Conducting your own internet speed test is a quick and simple process and should be done before spending hours researching alternate connectivity options. Spending just five minutes doing the following steps will help you make a much more informed decision and could save you a lot of money in the process.
Ultrafast (300 Mbps-1000Gbps), Superfast (>24Mbps), 1Gbps all sound great, but chances are if you are a small business or a homeworker you simply do not need these speeds to work effectively.
If you are only experiencing download speeds of a couple of Mbps, then 25/30Mbps is going to be life changing, and you may not need to spend much money to get a solution that can give you what you need.
If you don’t have access to the property, then you will have to use an online tool to get an idea of what’s available. You can find out more about BT Openreach Fibre Checker and other online tools here.
By the end of this article you will know the following:
- How fast / slow is your current internet connection;
- If something is hogging bandwidth on your network and preventing you from utilising to full capacity the service you have;
- Whether you can utilise a 4G / 5G solution to get the connectivity speeds you need.
Step 1. Speed Test the existing broadband connection
To check how fast your internet connection is you can use the Integra Online Speed Test Checker. Before running the test, there are a few pointers below to ensure you get the most accurate readings.
Tips for an accurate broadband Speed Test
- Conduct an internet speed test wired directly to your router. This will give you the most accurate results. If not, get as close to the router as possible to minimise any external interference.
- Disconnect all other devices from the network. If you have someone downloading or streaming (for example, someone using Youtube or watching Netflix) during the speed test, your results will be compromised.
- Test at different times of day. Broadband is dramatically impacted by others connected to the same BT exchange using the internet. This is called Contention – multiple users or households utilising the same bandwidth at the same time, resulting in everyone sharing bandwidth and therefore getting slower speeds. Try testing when you usually have the slowest speeds.
- Make a note of both your upload and download speeds. Make a note of those upload speeds homeworkers. If you want your Microsoft Teams and Zoom calls to run well, upload is as important as downloads.
Step 2. Conduct a mobile network Speed Test
Conducting a mobile network speed test is useful to gauge whether a 4g option might be a suitable alternative. Using the Integra Online Speed Test Checker, check out what speeds you are currently getting.
Tips for an accurate mobile network Speed Test
- Turn off the WiFi on the device you are using for the speedtest to ensure that you are actually testing the 4G signal.
- Ensure that you are not downloading anything and no updates are currently active
- Try different locations inside the property to find where the best signal is. Speeds can vary significantly in different locations.
- If possible, try on different Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s.) Some MNO’s might not have masts in the area.
- Try a speed test outside the property, on each side of the building.
By conducting these tests you will be able to do the following
- Whether your phone will work at all without being connected to a Wi-Fi network
- Get an initial idea of what speeds you could get using a residential 4G solution. Remember if you conduct a test on Vodafone then buy a EE router, the speeds might be dramatically different depending on the local mobile masts.
- Give you a minimum indicative speed for an externally fitted antenna. 4G based solutions installed by a service provider using external antenna’s will achieve in most cases a much faster speed than what can be obtained using a small wifi router..
- Give an alternate 4G internet service provider valuable insight into what speeds are available at the property so they can advise you on the right solution.
Important considerations following your Speed Tests
If you cannot get a good speed reading on your 4G device, do not give up hope. Although a good speed on 4G will likely mean that a 4G/5G based service like Integra will be able to offer you a good service, a poor reading (slow speed) does not necessarily mean that a good service is unachievable.
Speeds are usually drastically improved during a professional installation by:
- Installing an external directional commercial grade antenna;
- Installing it in the correct location, at height if necessary;
- Combining speeds from 2 different mobile providers (the 2 ones with the best service at your location) to give you an excellent overall service.