How to use a Google speed test to check how fast your internet speed is
- To test your internet speed, Google "internet speed test" and click the blue "Run speed test" button under the first result.
- You have a good internet speed if you are at or above 25 Mbps for downloads.
- To make your internet faster, move closer to your router, regularly disconnect and update your devices, or buy new equipment.
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If you're looking to change your internet provider, or are considering increasing your internet speed, it's a good idea to know where your internet speed currently stands. This will help you better understand what you want and need from a new internet plan.
Google offers a simple and fast tool for doing this, and you can easily access it by initiating a Google search. This Google speed test measures your internet speed in megabits per second, or Mbps. The test determines your internet speed by measuring the amount of data that can move through your connection.
What is a good internet speed?
The FCC's standard for a fast internet connection is at least 25 Mbps for downloads, and 3 Mbps for uploads.
Internet download speeds that exceed 25 Mbps are considered fast and can range anywhere from 100 Mbps to 2,000 Mbps. To be considered a fast internet connection for four or more simultaneous users and devices, you'll certainly want more than 25 Mbps. Internet upload speeds tend to be lower, and back in 2015, the FCC recommended that you have at least 3 Mbps, but many consider 5 Mbps to be fast, with available speeds going up to 50 Mbps.
How to make your internet speed fasterIf you find your internet speeds lagging, but don't want to jump into the market for a new internet plan or new equipment, there are a couple of things you can do to help boost your internet speed:
- Disconnect and turn off devices you aren't using. In the digital age, we've often got multiple devices at the ready, but all of them being connected and running in the literal background of your life can slow your internet speeds down.
- Move closer to your gateway or get a Wi-Fi extender. How far away you and your devices are from your internet gateway, router, and/or modem can really have an impact on the speed and stability of your connection. Remove the walls, appliances, building material, and other obstructions of your home from between you and your Wi-Fi signal.
- Try a wired connection with your console or computer. When you opt to stream 4K UHD video, play on your gaming console, or video conference with other people, that can put a lot of strain on your Wi-Fi connection. Ethernet cords, which offer you a wired connection between your gateway and personal devices will help speed up those more demanding connections.
- Reboot and update devices regularly. Sometimes the issue isn't your connection - it's your device. Make sure you are rebooting your devices regularly instead of leaving them in sleep mode. Also be sure to keep your apps, consoles, and computers updated. And do the same for your anti-virus programs, drivers, firmware, and computer and device software. This will help clear system errors and have it working or playing at top speed.
- Update your gateway devices. If speeds are noticeably slowing and you've got older Wi-Fi devices, it might be time for an equipment upgrade. Consider getting a dual-band router, or preferably a triple-band 5GHZ band model. Once you have it, access your router's settings and flip the channel from auto to one of the other options.
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