Many companies have commercials and banner ads that promise to boost your modem speed. Before you invest in new hardware or software, it is important to get an idea of your current connection speed. The good news is that testing your connection is very easy and does not require any specialized equipment. Once you have a good base number, you can test any upgrades to see whether or not your speed has improved.
Click on the Microsoft flag in the lower left corner of your screen, if you are using a PC. When the menu opens, select "Control Panel."
Click on the "Applications" folder, then click "Utilities," if you are using a Mac.
Click "Network and Sharing Center," for PCs. In the left-hand margin of the Network and Sharing Center, click "Manage network connections."
Click "Network Utility," then click the "Info" tab, for Macs.
Right-click on your current connection from the list of available networks, if using a PC. From the menu, select "Status." The status window will show you a list of details about your connection, including the speed of your modem.
Select "Network Interface (en1)" from the drop down menu, if using a Mac. The interface window will show you a list of details about your connection, including the link speed of your modem.
Open a browser window and navigate to a free test site (see Resources); this is the same for PCs and Macs. Follow the directions on the site to test your download and upload speeds.
Repeat Step 4 on at least one other free test site so that you can average the results.
Tips & Warnings
- The speed from Step 3 is the maximum speed your modem can transmit information. Most networks do not run at 100 percent all the time. Use the remaining steps to determine how close to the maximum you are getting.
- Network speed changes from minute to minute. Try testing your network at different times on different days.
- Never give out your network or computer passwords to any site--the speed tests can be performed without them.
- Photo Credit computer mouse image by Chiara Leonardi from Fotolia.com
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