Curious how fast your internet is? You don’t have to take our (or any other internet service provider’s) word for it — you can check your connection at home and see for yourself. But don’t just rely on any ol’ online speed test to get the job done when you can get more accurate results using our recommended test below. Happy speed checking!
When to test your internet speed
If your internet is going at a turtle’s pace even after you’ve restarted your computer or network device, it may be a good time to test your WiFi speeds. Or maybe you already have a strong internet connection and just want to know what speeds you’re getting. We’re not judging. Either way, running a speed test is easy, painless, and can be done in only a few minutes.
How to check your internet speed
There are two common ways to check your internet speed: with a hardwired connection or over WiFi. Using a speed test app on your mobile device to perform a speed test will work with either method you choose. The speed test itself will measure how fast your connection can upload and download information. A hardwired speed test can be done by plugging your computer into an available port on your router via an Ethernet cable. A WiFi speed test can be done simply by connecting your device to your wireless network. While both methods work, we recommend testing with a hardwired connection, as you’re less likely to experience WiFi degradation interference. This method will deliver the most accurate results. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try both ways and compare the two.
(note: most computers’ Ethernet ports max out 1 Gigabit, so the highest speed you will see is ~940Mbps)
WiFi Speed Test
Mobile apps for Android and iPhone (such as Ookla Speed Test) are the most common type of WiFi speed tests. These tests are not hardwired, so they may produce slightly varied speed results depending on a number of factors:
- The WiFi version your device uses (eg: WiFi 4, WiFi 5 or WiFi 6)
- The wireless frequency of your device (eg: 2.4Ghz, 5GHz, or 6Ghz bands)
- How far away your device is from the WiFi router
- The level of interference from your neighbor’s WiFi routers
Here’s how to try out a wireless speed test for yourself:
- Download the Ookla mobile app on your device
- Tap ‘Run Test’ (ensure you are connected to the WiFi network you are testing)
- See your results!
Note: when using the Ookla Speedtest, you’ll notice the option to select from multiple servers. Besides the WiFi layer, the server you connect to is yet another test variable that can create different results based on the server’s performance and/or congestion on the server at the time the test is being performed. Try testing different servers and see how each performs.
Generally, your WiFi version will be the most common bottleneck for many of the fastest internet connections available. Assuming you have the latest device, are close to the WiFi router, are not testing on the 2.4Ghz band, are not in a WiFi environment with heavy interference, and are testing against a good performing Ookla server, the fastest speeds you should typically expect to see are:
- WiFi 5: 400Mbps
- WiFi 6: 500Mbps
- WiFi 6e 1300 Mbps (1.3Gbps) (only available for WiFi 6e compatible devices like the Samsung Galaxy S22)
Hardwired Speedtest (most recommended)
Today’s internet speeds are a lot faster than they used to be. While this is great news for all of us, it can be difficult to get accurate speed test results. To ensure an accurate test, use the speed test function built into your router’s app.
To run a hardwired speed test, try the following:
- Plug your computer into your router using an Ethernet cable
- Visit speedtest.net, or a similar speed testing website, on your browser.
- Click the ‘Go’ or ‘Start’ button
You’ll get your results instantly. How easy was that?
What to do if your WiFi is slow
Is slow internet getting you down? There could be several reasons why.
- Issues with your streaming service – If your WiFi speeds are fast but your TV shows won’t load, it could be due to a problem with your streaming service. You may need to contact your streaming service provider for more information.
- WiFi router placement – It’s common to experience slower internet speeds the further away your devices are from your router.
- WiFi equipment – Your WiFi equipment could be faulty or out of date.
- Interference – If you live in an apartment, condo, or another densely populated area, you may experience occasional interference from other nearby WiFi signals.
To get the most out of your internet, make sure your streaming devices are hardwired (connected to your router via Ethernet cables) and your WiFi equipment is up to date. You can also install signal boosters throughout your home in areas that are far away from your router. And of course, pick an internet service provider who can deliver lightning-fast internet like WeLink. 🙂