromagnetic fields.

Therefore, placing your Wi-Fi router in the basement is not a good idea since a lot of concrete has been used in this area. Other materials are highly effective at blocking Wi-Fi signals as well, so make sure that all large objects are not obstructing your internet signal in any way.

The positioning of the router

Do not underestimate the importance of positioning when setting up a Wi-Fi router. This is one of the most common mistakes that most people make when it comes to setting up the router. A small shift can cause your Wi-Fi speed to slow down significantly.

High versus Low

The height of a router makes a significant difference as regards the speed of your Wi-Fi signals. When you leave your router carelessly on the ground, desk or even shelf, its performance is not enhanced in any way, thereby resulting in low Wi-Fi speed.

What is Upload/Download Speed? What do they influence on?

When testing your Wi-Fi speed, what you are actually trying to evaluate are the upload and download speed of your Wi-Fi network. Here’s how they operate:

Upload speed

The upload speed of a Wi-Fi network is a measure of how fast you can send or transmit data from your network to other users. This entails:

  • Adding files to cloud storage services such as OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.
  • Sending a live video stream as you would on FaceTime, Periscope, Skype, etc.
  • Attaching files to outward-bound emails
  • Upload of pictures from your smartphone to Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Download Speed

Download speed, on the other hand, is a measure of the speed of data as it travels to your home network and which you will use to perform tasks such as:

  • Checking your email and saving or opening attachments
  • Streaming video on online services like Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, etc. or streaming music
  • Saving files from the cloud to your smart device or computer
  • Updating video games and software to the latest versions, etc.

When running a Wi-Fi speed test, you will also be able to measure your ping; this is a measure or degree of the response time of your Wi-Fi and measured in milliseconds. So, if it has a low number, then that is great news, especially if you are a diehard Xbox One, PS4 or Wii U enthusiast.

How can I test my Wi-Fi speed?

This is the section where you will discover the answer to your question, “how do I test my Wi-Fi speed?” There are several methods that you can employ when it comes to testing your Wi-Fi speed.

NetSpot

NetSpot is a robust Wi-Fi speed test app capable of a comprehensive Wi-Fi analysis and surveys. And since it is designed for both the professional and the home user, it comes packed with an intuitive user interface, so you can see at a glance, all the features including the two core modes: Discover and Survey.

Using the Survey mode is easy and can be done in one quick step. Simply upload a map of the area you want surveying or better still, create a new map by using NetSpot’s native map editor.

Walk across the area you want to be surveyed until the app has all the data it needs to create the map that shows spots with strongest and weakest Wi-Fi signals. With the active scan feature on you could check your Upload and Download speeds in any point of your map.

The best part is, the app is available for both Windows and Mac computers and you can download it for free – at least to test it out first.

Use the Discover Mode when you need a quick, deep analysis of nearby Wi-Fi networks. The app swiftly gathers information about every available Wi-Fi that includes the channel broadcasted on, the noise, their strength, security, and BSSID.

Pros and Cons of NetSpot

 Pros 

  • Intuitive design that makes it easy to use.
  • Packed-full with features that come in handy when you need information about Wi-Fi coverage in an area.
  • Windows and Mac compatible which means regardless of your computer you can still use the app.
  • There’s a free version you can test before making any commitment.

 Cons 

  • None that we could comment on.

Speed Testing via Windows cmd

Average users may use the previous option, advanced users or those with slow connections can make use of the “ping” command. The ping (Packet Internet Groper) command – which is a command line tool that is used for checking network-related problems – is platform-independent and quick. It could also reveal additional information that you will find useful in the long run.

Online Speed test tools

If you need just to run a speed test to locate the issue, you can use any online speed test service for these purposes, just pay attention to the location of the server used   for measurements. The most popular online speed test services are Speedtest by Ookla, JD’s Auto Speed Tester, and Down Tester.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that NetSpot holds all the aces when it comes to Wi-Fi. All you need to do is to run the app, do a survey and you will definitely find out what is wrong with your Wi-Fi coverage if there is any interference, what Upload/ Download speed in every point is, and more.

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