Your internet browser likely gets more use than any other program on your PC. But many people are surprised to learn just how poor their wireless performance is when compared to a standard network.
If you’ve been frustrated by slow internet speeds lately, then it’s time to run some tests and performance benchmarks. Today, we’re going to show you how to benchmark your wireless network and optimize its performance.
Understand the difference between your bandwidth and your throughput
The first lesson to learn about measuring internet speeds is to understand the difference between bandwidth and throughput:
-Bandwidth: The amount of data you pay for from your ISP (Internet Service Provider)
-Throughput: The data speed measurement in your local area, like your home, apartment, or small business.
In other words, your bandwidth is your internet speed and your throughput is your internal network speed.
Why is this important? Because you can optimize your network’s throughput but you can’t optimize your bandwidth without calling your ISP and upgrading your data plan.
You can upgrade your router, for example, to take advantage of the latest wireless capabilities and routing systems. If your router is more than 4 years old, then you should be able to improve performance by upgrading to a new router.
SpeedTest.net is an excellent free utility that has servers all over the world. You can use it to easily test internet speeds no matter where you are in the world. It’s fast and effective. It also lets you rate your ISP and compare your speeds with others on similar networks.
Most importantly, you see your exact ping, download speed, and upload speed. Use those speeds to compare your current speeds with the plan you pay for from your ISP. If you’re close to the speeds you’re paying for, then that’s great! Your internet can’t get much better.
If it’s different, then you can optimize your internet with a new router or by positioning your router in a different location in your home. You may also consider upgrading your wireless network card.
There are lots of software programs and tests you can pay for. If you’re optimizing a business’s internal network and have money to spare, then consider ordering an IxChariot demo. IxChariot is very expensive to buy but can help identify where internal network slowdowns are occurring and what you need to do to speed up your internet.
One of the most important tips when optimizing a wireless network is to optimize the positioning of your router and your internet-connected devices.
First, move your laptop or PC next to your router if it isn’t already next to it. Run the SpeedTest.net test and measure your internet speeds three times. Take the average of those three speed tests.
Then, move your PC to your normal location and other locations around the house where you use it. Try to make sure the internet connection has a clear path on which to travel. Concrete walls can reduce internet connection speed, and on certain bandwidths (like 2.4GHz), microwaves and portable phones can also affect network performance.
Run the SpeedTest.net multiple times and find the best location for your PC in the house. Every house has weird anomalies and dead zones, so if your PC is experiencing slow speeds, it could be one of these weird anomalies and not a serious problem with your router or ISP.