Do you know how fast your Internet speed is? While you might not know the exact megabits per second off the top of your head, you probably already know that a slow Internet speed can have a major effect on your productivity—making it a frustrating task to answer emails, download files, or stream a show.
If you’re trying to improve your Internet speed, read on to learn how to test your computer’s Internet speed and what you can do to help things move faster.
There are a few different ways you can test your Internet speed on a PC computer. Generally, an Internet speed of at least 25 Mbps (megabits per second) is considered good. The average global Internet speed for fixed broadband speed connections in December 2021 was around 60 Mbps for downloads and 25 Mbps for uploads. And for offices or households juggling several devices, 100 Mbps is likely more ideal. Here’s how to check your computer’s speed so you know where you’re starting from.
Run Google’s Internet speed test
Google offers an Internet speed test that’s an easy way to check your speed in under 30 seconds. Google uses Measurement Lab to conduct the test. Click “Run speed test” to complete the test and get your results.
In addition to providing you with your numbers, Google will go a little more in depth explaining what those numbers mean and what kind of activities your Internet connection should be able to handle.
Check your Ethernet cable
Your Ethernet cable (or network cable) connects your router and computer. You can test the speed of your Ethernet cable by connecting one end of the cable to your laptop, and the other end to an Ethernet port on your laptop (or some piece of equipment that connects to that port).
Next, open a terminal application on your laptop and search for “speed.” The result you receive should show how fast your Ethernet connection is moving data in bits per second (bps).
Another way to test your Internet speed is through your Windows PC. Open Settings; click on Network & Internet; then click on Status. Under the “Change your network settings” section, click “View your network properties.”
Find the network adapter under “Properties” (this will be either WiFi or Ethernet). Look for the connection speed in the Link speed (Receive/Transmit) field. This will indicate the speed the adapter is using to connect to the network.
Once you know what your current Internet speed is, you can take steps to improve it if needed. A faster Internet speed will help with efficiency when downloading files or doing research. You’ll have quicker access to cloud applications and your Internet will be able to easily support multiple users.
A few simple ways to improve your Internet speed include contacting your Internet company or rebooting your router and modem. You can also use these additional methods to help your Internet get faster.
Update your browser
If your browser or OS (operating system) is out of date, this can have a major impact on your Internet speed. Get into the habit of updating your browser and always adopting the newest version available. Whether you use Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Edge Chromium, go into the update settings on your computer and select the latest version of your operating system available.
Move your router nearby your computer
The closer your router is to your computer, the better your Internet will perform. If you use a WiFi router to connect to the Internet, staying as close as possible to your router will boost your Internet speed. Just make sure your router and computer have enough room to prevent overheating.
Purchase a WiFi range extender
A WiFi range extender is a small device that improves your WiFi network. The extender receives the router’s WiFi signal and gives it a boost so your WiFi can reach your computer, even if you’re in a “dead zone” blocked off by walls.
If you’re pricing range extenders, you can expect to pay approximately $50-$100 for a new extender. This might seem pricey, but it’s more affordable than purchasing a new router.
Before you buy a range extender, check to make sure it’s compatible with the type of router you have.
Invest in a new router
WiFi extenders are helpful. But sometimes, you might need an entire new router. Telltale signs that it’s time to bite the bullet: your router is over five years old, it overheats, and your WiFi connection, range, and speeds are all continually getting worse.
Depending on your needs, you might pay anywhere from $60 to $200+ for a new router. Basic routers are cheaper while more sophisticated routers with streaming capabilities can get pricey. Whatever you choose, a new router could be a great way to help improve your Internet speed.
Boost your Internet speed
There are plenty of ways to improve your Internet speed and make your day-to-day life easier. If you don’t have the budget for a WiFi extender or router right now, don’t worry! Try improving your Internet speed by updating your browser or moving your router closer to your computer.
Of course, if all else fails, you can always try another state or country. According to Cloudwards, Washington D.C. has the fastest average Internet speed in the U.S. and Morocco has the fastest Internet speed in the world.