We all know how frustrating it can be when your internet stalls and a video buffers or a download stutters. The first thing most of us do is open a speed test. But did you know that some speed tests do not provide accurate results? Here are the most accurate ways to find your real time internet speed.

Keep in mind that speed tests check your network speed, not the speed of your personal device. If the problem is not the network, it could be your computer. Slow upload or download speeds could be caused by website congestion, viruses, outdated software or hardware, and more.

The problem could also be caused by your ISP. Bad weather, animal interference, or maintenance can affect your internet connectivity. Many ISPs provide updates, but few offer a real-time ISP outage map. Before you call your ISP, try running a reliable speed test.

First, use a speed test to determine your upload and download speed. The most reliable tests will also identify packet loss, latency issues, or physical connection problems. Try to avoid using tests hosted by ISPs, as these may show inaccurate results.

To test your network, here are three free speed tests we recommend using:

  1. SpeedOf.Me

SpeedOf.Me is an HTML-based speed test that replicates real-world browsing and downloading conditions. It graphs speeds in real-time and allows you to track your results against previous speed tests.

It is not location-based either. Instead, SpeedOf.Me calculates the quickest and more reliable server from the servers available. This allows it to accurately replicated browsing conditions.

The drawback of this test is it’s design. It can be harder to read at first glance, though the amount of information it provides more than makes up for the design.

  1. SpeedTest.Net

As the oldest and most used speed test, Speedtest.net by OOkla is a fantastic option for those looking to check their upload and download speeds. It automatically finds what ISP you’re using and the nearest server to provide accurate speed results.

Speedtest.net also keeps previous records for user comparison and offers a database for users to find information about connections all over the world.

The drawback of this test is that it is a multi-threaded test that does not represent real-world traffic as well as single-thread tests do.

  1. TestMy.net

This site is one of more comprehensive options. It is independently run and uses HTML5. TestMy.Net provides statistics for your speed compared to the averages of your ISP and location. Therefore, it takes the guesswork out of knowing what speed you’re getting and what you should be getting at this point in time.

The only drawback is the visual design of this speedtest. Though comprehensive, it can be difficult to read at first glance.

It’s Time For An Internet Upgrade

If your speed test is showing slower speeds than what you’re paying for, call your ISP. Slower internet speeds can impact productivity, workflow, and can interrupt video calls, streaming services and more. Being connected to the Internet is essential for most business owners nowadays.

If your ISP cannot provide an immediate solution or if slower speeds have been a consistent issues in the past, it may be time to upgrade from your wide area network (WAN) to a software defined wide area network (SD-WAN).

SD-WAN networks are managed by centralized controllers to reduce WAN operating expenses. It works by simplifying the underlying connections, such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), internet broadband, fiber, and long term evolution (LTE). By doing this, SD-WAN allows for real-time traffic management over these connections.

In short, SD-WAN allows users to prioritize certain website traffic over others. This relieves congestion for those website, thus reducing the amount of lag or buffertime. If your business operates with slow internet, this will help reduce the amount of time it takes to connect to a video conference call, download meeting notes, or screenshare.

SD-WAN is also optimized for cloud computing services. It creates a secure and speedy connection point so all of your documents are safely stored in a readily accessible location on the internet.

SD-WAN through SimpleWAN has built-in firewall capabilities through Firewall UTM Protection. The protection is cloud-managed and monitored, so you can access it from anywhere and at any time.

For more information on how SD-WAN could benefit your business by increasing your internet speeds, prioritizing web traffic, and enhancing your network security, contact SimpleWAN today.