Internet speed tests is one way of knowing if your internet service provider is reliable.
But, some other factors may also be at play...
What could be affecting your internet speed? Let’s see…
Internet speed is measured in megabytes per second (Mbps). A reasonable internet speed for a small household is between 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps. When entering an agreement with an ISP, it is very important to look at their wording when they describe their speeds or packages.
Most Internet Service Providers will promise speeds of “up to…”
So you might think you are paying for 10 Mbps but actually, you only get up to 10 Mbps. While this is fairly standard practice and wording that ISPs worldwide use, if your internet speed is well below the advertised speed, then there may be something wrong.
How do I test my internet speed?
Internet speed tests will give you insight into the speed of your connection at that given moment, and also list the latency (very important for gaming and voice services). Within a few moments, a speed test will tell you what your up and download speeds are. You can use our Helpdesk section with a direct link to do a speed test with explanations on our homepage, or you can visit reputable popular websites that specialize in connection speeds. Here is a few good examples here:
It is possible to do an internet speed test on any device that has a web browser, such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet.
www.speedtest.net as well as wifiman.com both also has very easy-to-use mobile apps that you can download on your mobile device.
For the best result, it is always recommended to plug your laptop or computer directly into your router with an Ethernet cable. Internet speeds with wireless connections are usually slightly slower than hardwired connections due to interference, congestion, and distance to name a few. We therefore also recommend the latest wireless routers for optimal performance when connected to wifi.
Are all internet speed tests the same?
While all internet speed tests give pretty much the same type of information, not all of them are the same. If the internet speed test uses a server that isn’t close to where you are located, then the test will come back with a lower speed. This is because the data has to travel alot further from the server to you and back.
Why is my internet speed inconsistent?
If you are experiencing speed fluctuations, regular testing could reveal if there could be indeed a pattern. Perform an internet speed test at different times of the day. Do you typically have slower speeds on specific days or at specific times? Or when everyone is at home?
If you are experiencing slower speeds at peak times (e.g. evenings and weekends), this could probably mean you are contended or shaped. Contended lines are shared among different customers, resulting in slower speeds when more users are connected. This is a way for ISPs to keep costs down, resulting in (most often) very “cheap” packages and you should definitely consider changing to a more reputable provider, such as Vinet Internet Solutions
Another money-saving trick used by some ISPs is to throttling. This means that after you’ve used a certain amount of data, your Service Provider will reduce your speed for the remainder of the day / week or month. Again, this is something to look out for in the fine print of a contract. With Vinet’s Fibre to the Home Packages, we apply no shaping, contentions, or throttling, you can expect to have the same speeds throughout no matter how much data you use.
We can’t always blame sub-par ISPs for inconsistent network speeds. If your connection is generally stable, but then suddenly drops for a few days, it could be that there is a bigger infrastructure problem at hand. South Africa has a number of undersea fiber optic cables that connect the country. If one or more of these cables experiences a fault, it can highly likely affect internet speeds until technicians investigated and resolve the issue.
How can I improve my internet speed?
There are a few reasons why your actual internet speeds could be slower than expected. The placement of your router is very important. If possible, try moving your router around your home or office to see whether you get faster speeds from a different new position or maybe you have dead spots in your house causing the intermittency? Make sure your device is close enough to the router so that it is within WiFi range. If your signal needs to travel through walls and go upstairs, then consider getting additional routers so that all parts of your home or office receive a decent signal.
Another way to improve internet speeds is to perform an antivirus or anti-malware scan. When viruses or malware infect our devices, they can set up a backdoor or hidden connection to the internet and use your bandwidth with applications running in the background. You might not even know this is happening. A healthy device generally produces faster speeds than an infected one.
If your router and device are all in optimal shape and you are still unhappy with your internet speeds, then it might be time for an internet upgrade. We’ve become a lot more data hungry and every few years households grow by 2-4 devices all-consuming the internet daily. While a 10 Mbps line would suffice a few years ago, it probably isn’t going to cut it in most modern households. Small businesses are also becoming a lot more reliant on the internet and it is necessary to upgrade their package every so often.
What internet speed do I need?
The speed you need depends on what you use the internet for. A student doing research online can make do with a 5 to 10 Mbps line, depending on the size of the documents they are uploading or downloading. A home office for one to three people doing video conference calls needs a connection speed of around 25 Mbps. Similarly, for someone who is serious about online gaming, a 50 Mbps line would be ideal. A casual internet user who just goes online for a bit of web browsing and social media needs a connection speed between 4 Mbps and 10 Mbps.
Our support team will always guide you and assist with fault finding or recommendations to improve your connection. For more information about our wireless or FTTH offerings or to get a quote for an internet upgrade, please contact us today.