How to perform an internet speed test
First you need to select an internet speed test tool. There are a number of speed test tools available for both your android or ios device or on the internet.
Here are some of the most popular:
Fast.com will give you a good idea of what speeds to expect when streaming Netflix videos. The site is also ad free and runs instantly. For more detailed results click "more info" after the test is complete. We will go through the results later.
With speedtest.net, in both the app and web versions, you need to click "GO" to begin the test.
A speed test works by uploading a small file to and from a speed test server using your internet connection. Usually the file is around 5MB in size, so dont worry, this will not use a lot of your data.
A speed test will give you 3 key measurements that inform of the speed of your internet:
Latency (also known as Ping)
If your upload and download speed are consistently above 10Mbps then your connection is considered good broadband internet. Higher values are better for both upload and download speed.
Download speeds of above 10Mbps means that you should be able to stream HD quality video without interruptions on streaming platforms like Netflix, Showmax and Viu. If you want to watch 4K or UHD content on Netflix, you will need at least 20Mbps download speed.
For most South African home internet connections, the upload speed will be lower than download speed, sometimes by a factor of half or more, however upload speed is a less important metric for home users than download.
If you are not getting upload and download speeds of 10Mbps and more, then your connection is poor and you need to resolve the issue with your internet provider or try other providers in the area.
For latency or ping, lower is better. If your Latency or ping should be less than 20ms. Typically a fibre connection should have a lower latency than a wireless LTE type of connection.
To get a good understanding of your overall internet speed, the above speed tests should be conducted a couple times a day - morning, afternoon and night. If your internet provider has a congested network, you will notice a decline in download speeds during peak times.