Is Your Internet Really As Fast As Your Provider Claims?
One of the biggest selling points that providers are using to push customers to sign up for their internet service is that it is their internet service is faster than those offered by competitors, however, often the connection does not live up to the speeds advertised. Let’s examine just how fast your internet is actually likely to be compared to the rates claimed by providers.
One thing that is important for all consumers to remember when they make any kind of a purchase, including signing up for an internet package, is that they must read the small print! In the case of internet providers, the small print will usually explain that the incredibly high connection speeds that are advertised to help sell their internet package deals are claims and not actually proven speeds. The small print is also likely to explain that the actual speed and/or bandwidth may vary.
Factors Affecting Your Connection Speed
While it is true that your provider is only offering you ‘up to’ the speed advertised, if your connection is particularly slow it may not be your provider’s fault. There are a number of additional factors that can slow down your internet connection. Some of these include the following :
- Time of Day – The time of day that you use the internet can make a difference to the speed of your connection. At times when more people are using a shared connection, the speed can slow down considerably. For example, in a residential area the busiest and therefore slowest time is usually between 6pm and midnight. There can also be a congestion on the connection if a neighbour is using applications that are particularly demanding.
- Distance From ISP – What many people do not realise is that the further you are from your internet service provider’s hardware, the weaker the signal will be. This means that customers who live closer are going to get a faster connection than those several miles away. This is why many experts suggest choosing a local provider instead of a bigger, national provider.
- Throttling – Some internet service providers engage in a practice known as throttling where they purposely slow traffic down. This is done on certain types of content that your ISP might prefer you not to be accessing or it can be done after you reach a certain bandwidth limit – even if they are advertising unlimited bandwidth.
How to Test Your Internet Speed
Your internet service provider still has to provide you with a reasonable speed of internet connection in relation to the claims that they have made. Otherwise they could be deemed as having misled consumers. If you find that your connection is particularly slow then there are a number of free online tests that can be used to test your internet speed. If the result is considerably lower than expected then you should contact your provider to discuss the matter in case there is some kind of fault. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction then you can escalate your complaint to the appropriate governing body.
It is important to check out the small print in your internet connection contract so that you know what you are actually paying for. You might also want to consider the other factors that could contribute to a slow connection.