What is a Good WiFi Speed & How to Check Your WiFi Speed
Nowadays, we hear a lot about good WiFi speed internet speeds, isn’t it? With the growing usage of smart devices, people are considerably interested in building up of faster networks. It is very common to find people complaining about their internet speeds.
In fact, you come across very few people who say that they have a good WiFi speed or are satisfied with their average Wifi speed.
This can be certainly understood because digital users have a huge dependency on the internet. Be it the office work or entertainment at home people are always found surfing the web on their smartphones, watching a movie on the smart TV or attending a webinar on their PC.
Of course, all these activities demand a stable internet connection with a good speed. But what happens exactly is, that most of the times these connections become too slow thus creating hindrance in your tasks. And there you get irritated.
This is absolutely true in case of the wireless broadband i.e. WiFi users. Over the previous few years, WiFi has been largely preferred by the users instead of the wired connections due to the reasons like cost efficiency, mobility, and easy access.
With so many benefits WiFi has few major drawbacks and that is the inconsistent speed. However, this doesn’t state that the wired connections are faster than these. But surely the Wifi speeds are fluctuating and over average Wifi Speeds that are much lower than what Ethernet offers.
Average speed mentioned here is in reference to the normal usage. In the majority of the cases, while you go for internet speed test, you will find that the speed that your internet service provider offers is only 30-60% of the speeds they advertised.
For example- in case you pay for about 8 Mbps the speed you get is hardly 2-3 Mbps and this is much lower than what you have been paying for. Do you think that this is the average WiFi speed you have been looking for?
Majority of us wouldn’t agree because our average WiFi speed should be really high and this can happen only if we overcome the obstacles in our connection.
How to determine the average internet speed needed?
Thinking of what average internet speed do you actually need? And how to calculate the same? Well, that depends on a number of factors. In case you wish to check your current internet speed you can do that via Charter speed test online.
However, determining the internet speed you need is a not a complex calculation yet it involves a number of factors as, you need to take a number of factors into consideration i.e. number of the users, the activities they are engaged in online, bandwidth required for those and of course the number of people using that simultaneously.
Further one needs to think about the devices that connect to the internet and also the way they will be using those connections like game consoles, smart TV, smartphones and other smart appliances.
While internet speeds are often stated in kbps, Mbps or even Gbps. It is really difficult to make out what could be the superfast, fast or slow internet speed.
In some cases, one might not get a chance to make the choice of the internet speed. But all those who have options should know that what speed do they require or what could be a good WiFi speed to them? And this can be determined by the way they use it.
What factors can affect your average internet speed?
There are numerous factors that affect your WiFi connection and prevent you from enjoying a fast internet speed. As a result, your activities are slowed down. Following are the factors that could possibly affect your internet speed. These have been divided into three different categories:
1. Obvious factors
Wireless network interference:
The increased popularity of the wireless internet has profoundly led to the growth of a number of wireless transmissions sent through the air. This can lead to problems in case two different signals collide because of traveling at the same frequency. This interference may further inhibit network performance.
Wireless signals fail to penetrate the solid objects like buildings, hills, walls and even people. Such obstructions cause the signals to cover longer distances in order to reach out to the object and hence slower the internet speed. The more is the presence of such obstructions in between the receiver and the signal source, the weaker will be the receiver’s signal strength.
Distance between devices:
The distance among the connected devices is also responsible for slowing down a WiFi connection. The farther is the device, the weaker will be the signal strength and vice versa. Since the wireless network covers a larger area, the signal spreads all over and becomes weaker. As per the experts, the signal strength becomes 8 times weaker on doubling the distance.
Most of the wireless access points like the wireless routers at home allow sharing the connection between two or more users. However, if the number of people sharing the connection increases then the bandwidth gets shared and this implies that each person can use only a certain fraction of the original speed.
2. Factors You’re Probably Aware Of
For indoor connections, this is one of the most common factors that can affect the signal transmission within a room along with multiple other obstructions such as wire meshing in the walls.
Network usage and load:
This is very similar to sharing problems and it can occur even if a single person is using the network. Like if you want to play a game and you probably don’t know what is a good internet speed for gaming?
There may be a possibility that your game requires much higher speed than your network offers and this condition may get your network choked. The same is true for the streaming of videos etc. Therefore one should know that what is a good WiFi speed for streaming videos, Netflix and others in case you don’t wish to compromise.
The same is true for the streaming of videos etc. Therefore one should know that what is a good WiFi speed for streaming videos, Netflix and others in case you don’t wish to compromise.
Poorly deployed antennas:
WiFi antennas are deployed to limit the spreading of the signals transmitted towards a particular direction or orientation. For this, it is important that the antennas are mounted correctly. In general, the highly directional antennas should be kept pointed towards the receiving device.
Wireless signal reflection:
Multi-path fade or signal reflection often refers to the signals that bounce off the surfaces several times before they reach their final destination. This further creates a difference in the length of the entire path. And when the object receives the signal, then there may be a possibility that it may cause overlapping that further results in two waves that cancel each other completely.
Wireless signal restriction:
Due to widespread cyber crimes, people are often careful about cybersecurity. This urges the need to restrict the WiFi connection in order to prevent unauthorized access. Limiting the power of the transmitter does this but it may weaken the signal strength of all the receiving devices.
Factors you may not be aware of:
Backward compatibility with older standards:
The older devices can also affect your WiFi speeds by limiting the speed of the newer technologies. For Example: If you use a combination of 802.11g devices and 802.11b devices on a 2.4 GHz network then the maximum speed you can get is that of 54 Mbps.
But in case you make use of the latest technology i.e.802.11 ac wave 2 the maximum speed you get may reach up to 1Gbps.
Spectrum channel limitations:
Networks operate on channels that comprise of frequency sub-bands. The most popular WiFi frequency of about 2.4GHz has been split into 11 different channels, each spaced 5MHz apart from each other. Each channel operates at 25MHz.
Typically; in order to fit into the overall operating range of 2412 MHz to 2462 MHz, the channels often overlap each other. This overlapping further creates interference among the wireless signals by making use of the neighboring channels.
There are only 3 channels that do not overlap and those are 1,6 &n 11. Thus, only 3 wireless devices should be used at a time within a similar area in order to avoid overlapping.
Speed loss due to wireless overheads:
Activities like encryption, partial use of the channel bandwidth and packet translation can also lower the network speed. These can slow down the advertised speed by about 50%.
How fast is your Internet?
The best way to check your internet speed is to make use of the speed test website. Charter Speed tests is a trusted website that can be used to check the internet speed at your home within seconds.
All you need to do is just spend a few seconds and the entire result will be displayed within seconds onto your screen.
If your Wifi connection does not offer fast internet speed up to your satisfaction or as per the user needs, then choose the right plan with considerably higher speed or switch over to a more trustworthy internet service provider to get fast internet speeds consistently.