Author: Tithi Raha
Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Why is My Internet So Slow But The Speed Test is Fast?



Dealing with a slow internet speed is certainly frustrating. But, you know what's more annoying than that? Well, it's when your internet speed test indicates that you have got a fast internet connection but you're still facing a lag while browsing. In such cases, it becomes difficult to diagnose the underlying cause. 

There might be a lot of reasons why the speed test will show you a fast internet connection. But you're facing a slowdown while conducting even the basic online activities in some cases. Generally, a speed test tells you about your upstream, and downstream speed, and latency. As the result of this speed test is misleading. People have a hard time figuring out the actual reason behind the slowdown, and an even harder time fixing the issues. Hence, it's important to know why and when this speed result gets misled and what variables you should consider while conducting the test to get the ideal score. 

Keep on reading this article to understand the reasons why speed test results get misled. We will discuss everything in detail starting from how you can get the actual result from a speed test. Also, we will discuss how to get your internet fixed when the speed is extremely slow. So, let's get started, 

Why is My Internet So Slow But The Speed Test is Fast?

Why is My Internet So Slow But The Speed Test is Fast?

Internet speed test is one of the most crucial things to do when you face an extreme slowdown while conducting your browsing activity. Generally, this is the first step people take to know whether the reason behind the slowdown is due to their connection or their faulty hardware. The result indicates your upstream speed, downstream speed, latency, ping, and much other information depending on which tools you're using. 

However, things get tough when the speed test results show you that you have a decent connection when you take the test. But in reality, you face an extreme slowdown. You can't figure out where to start to fix or improve your connectivity. Isn't it?

Here are the reasons why this may happen:

Understand The “Up To” Speed

Why is My Internet So Slow But The Speed Test is Fast?

Although, internet service providers basically offer a different variety of speeds up to a certain limit. However, the overall internet experience can't be controlled by your ISP as it depends on a lot of factors. For example, the site you're trying to visit and the devices from which you're connected to the internet may have some faults which may slow down the internet. This can't be handled by your ISP. Therefore, it's important to understand the speed limit of “up to” in certain cases. 

It's much like a speed limit sign. Even though the sign indicates that you can go up to 70Mph, you've got no chance during the rush hour as the congestion increases on these freeways. So, when your ISP is representing you with a speed limit of up to “40Mbps”, it indicates the best-case scenario. But, it won't be your daily average speed. 

Consider The Variables

There are so many variables that can impact your real-life experience of browsing the internet. For example, the time of the day you're connecting, a wireless or wired setup you're using, the website you're trying to visit, the age of your cable or modem, the number of people using the same network, etc. Therefore, these variables have nothing to do with the speed or connectivity that your ISP is providing. 

In addition, when you run a speed test using any of the tools available on the internet, it's only taking a snapshot for that moment. This can be pretty misleading. To get the exact result, it's important to run at least a series of speed tests at different times of the day and consistently over a few days to determine the average speed you're getting. 

The Tests May Be Hosted By ISP

Why is My Internet So Slow But The Speed Test is Fast?

Sometimes, the speed test can offer you biased results. This especially happens because these sites encourage popular internet service providers to host their servers on the network. So that users will get better test results while conducting the test. Since ISPs always want to retain their users by offering the best speed, they host their servers on these networks of speed-testing websites and you end up getting a faster result. However, in reality, you're not having that much speed.

Therefore, it's extremely important to conduct research about the speed test website before doing the test. There are a lot of free internet speed test tools available on the internet. Mostly, people don't conduct enough research and pick one of them to know their internet speed. But, they end up getting a biased result in the end. 

Conduct Single-threat & Multi-thread Testing

There are different ways to test your internet speed. It's important to conduct the speed test in different ways to understand real-world situations. Although there are both multi-thread and single-thread testing that should be offered by the internet speed test tools, most of them offer only the multi-thread test. This means it provides you with a test after measuring your connection speed across different connections. So, speed represents your experience while visiting many websites. 

However, a single thread tests your internet speed with only a single connection. For example, it can measure the speed when you download an app or download a file. If your internet speed is normal or running optimally, then both of these speeds should be similar. If they are not, then this indicates that there might be a problem with your ISP or with your network. So, you should take action accordingly when these results are showing a difference. 

How To Get An Optimal Speed Test Result?

Why is My Internet So Slow But The Speed Test is Fast?

Well, it's pretty important to get the optimal speed test result when you're facing a slowdown with your internet connection. This will help you know whether the issue is with your internet service provider or your connectivity. Therefore, the first thing you should do is to choose the speed testing site carefully. Since we've told you that the results can be biased, the testing site should be chosen wisely. 

One of the best sites you can choose is TestMy.net which offers both single and multi-threaded testing. These results are far more reflective and detailed of your actual speeds. This website also offers automatic speed tests which test your connection repeatedly and consistently over a period of time and note the results. It will give you a detailed idea of your internet connectivity. You will understand whether you should switch to a different internet service provider or replace your router. 

Conclusion

Misleading results while conducting an internet speed test can be annoying. After all, all of our daily activities rely on the internet. If the connection gets slowed down, it becomes difficult to complete our day-to-day activities. Also, after the covid hit, most people are working from their homes which requires a fast internet connection. The interrupted connection can not only cause damage to your personal life but also to your professional life as well. On top of that, when speed test results are misleading, it becomes a real challenge to figure out who to blame, your ISP or your own devices. 

 

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