Using SpeedTest to Measure Your Internet Speed

In this video, I discuss how to use the Speedtest app to measure the performance of your smartphones cellular data or internet connection.

These measurements are useful for a number of different reasons. Some examples.

1. Check to see if your internet connection is slow.
Your phone seem slow. You are watching videos on YouTube or Netflix, checking email, posting photos to Facbook or Instagram and everything is taking a long time. The SpeedTest results will give you an indication of whether your internet connection is slow or something else is causing the problem.

2. Do a comparison of Internet performance when switching wireless providers.
You are using ATT Wireless and you switch to Straight Talk, I recommend installing and running SpeedTest on your current wireless provider and then again after switching. You can compare the results.

3. Check if your data connection is throttled.
While many prepaid wireless plans offer unlimited data plans, the high speed data is usually capped. when you have downloaded a certain amount of data, your wireless provider will trotttle your data connection. That is, they will intentionally reduce the speed of your connection so that is so slow its almost unusable for anything other than short message or email. Using speediest, you can check your data speeds to see if your connection looks like it is throttled

4. Check your data connection performance after a software update
For some reason a number of smartphonematters readers report that their data connection are very slow after a software update to their smartphones. That’s why I generally recommend running speediest before and after software updates. Then in case their is a problem their is at least some evidence to show there really is a problem,

5. Compare wireless networks.
You may simply be wondering what network is the fastest in your area. By running speediest you can measure the speed of your internet connection. Ask your friends and family that use different wireless providers than you to run SpeedTest and you can compare results. I find that most people I ask, are interested to see the results.

The full name for this app, is Mobile Speed Test. It’s by a company called Ookla. I recommend this app on smartphonematters because its pretty easy to use and there are versions available for iPhone in the Apple App Store, Android phones in the Google Play store, and windows phone in the Windows Store. The app is free and supported by advertising. There is a 99 cent in app purchase to remove the ads.

To use this app, install it from your smartphones app store. The app will measure your internet connection speed, so if you want to test your cellular data connection, make sure to turn off your wi-fi connection.

Let’s take a look at the SpeedTest on my iPhone 6. I’ll show you some of the basic features that I use for smartphonematters.

After opening SpeedTest you’ll begin a test. You’ll see that you get a connection to a server, and it should hopefully be in your area.
SpeedTest measures three values
Download Speed – measures the speed of data transferred from the internet to your phone
Download speed is measured in Mega Bits per Second of Mbps. A higher number, is a fast connection, and better
Upload speed – measures the speed of data transferred from your phone to the internet.
Upload speed is measured in Mega Bits per Second of Mbps. A higher number, is a fast connection, and better

Ping Time – measures the time from your phone requesting data from the internet to the first response.
Ping Time is measured in milliseconds (1/1000 of a second). A lower number is better. This s a measure of latency.

Looking at results
The result page shows you data from previous tests. It shows you the type of connection (Wifi or cellular), the date and time of the test, and then the download upload and ping times. You can sort the results by tapping on the column headers. . I like to make sure my results are sorted by most recent test firsts. This seems to be the default for iPhone but I don’t think it was for Android. Tapping on the a test result will give additional information about the test. notably the server location and GPS coordinates of where the test was run.

Have any questions about SpeedTest, leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer them.

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