speedtest

Why is my broadband speed so inconsistent?

Network cable

Episode 1542

Don from Mission Viejo, CA

Don wants to put a flat screen in his back yard, and he wants to use the internet to get content on it. That means he'll need to improve his Wi-Fi. He bought the Google Wi-Fi mesh system to do just that, and he likes it. Leo says Mesh is an improvement for every home, and it's worth the price. But Don wants to know why his speed tests are always different. How can he get a true reading on internet bandwidth speeds? Leo says his ISP will always tell him the maximum possible speeds, not a consistent bandwidth speed from day to day.

Why is Wi-Fi so slow on my laptop?

Netgear Orbi Router

Episode 1474

Beth from Manhattan Beach, CA

Beth has a two story house and she has no problem streaming anything or using the internet, except on her laptop. Leo says that if her Roku is running HD, then she's getting decent bandwidth. Would a mesh router help? Leo says it may, but it's an expensive way to find out. Beth should run a speed test on her router to see how it goes. She should do it closer to her base station, and then again down into the lower floor and see if it improves or gets worse. That would tell her something. Leo says that since Beth is using Frontier, it could be her Frontier router. They're just terrible.

Why is my internet access slow while streaming?

Episode 1275

Alan from West Los Angeles, CA

Alan is having more trouble streaming video. Is his computer too old? Leo says probably not. The processor is fine. Should he clean up his computer then? Leo says that's always a good idea. Do a local backup, and then format the hard drive and reinstall Windows from a known good source. Then update it. The computer will be fresh as the day he bought it.

It could also be that his internet speed is lagging. Alan should go to SpeedTest.net and he can find out how fast his internet access is.

Why is internet so slow on my desktop?

Dell XPS 8700

Episode 1224

Che from Orlando, FL

Che just bought a new Dell XPS Desktop and it's started to slow down drastically. He does a speed test, like Leo taught, and the desktop is much slower than his laptop. Leo says to try plugging the desktop directly into the router with an ethernet cable, and see if the speed improves. If so, then he's narrowed it down to the router. Leo says it could the hardware, but he could try reinstalling the Wi-Fi connection. There may also be conflicting Wi-Fi drivers at work between the hardware driver and the Windows driver. That can confuse Windows and slow things down.

What's the minimum bandwidth I need to stream Hulu?

Ethernet

Episode 1152

Brandon from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Brandon wants to know what the minimum bandwidth is that he can get away with to stream Hulu Plus. Leo says for a good quality stream, he'll want at least 5 Mbps down. But that doesn't meant that's what he would get all the time. Beware of the term "up to." Run SpeedTest.net to get an idea what the sustained throughput is. That will give him an idea. But if he's sharing bandwidth with the neighborhood, then it could be less.