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February 9, 2018

Why do I get varying results from different Internet speed test providers?

Speed test results are a useful tool in determining bandwidth available but are not the definitive tool in determining the amount of bandwidth available to a customer.  Speed test servers reside in various parts of the world.  Some speed test servers may reside in more congested networks than others.  CT Comm cannot manage how data is routed to all destinations over the Internet.  Once the data leaves CT Comm’s network to the public Internet, the route and speed it takes to reach the far-end are determined by all the intermediate carriers in its path.

Another issue that effects speed test results is the amount of data being used at the customer’s location during the test.  Speed tests can only guess at the available amount of bandwidth between the user and the test server.  If the customer is, for example, gaming or streaming services over the network at the time of the speed test, the results will be lower than expected.  Keep in mind that many devices that connect to the customer’s service, but they are not using, may still be communicating over the Internet.

Additionally, older computers or computers with many processes running will report lower than expected results.  The PC used in running the speed test must have resources available to respond to the test process in a timely manner, or the results will be lower than expected.

 


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