Test Your Speed

How fast is your internet? While most households have "high-speed" connections, there's a lot of leeway in the actual rate. If you want to determine the speed, you need to perform an internet speed test. 

However, you may wonder why you need to know the speed in the first place. As long as the internet is working, does it matter how fast it is? Honestly, speed can have a significant impact on your internet experience.

The slower your speed, the more time it takes for your web pages to load. Long loading times can be frustrating, especially if you're trying to work or pay bills. If loading takes too long, you may even lose the page. 

If you're having these issues, it's vital to conduct an internet speed test. Once you determine that connection speed is the issue, you can start looking for solutions. Fortunately, Long Lines Broadband is here to help Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota residents improve their online experience.

The Best Way to Test Internet Speed

Speed tests done through your browser were fairly accurate when speeds were only 50MB or 100MB, but now with speeds racing up to 1GB your browser speed just can’t handle it. Your browser may have several processes going on that could slow down the results. Also, your browser attempts to find the shortest route from your home to the speed test server. But much like like finding a location using Google Maps the route taken might head down some questionable streets and not take into account any new road construction that can slow you down. Using the app helps eliminate these issues and give you the best results.

Accurate Testing Requirements

Using the app is the first step in getting accurate test results. The next is making sure you’re testing on a computer with a wired connection to your modem.

Why A Wired Connection?

The Internet speed that comes from Long Lines can only be testing accurately with a direct connection. Testing speed through your home WiFi has far too many variables to call it accurate. Long Lines provides the speed TO your home. Your WiFi is something that you have IN your home. WiFi signals are affected by everything from stainless steel appliances, to microwaves, to baby monitors. Walls can degrade the signal or even block it from some areas in your home. All these things are obviously beyond Long Lines’ control. So testing with these obstacles can not give an accurate result.

Doesn’t Long Lines Supply My WiFi?

Yes, and No. If you have a Long Lines WiFi modem we provide the equipment to give you wireless connection in your home. The combination modem/router unit provides coverage, but it’s still affected by all the other devices in your home that Long Lines has no control over. We try to place your router in the best location in your home, but the router is much like a garden hose spraying water. The farther you get from the hose the weaker the stream gets and anything that gets in the way will block the stream. The same is true with your WiFi signal.

Can’t WiFi Cover My Entire House?

Yes it can. Technology is always jumping forward in leaps and bounds. Today, Long Lines offers SMART WiFi. This combines a base Gigacenter (capable of handling speeds up to 1GB) with remote Mesh units that are strategically placed in your home to rebroadcast the WiFi signal to keep the strength to the highest possible. You can find out more about SMART WiFi here. If you have questions about your signal or about SMART WiFi, please contact Customer CARE. They would love to talk with you about it.  712-271-4000

How Do Devices Affect Speed?

You've probably noticed that your internet speed varies when multiple people at your home are online versus when you're the only one. Why does this happen? To understand, we need to talk about bandwidth.

The word may be familiar from web provider and phone company commercials, but what exactly is it, and what does it mean for you? Bandwidth describes the amount of data an internet connection can process. It's a finite limit that varies by provider and plan.

Number of Devices

Since bandwidth is limited, it's divided among all the devices using it. The more devices, the smaller the piece each one gets.

This division isn't always even. Newer devices may have a better internet connection and "hog" bandwidth, leaving older hardware in the dust.

One way to eliminate this problem is to get a plan with more bandwidth. You can also check which devices are using the most bandwidth. For example, is there a connected TV left on with no one watching? Turning it off frees up more bandwidth for active users.

Type of Internet Use

Some forms of internet use require more data than others. For example, streaming requires a real-time, prolonged connection. In contrast, an image only requires an initial download.

As a result, some devices may "hog" the bandwidth depending on their internet usage. You may also experience buffering or lost pages if too many devices are trying to use high levels of bandwidth at the same time.

Why Should You Measure Both Upload and Download Speeds?

The terms "upload" and "download" are probably familiar -- you download an app from the store and upload a video to a sharing site. They're two sides of the same coin, but the processes behind each are very different. As a result, you need to measure both the upload and download rate when conducting an internet speed test.

Upload

The upload speed is how fast your device delivers information to the internet. It's generally slower than downloading and less commonly used. However, if you like to share on social media, it's important.

So, how do you test the upload speed? Any good internet speed test will have several steps, one of which is gauging upload rate.

Download

If you use the internet every day, you probably download dozens if not hundreds of times without thinking about it. Downloading occurs when information transfers from the internet to your device.

Did you click on a link and watch the page appear? That's downloading. Did you watch an online video? That's also downloading.

Since you're downloading all the time, you're more likely to notice a problem with the speed. If you suspect something, an internet speed test can show you the exact rate.

How Does Coverage Work?

Do you have internet problems in certain parts of your home? The issue may be coverage.

Just like cell phones need coverage to place a call, your device must be within coverage to connect to the internet. The difference is that cell phones require towers built on a large scale, while your connection depends on your router, which generally only covers your home.

Ideally, your router should be at a central location to ensure every area is equally serviced. However, this isn't always possible. There's also the issue of barriers.

Wi-Fi passes through some materials more easily than others. If you have any of the following between you and the router, you may have connection issues:

  • Baby monitors
  • Microwaves
  • Concrete walls
  • Brick walls
  • Stainless steel appliances

If you have dead zones in your home, this may be the issue.

What Are Gateway Tests?

When you access the internet, two connections are happening: your device's connection to the router and your router's connection to the internet. The latter is called the gateway, and it's essential to a fast speed.

To test this connection, you need to perform a gateway test. Fortunately, some apps and websites can help, especially our speed test app.

Testing through just a web browser can cause the data to bounce through many servers and appear slower than expected. We recommend testing with a "wired" connection to the modem and not via a Wi-Fi device. There are far too many variables in the Wi-Fi signal to be very accurate... especially at the high speeds that we excel in.

With a wired connection and the app, customers are able to see the exact speed that we provide to their home. If they test via Wi-Fi, they might only get half of what they subscribe to, depending on how many other devices are in use at the time. If customers test with a wired connection, they will see that we are delivering the full speed they pay for. If their Wi-Fi is slower, then it's something in their house and not the fault of Long Lines.

Where Can You Get Fast, Reliable Internet?

Long Lines Broadband is proud to provide Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota residents with reliable, fast internet. To find out more or sign up, give us a call at 866-901-5664 or contact us online.

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