Most businesses these days, large or small, rely on the Internet to help keep their day to day operations going to some extent or another, and if that Internet is sluggish it can be more than an annoyance, it can be a revenue-sapping productivity killer.
There are more than a few reasons why a company’s Internet-based systems may be performing more slowly than expected. The company may need to consider updating their cabling systems, their modems and/or routers or the plan they have in place with their ISP provider. If they are already paying for a good plan and their systems are relatively new other forces may be at work, including router placements and having the wrong channels selected to access the Internet in the first place.
When a smaller business begins to be impacted by an Internet slowdown (or a residential consumer come to that matter) usually they try a little DIY troubleshooting before calling in the pros, starting off with a basic speed test, something that will allow them to see just how well their network is performing versus what their ISP claims it should be capable of.
This is not a bad idea, but often people don’t go about speed testing their network in a way that will yield them the most accurate results. Here are some tips for tweaking things a little to help ensure the test results you get are as accurate as possible.
Restart the Modem and Router Before You Begin
Yes, we know ‘have you tried restarting it?’ often seems to be an IT’s first suggestion for almost everything, but that is for good reason, especially when it comes to network connections and Internet speed.
Your modem and router(s) function like a mini computer in themselves, and so like a computer day to day operations can produce slowdowns that a restart can fix. And since you’ll be performing a test to judge the speeds your network is truly capable even if the turn it off/turn it on routine does not make much of a difference it’s still a sensible first step.
Get Everyone Off the Internet
Hopefully, you already thought of this one, as it’s probably the most important key to getting an accurate speed test result. Everyone off the Internet means more than making sure that everyone pauses work on their desktops and closes all their browser windows though. Most mobile devices auto connect to a wireless signal and even if yours is password protected the chances are that, when they are at work, your employees link to it to save their data is high. So, make sure that everyone’s mobiles are on airplane mode for the duration of the test.
Restart the Device You’ll Be Testing From
Here we go again with the restart stuff, but once more, doing so simply makes a lot of sense, for the same reasons that we suggested restarting your modems and routers. And for those of you who are usually power button off folks that’s not what’s called for here, you need to go through a full restart.
Use an HTML 5 Based Speed Test
Last, but not least, we recommend that you perform your speed test via an HTML5 based test, not a Flash based one. Recent studies found that Flash based tests, like the hugely popular Speedtest.net, must make adjustments by up to 40% to account for the fact that their sites use Flash, of which, as you may be aware, all the major browsers are not fond of at all.
Great tried and tested choices include SpeedOf.Me, TestMy.net, and Bandwidth Place as they are all Flash free as well as free to use!
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