Do you know if you are getting the internet speed that you actually paid for?  Have you run a test on the line speed? Do you even know what the potential of your broadband is?  These are important considerations when you are looking to get the most out of the internet that you have paid for, and are the starting questions that will help you improve the results that you’re getting and the experience you have of your broadband.

Test Internet Speed

It’s important to choose an internet test that will use a local server.  If you don’t, then the results that you receive may well be inaccurate.  Often, tests will choose a server based on your location taken from your IP address. 

The speed test, whether you’re doing a TalkTalk speed test, a Sky speed test, or a speed test for any other internet service provider, will provide you with the download speed, the upload speed, and normally the latency, or ping, as well.

What is latency?

The latency is the time it takes to ping the server.  This will be the response time for actions to begin rather than the speed of travel of data.  It’s important for online gaming, VoIP, and other activities that are real time sensitive.

Some internet speed tests will give you different results and be inaccurate.  One of the good ones is

Things You Can’t Control

There are many things that you can’t control when it comes to your internet speed.

  • Throttling of your bandwidth.  Some internet service providers will limit your connectivity speeds for certain activities, such as P2P file sharing.
  • Distance from the exchange.  On ADSL, you will get reduced speeds the further you are away from exchanges.  You cannot control this.
  • Cable internet competition.  If many people in the same area are on cable, then they will all be using the same line and there can be congestion causing reductions in speeds.

Things You Can Control


There can be bottlenecks caused by your hardware.  If you’re broadband router doesn’t have the power to send a wireless signal to certain areas in your house, then that can be a problem.  The more premium wireless routers are able to perform much better than the cheaper ones, and so you can prevent bottlenecks and improve performance by upgrading.

Wired or Wireless

Wired connections are much faster than wireless.  If you have the possibility to plug in, then it’s a good idea to do so.  Keep cable shorter than 50 metres or upgrade to an expensive gigabit cable.  Signal interference is common with Wi-Fi so perhaps consider upgrading to a router that offers 5GHz bandwidth.

Computer Processors

Many programs and processors consume bandwidth in the background without you even knowing.  Run a monitor to find out what is running and what is using the internet.  There may be many programs running on an on-going basis that you don’t need; these can eat the internet bandwidth.

Viruses, Adware, and Spyware

These can really take up your internet as they will be uploading, downloading, and sharing.  There also bad for your computer.  Do virus scans and make sure that you get rid of everything that consumes your bandwidth so that you can get the best performance possible.

Top Tip

Another thing to do is make sure that you’ve cleared your cache on your browser.  If you haven’t ever cleared your temporary internet files then it really can cause issues with your performance.