The easiest way to find your Broadband Speed is using an on-line speed test website. (There are other ways if you are technical and have the right gear). These will measure the three things we ask for in the survey questionnaire.
Finding your Broadband Speed using speedtest.net
This web site has a track record of providing speed tests. There are other good ones out there if you prefer.
Before running your test you should make sure that nothing else is using your internet connection. It is also more accurate if your PC or laptop is connected to your broadband router directly via a cable rather than wireless. If you can only use wireless make sure that you are as close to your router as possible.
I tested my speed whilst writing these notes and this is the process I followed:
When you are ready, click on the link to speedtest.net which takes you to the start page. There will be a number of adverts on the page, but the important content looks a bit like this:
If the test does not start or gets stuck it may be a temporary problem on the internet or something to do with your computer. You can try again later and/or try using a different computer. Please do not waste your time if you are having difficulty – you can leave question T12 unanswered.
Looking at the answer from left to right Ping tells us the latency – which is 20ms, Download and Upload are the speeds. So my download speed is more than 60Mbps and my upload speed is between 5 and 10Mbps. With these results I would answer T12 like this:
So you can see the further to the right your answers are the faster and better your broadband should be.
In practice you should run the test several times (click on AGAIN). If you find the results are very different each time, please answer the question based on a rough average.
What are Broadband Speed and Latency?
Broadband Speed – is the really the rate at which data is transferred. You may also hear it referred to as bandwidth. It is generally measured in megabits per second, the unit of measure is usually written as Mbps or Mb.The bigger the number the faster your speed – so 80Mbps is better than 40Mbps for example.
This is not to be confused with the size measure of files stored on a computer, or the storage capacity of memory, disks, SD cards etc. For storage we talk about bytes – there are 8 bits in a byte. The unit of measure for a byte should be B – which gives MB for megabytes and GB for gigabytes.
The point of this is that if, for example, your broadband speed was 1 Mbps, it will take at least 8 seconds to download a 1MB file. In practice it takes longer because there is other data that manages the transfer, which also uses up some of of that 1 Mbps bandwidth.
Latency – most speed checkers now refer to this as a ping test. Latency is the delay between two devices on a network. For our purposes it is the time between
- your computer (phone, tablet, internet device,…) asking for an item of information from a server and
- receiving either the start of the information or some acknowledgment back from that server.
This is usually measured in ms – thousandths of a second. Hence the smaller the latency the better.
Disclaimer: The Steering Group are not responsible for the content or operation of external websites, such as speed testers. This guide is provided on a “best efforts” basis, if you find a mistake please contact survey help to let me know.