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How an Internet Speed Test Can Save You Money

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There’s nothing more infuriating than a slow internet speed.  We have got used to getting things in an instant.  Waiting for internet pages to load, especially if you are short on time or working from home and have deadline, is super frustrating.  If your internet seems to constantly lag, you’ll want to run a free internet speed test to check your current internet download speed.

It’s important to ensure you pick the right speed for your internet activities at home to avoid loading issues.  It’s also important to stop overpaying your internet bill if your speeds are never up to par. 

Of course, if you are not getting the speeds you have paid for, there is nothing stopping you from looking for an alternative satellite internet provider, or whatever type of internet you have, who you think will offer you a more reliable connection and speed than you are currently getting.

In this blog post you will learn how to check your internet speed and the importance of doing so.  It can even save you money, so read on to learn how.

How an Internet Speed Test Can Save You Money

How to perform a free internet speed test

It’s really easy to perform an internet speed test and it’s free.  Simply head to Speedcheck and click the big blue button to start testing your internet speed.

That’s it.

Wait a few moments whilst Speedcheck tests your download speeds and upload speeds.  You’ll then be presented with your results:

Speedcheck free internet speed testing review 

From here you can see your internet download speed.  This is how quickly data can be sent to your device through your internet network.  You can also see your upload speed and latency.  As wikiHow explains:

  • “Mbps download - The number of megabits per second your connection is allowing you to download.
  • Mbps upload - The number of megabits per second your connection is uploading.
  • Latency - The number of milliseconds it takes for your Internet connection to respond to a command (e.g., a search query or a page loading).”

Our download speed with Virgin Media is supposed to be 100Mbps so I can confirm ours is as it should be.  Thankfully we rarely have issues with Virgin Media internet speed in our area, especially as we both work all day long from home using the internet.  We only have issues with our bill regularly going up in price, so we have learned how to haggle and save money with Virgin Media.

However, one thing to note is an internet speed check is only accurate at the time you perform it.  So to get a more accurate picture of your internet speed, you’ll want to test it a few times with different variables.  For example, at different times of day such as morning and afternoon, as well as with multiple devices running or performing different tasks on the internet.

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How to troubleshoot slow internet speeds

If you've run an internet speed test and found that your speeds are below what you're paying for, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue.

First, check your modem and router for any signs of damage. If they're dusty, clean them with a can of compressed air. You can also try restarting your modem and router by unplugging them for 30 seconds and then plugging them back in.

If restarting your modem and router doesn't fix the issue, you may need to contact your internet service provider (ISP). They may be able to help you identify the source of the problem and fix it.

Here's a list of troubleshooting tips to guide you:

  1. Reset your router: Sometimes, a simple router restart can resolve connectivity issues. Unplug the power source, wait for about 30 seconds, and then plug it back in. Allow the router to reboot and check if your internet speed improves.

  2. Check for background downloads or streaming: Ensure that no devices on your network are consuming excessive bandwidth by downloading large files or streaming high-definition videos. Pause or close any ongoing downloads or streaming activities to free up bandwidth for other tasks.

  3. Optimize Wi-Fi signal strength: If you're using Wi-Fi, make sure your device is within a reasonable range of the router. Walls, furniture, and other obstacles can weaken the signal. Consider repositioning the router or using Wi-Fi range extenders to improve coverage.

  4. Ensure there are no physical obstructions: Check if there are any physical obstructions, such as large objects or appliances, blocking the signal between your device and the router. Clearing these obstacles can enhance your Wi-Fi signal strength.

Understanding factors that affect internet speed

Internet speed can be influenced by various factors. Understanding these factors can help you better comprehend why you might experience fluctuations in your internet speeds. Here are some key factors to consider:

Network congestion:

During peak usage times or in densely populated areas, network congestion can occur. When many users are simultaneously accessing the internet, it can lead to slower speeds. This is especially noticeable with shared internet connections, such as cable or DSL.

Distance from the nearest exchange or tower:

The physical distance between your location and the nearest exchange or cell tower can impact your internet speed. The farther you are, the weaker the signal, resulting in slower speeds.

Outdated equipment:

Using outdated modems, routers, or network cards can limit your internet speed capabilities. Upgrading to newer equipment that supports faster connection speeds can significantly improve your internet experience.

Interference from other devices:

Other electronic devices operating on similar frequencies, such as cordless phones, microwave ovens, or neighboring Wi-Fi networks, can cause interference and impact your internet speeds. Minimizing the use of such devices or switching to less crowded Wi-Fi channels can help mitigate interference.


How to save money with an internet speed test

It is likely you’ll run an internet speed test only when you are already noticing problems with your connection and the speed of your internet.  If so, then you may be able to use the results of your internet speed tests to save money on your internet bill. 

Here’s how:

  1. Save money on your next bill for temporary speed issues.  If your internet speed is consistently below the speed you are paying for then you need to talk to your internet provider.  Talk to them on live chat, if available and your internet speed can load, or call them to resolve the issue promptly.  Have to hand a note of all the speed tests you have performed and their results.  Ask for a reduction in your next bill as they haven’t provided the service you are paying for.

