Just How Fast Is Your Internet Connection?

Does it ever seem like your Internet is working slower than usual?  Maybe you blame your old computer, or your lack of memory and processing speed—maybe you even chalk it up to the heavy video sharing that you do.  However, in most cases, what you are experiencing may well be slow Internet speed courtesy of your provider.

Wait!  Maybe you’re thinking, “But I pay top dollar for high speed Internet.”  Sure, and that’s what they tell you.  However, what if you were to find out that what you think is super, fast-as-it-gets Internet is more like medium speed?  That’s what providers often do, just to get customers to sign up, is to say that *your Internet* is faster than everyone else’s—you know, the same way the car dealer tells you that the car he wants to sell you is the best on the lot. 

However, you really do have to be careful about vague promises in advertising since there’s not really anything wrong with promising “fast Internet” that’s actually pretty slow to average. 



How To Geek actually displayed a picture showing how many people have “slower Internet” as opposed to as-advertised FAST.  And wouldn’t you know, the vast majority of us are paying for slow “fast Internet.”

Wait, maybe you’re saying, “But I’m paying for 15Mbps, the fastest available!”  Yes, you probably are paying for it, but are you certain that the contract doesn’t say, “Up to 15 Mbps?  The truth is, that your provider cannot promise that you’re going to get the fastest Internet available, since much of this is dependent on:

  • The quality and technology the router
  • The WI-Fi connection
  • The distance from the ISP’s headquarters
  • Internet traffic congestion in the area
  • Time of day, including “peak hours”

Additionally, sometimes Internet companies actually slow down your traffic if you, for instance need a lot of peer to peer traffic, and hit a monthly “average” early on in the month thanks to a lot of movie downloading or streaming etc.  Sometimes the servers you’re using can also slow down your surfing experience.  It’s not just your router but the world’s router and server system. 

It’s well known that city dwellers seem to get better and faster reception than rural dwellers thanks to the closer proximity to the headquarters.  When it comes to your neighbor, you are actually competing against your neighbors for total Internet speed and if all your neighbors are sucking up the power, whether downloading BitTorrents, or perhaps using other software or applications that require heavy speed, this could be affecting your user experience.

Did you know that you can actually run an Internet speed test to see how much speed the ISP company is actually letting you use?  You can visit the SpeedTest.net website to actually see what your Internet Mbps performance is, as opposed to what was advertised.

Perhaps what you could do is research other companies in your area to see what deals they have going and how much speed they can promise.  For instance, Verizon FiOS TV is offering fast Internet and does explain how their services work and what is guaranteed in terms of power, speed and freedom.  Why not start searching for a better ISP and improve your Internet connection today?

All in all, it’s hard to predict what your Internet performance will look like tomorrow, especially if you’re using a company well known for poor performance.  Some companies like AT&T intentionally limit all the bandwidth their customers can use, in order to reduce costs. 

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