Do you have trouble loading your favourite website? Is your most recent Warzone round lagging? Perhaps Disney Plus is buffering while you try to binge Andor? Take a few minutes the next time your home internet connection is acting up to troubleshoot it. Checking the speed of your internet connection is a good place to start.
The fact that many of us still work remotely, at least part of the time, amplifies any perceived connection issues from your internet service provider. When your roommates or family members are all working, schooling, playing games, and streaming videos, your internet speed may suffer.
The solution could be as simple as restarting your modem and router (which should always be your first step) or, as a last resort, upgrading to a mesh network. We’ll show you how to check the speed of your internet connection and offer troubleshooting tips below.
Perform a speed test on your computer, smartphone, or tablet
There are numerous apps and websites that can test the speed of your internet connection. Speedtest.net and CloudFlare are some of the more popular speed test services. Whether you use an app or a website, it’s a good idea to run the test a few times to get a sense of how fast your connection is. Each test will take less than a minute to complete and will provide download and upload speed results.
To run a speed test, connect your computer directly to your ISP’s modem using an ethernet cable, but this isn’t always possible. However, there is another way to run a speed test: use the app that came with your wireless router.
Perform a wireless router speed test
Depending on your wireless router, you may be able to perform a speed test via its dedicated app. Google’s Nest Wi-Fi, for example, can run a speed test in the app or ask Google Assistant how fast your internet connection is.
Eero, Linksys, and Asus ZenWifi routers all have the same feature, though not all of them support asking a smart speaker to run the test. It’s best to start with a dedicated app. Because your wireless router is directly connected to your modem, using its speed test may be more accurate at least in theory.
What should you do if your speed is slower than expected?
I recommend turning off your modem and wireless router, waiting 60 seconds before turning them back on. This usually resolves any speed issues for me.
The solution isn’t as simple as calling your internet service provider and complaining about the poor service. It’s an inconvenient fact, but ISPs are permitted to throttle your connection speed. There are, however, steps you can take to determine if this is the case or if there is another issue at play.
You can also look for an outage on your provider’s app or website. When there is a problem, the app will give you an estimated restoration time. Knowing that the problem isn’t on your end means you can proceed with any troubleshooting.
Finally, you can call your provider to ensure that your modem supports the speed of your plan or to see if there are any plans or promotions that are worth upgrading to get the speeds you need for a stress-free day of work and play.