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How to Perform and Assess an Internet Speed Test

Author
Blue Ridge
Published
October 23, 2019

How to Perform an Internet Speed Test

From slaying digital zombies online with friends to scheduling dentist appointments via smartphone apps, the internet has crept into just about every area of our lives. Most Americans have some form of broadband internet in their homes, but depending on the level of service you’ve selected, your data speeds can vary significantly from what your neighbors are getting.

Curious about how your data connection stacks up against the rest of the world? You can test your internet speed in just a few seconds by following these steps. You can test your speed via WiFi, but to get the most accurate results, connect your computer directly to your modem via LAN cable.

  1. Visit https://www.ptd.net/help-desk/internet/speed-test
  2. Click the GO button. For best results, try to limit data usage on your network during the test.
  3. Wait for your results and write them down. The test should take less than one minute.
  4. Repeat the test two more times by clicking AGAIN or by refreshing the page and clicking GO. Compare your results and calculate your average speed.

Compare your average speed to the maximum upload/download speed ratings of your internet package.

Hands typing on a laptop

What do my test results mean?

  • Download: How quickly your devices can retrieve data from internet sources. This is the measurement that is most often talked about in relation to internet speed.
  • Upload: How quickly your devices can send data out into the internet. In most internet packages, this speed will be significantly slower than the download speed.
  • Ping: How quickly you receive a response to a data request.
  • Jitter: The consistency of your connection’s ping.

Upload and download speeds are usually measured in how many megabits per second (Mbps) your connection can transmit, and the higher the number, the better. Ping and jitter are measured in milliseconds, and low numbers represent a more responsive and stable connection.

What if my speeds are lower than my internet package offers?

It’s important to remember that internet packages are sold by the maximum speeds you can expect, but there are many factors that can affect your data speeds. The number and quality of connected devices you have on your home network, the volume of traffic on the internet, and WiFi interference are just a few of the things that can slow you down. To help you get the most out of your internet, we’ve collected 10 simple steps you can take around your home to maximize your network performance in this article.

If you think you’ve outgrown your internet speed, it may be time to upgrade.

Father and son watching video on ipad

How much speed do I need?

Every household uses the internet differently, so Blue Ridge’s internet packages allow you to choose the speed tier that works best for your needs. If you’re not sure which package is right for you, check this out for some suggestions based on how you plan to use it. Whatever you decide, we’ll get you connected to our fast, reliable fiber optic network at a price that works for you.

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