When testing your internet speed, you may have noticed that the numbers reported can vary quite a bit. Internet Service Providers quote a speed, but if you read carefully you'll notice the phrase "up to", which tells you that's just the maximum possible speed they can give. There are many factors that can contribute to the speeds you actually will get.
Tom got AT&T fiber internet in his house. His speed test is slower than he'd like at 400 Mbps. Leo says that if he's doing WiFi over GB ethernet, he should get 400 Mbps. So that's about right. He should also try using multiple speed test sites to get a more accurate depiction of how fast his broadband really is.
Autumn has been having buffering problems while trying to watch YouTube videos. Leo says there are a number of things that could be causing this. It may not even be her internet, it could be her computer. Autumn says her computer is a five year old Lenovo that doesn't seem to be slow otherwise. It's not unusual for DSL to have trouble with bandwidth as well. The problem with DSL is that the company that sells it is at the mercy of the phone company.
Jeff is having speed issues on the internet with his Linux machine. How can he check for speed? Leo says that Linux has built in utilities just for this purpose. How about something that's cross platform with Windows? Leo says that is a different issue. He can run SpeedTest.net but that will only give him the speed of his internet connection, not his computer.
When your internet speed seems to slow down to a crawl, it can be useful to put it to the test and find out exactly what speeds you're getting. But it may be misleading to just check one speed test website. This is because some internet service providers actually give priority to certain speed test sites, giving you a faster reading than what is actually true for the rest of your browsing. In fact, some internet service providers encourage you to use only a site of their choosing for speed testing.