New Tool Tuesday: Online Speed Tests

When we dropped cable more than a year ago, we did it because we planned to stream our television content (and watch a lot of over-the-air programming). We have two laptops, two smartphones, a Kindle, a Nexus 7, a Roku and an Internet-enabled Playstation 3, many of which run at the same time.

So we decided to upgrade our Internet package to give us a faster connection and a stronger router. We had a technician come to the house, re-wire for maximum speed and had no problems.

Until recently. We started to notice that our previously protected network no longer required a password, opening it up for neighbors to use. My Kindle wouldn’t connect. Then my husband’s smartphone wouldn’t see the network at all.

The last straw was when our browsers started to c-r-a-w-l and took forever to open new tabs or play videos. Our Roku would buffer for an interminable stretch of time. Our mail wouldn’t connect.

I decided to look at what our Internet speeds were, because we pay for (up to) 40Mpbs down and I wondered if we were getting our money’s worth.

NOPE.

I ran the Bright House Network speed test three times, getting between 2Mpbs and 14Mpbs (on wireless, downstairs, about 30 feet from the router).

Then I ran the Speedtest version of the test. Same results.

I should be getting between 35-40, even downstairs. So I called in the experts. They realized that there was a major problem, and helped me fix it quickly — voila! I’m back in business, baby.

If you start to have Internet issues, one of the first things you can/should do is check your connection speed. You can also download apps for your phones to see if you are having issues there, too.

Your connection speeds vary depending on what package you have from your provider. They should provide you with a graphic showing what you can expect, like Bright House does here.

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