Is your line speed up to par? Use our speed test to find out
A term you may be familiar with when dealing with internet service providers is “line speed”, but what on earth are people talking about? Well, when it comes to your internet, line speed is more important than you think. When you’re browsing for fibre or LTE packages, you’ll see terms like “20 Mbps” or “100 Mbps”, but what do these terms mean? Best Internet takes a look at line speed, how it is calculated and offers a quick and easy speed test to get you started on improving your line speed.
How is line speed calculated?
Before we can answer this question, let’s first deduce what line speed actually means. If you have a fibre or LTE internet package at home that gives you 100 Mbps of speed, this means that 100 megabits of data is transferred to and from your device per second. This “data” could be anything from sending an email, posting a photo on Instagram, designing on Photoshop, gaming, video conferencing and more. It’s anything you do online while connected to the internet.
When you’re paying for a certain line speed, your internet provider is responsible for delivering it to you. However, sometimes consumers can be too trusting and don’t necessarily check if their daily line speed is matching what they’re paying for. That’s where the handy speed test comes into play.
The speed test will measure your current connection’s upload and download speed using nearby test servers. When we say “current connection”, we’re referring to the state of your internet connection at that given moment and not your package’s designated line speed. The test does a mock trial of specific activities by uploading and downloading sample files. The test only takes a few seconds and, at the end, your results are displayed on your screen.
What affects my line speed and how can I improve it?
There are a number of factors that slow down your line speed. The good news is there are a number of easy (and some free) ways to improve it too. Let’s take a look at what affects your line speed and how you can fasten it.
Multiple open tabs
The reason all of your open apps on your phone take data is the same reason your 17 open tabs are draining your line speed. An open app or open tab requires internet to keep it active and refreshed. Tabs with video content or website that have dozens of ads flashing on the screen require even more bandwidth. Keep open only the most vital tabs at one time and you should see an improvement in line speed.
Update your browser and apps
If your browser, apps or OS (operating system) is not updated, this could slow down your internet connection as well as pose a security threat to your device. It takes more internet for your device to run on an old version of your browser. If you’re using Google Chrome, check how to update your browser here.
Use an ad blocker
Ahh, yes. Like SPF 50 to the blazing February Summer sun. An ad blocker is the ultimate tonic for slowed line speeds. On almost every single website you visit, you’ll be presented with at least one advert. Some websites, especially news sites and blogs, have 5 or 6 ads bombarding you with flashing offers, videos, rotating banners and more. While all these ads are trying to get your attention, they’re taking up bandwidth. Get an ad blocker to help improve your line speed.
Reset or move your router
Sometimes your line speed has slowed down simply because your router needs a little wake up call. Reset your router by pushing in the reset button with a paper clip or the end of an earring. Hold the push for at least 10 seconds, and then release. The router should automatically turn on and reset itself. On the other hand, sometimes your router is just in a place of your home that’s inaccessible. Place your router in the centre of your home or in the most commonly used area such as the lounge or TV room.
Stream instead of download
If you’re keen on watching a movie or documentary, and only plan on watching it once, then try opt for streaming over downloading. Streaming at a slightly lower resolution over downloading in HD requires less internet. There are plenty of streaming services, both free and subscription-based, that should have whichever movie you’re looking for in their catalogue.
Choose from hundreds of fibre and LTE packages across multiple networks with Best Internet
If none of these tips help your line speed, it could be a problem with your internet provider. We’d suggest contacting them as soon as you can because if you’re paying for a certain line speed, then that’s what you should get. No questions asked.