Benefits of Running Broadband Speed Tests
The speed of your broadband internet connection is not just down to the connection speed you opted for when signing up to your broadband provider. Broadband speed is also affected by how close your house or office is to the telephone exchange, the quality of the cables between the two and the equipment in the exchange. While many broadband providers sell their products as a set number of megabits per second (MBPS), for instance 24MBPS, this is usually the maximum speed possible. This maximum speed will only be reached by those customers closest to the telephone exchange. You should also bear in mind that broadband speeds are usually sold on the basis of download speeds, often not mentioning upload speeds at all in marketing materials. For most this isn`t a problem, but if you upload large files such as a videos to the web this is a factor that is important
in your case.
As so much of your speed can`t be established using the marketing information on your broadband product, it is important to run periodic speed tests to see if you are being overcharged. If you are consistently getting speed results from all servers tested in the speed tests that equate to those of a package with a lower speed that your broadband provider offers then it may be worth downgrading to save money. Speed tests can also help neighbours discover the broadband provider that offers the best connection speed on their street. If you think your speed is slow, why not ask a neighbour on a different broadband company to take a speed test and compare results?
Broadband speed tests work by having multiple servers located in many different parts of the world send you packets of data of a set size and timing how long it takes you to receive them, then timing how long it takes for your computer to send these back to them. The time taken is then used to determine your download and upload speeds in megabits per second (MBPS) to each server.
Broadband speed test services use servers spread across the globe in order to provide a true estimate of your average connection speed. When you visit a website it could be hosted on a server thousands of miles from your current location, but equally it could be hosted in the same town as you. The speed the data will take to reach you from a server depends on how many steps it has to take before reaching yours, it is almost always the case that communicating with a far off server will require more steps.
If you decide that your speed is too slow compared with other providers you may wish to consider switching to another broadband service. Most broadband providers have contract terms that you must complete with them or pay to end early. Call your provider to find out the fee, it may well be lower than the money you will save by switching.
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