  2. Reduce your internet speed package if the lower speeds are reflective of your neighbourhood.  If there is no explanation for the lower speeds and you have attempted to troubleshoot low internet speeds in your household, then it could just be speeds that are representative of your area.  If so, then talk to your internet provider and reduce your speed package so you are only paying for the speed your home can actually receive each month.  

  3. Get a better broadband deal.  There’s no point in continuing to pay for a service you are not receiving.  If your internet service provider fails to perform and your neighbours are getting better download speeds than you, perhaps it’s time to leave your provider and seek a better deal with faster and more reliable speeds.  It’s better to spend your money on a higher quality service rather than waste it on an underperforming one.  You might not technically save money, but you’ll get more quality from your money. However, there are some internet service providers, such as Spectrum, that can help you save as well. This is because their internet plans are so affordable, they actually help you save a significant amount of money.

  4. You may be able to exit your existing broadband contract without penalty.  According to MoneySuperMarket “If your broadband speed isn’t meeting the minimum your provider has guaranteed, you can make a complaint – and if the problem isn’t resolved in 30 days, you’ll be able to leave your contract without a penalty.” 

If you do change provider then don’t forget to sign up to a new internet service provider using refer a friend offers or through a cashback website like TopCashback to save money instantly on your new deal.


How to choose the right internet speed for your needs

The amount of internet speed you need will depend on your household's internet usage. If you only use the internet for basic tasks like browsing the web and checking email, you can probably get away with a slower speed. However, if you have multiple people in your household who are all using the internet at the same time for things like streaming video, gaming, and working from home, you'll need a faster speed.

To choose the right internet speed for your needs, consider the following factors:

  • The number of people in your household
  • The types of activities you use the internet for
  • The number of devices you use the internet on
  • The quality of your internet connection

Comparing internet service providers

When comparing internet service providers (ISPs), it's important to consider several factors to find the best option for your needs. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Download and upload speeds: Look for ISPs that offer higher download and upload speeds, as this directly impacts your internet experience. Faster speeds allow for quicker webpage loading, smoother streaming, and faster file downloads.

  2. Reliability and customer reviews: Research the reputation and reliability of ISPs in your area. Read customer reviews and check independent review websites to gauge the quality of their service, customer support, and network stability.

  3. Pricing and contract terms: Compare the pricing structures and contract terms of different ISPs. Look for transparent pricing without hidden fees and consider whether you prefer month-to-month plans or longer-term contracts.

  4. Additional features or services: Some ISPs offer additional features like Wi-Fi hotspots, security software, or bundled services (e.g., TV or phone). Evaluate these extras and determine if they align with your needs and preferences.

How to get the best deal on internet service

There are a few things you can do to get the best deal on internet service:

  • Shop around and compare rates from different providers.
  • Consider signing up for a longer-term contract.
  • Look for discounts for things like bundling your internet service with other services, such as TV or phone.
  • Take advantage of promotions and deals.
  • Contact your current provider to see if they can offer you a better deal.

By following these tips, you can save money on your internet service and get the speed and reliability you need

Tips for negotiating with Internet Service Providers

Negotiating with your internet service provider can help you secure better deals or reduced prices. Follow these tips and strategies for effective negotiations:

  1. Prepare for the negotiation: Before contacting your ISP, gather evidence of your slow speeds. Perform multiple speed tests at different times of the day and keep a record of the results. This data will strengthen your case during the negotiation.
  1. Contact customer support: Reach out to your ISP's customer support department and explain the issues you've been experiencing with slow internet speeds. Remain calm and polite while describing the problem and providing the evidence you've gathered.

  2. Express your dissatisfaction: Clearly communicate that you're dissatisfied with the current service and that you're considering exploring other options. ISPs often value customer retention and may be willing to offer incentives to keep you as a customer.

  3. Discuss competitors and promotions: Research competing ISPs in your area and inquire about any promotional offers or deals they may be running. Mention these alternatives during the negotiation to demonstrate that you're actively exploring other options.

  4. Be open to different solutions: If your ISP is unable to offer a reduced price, consider asking for other concessions, such as upgraded equipment or additional services at no extra cost. They may be more willing to accommodate these requests.

  5. Be persistent and escalate if necessary: If you're not satisfied with the initial response or offer, ask to speak with a supervisor or escalate your concern to a higher level of customer support. Sometimes, higher-level representatives have more authority to provide better deals or resolutions.

The benefits of upgrading your internet plan

When it comes to upgrading your internet plan, there are several benefits to consider. First and foremost, upgrading allows for improved streaming and downloading experiences. With higher speeds, you can enjoy seamless streaming of videos, movies, and music without the frustration of buffering. Additionally, large file downloads, such as software updates or game installations, will be much faster.

Another advantage of upgrading is an enhanced online gaming experience. Online gaming often demands low latency and fast connection speeds to minimize lag and provide a smooth gaming experience. By upgrading your plan, you can reduce latency issues and enjoy a more immersive gaming environment.

For those who work remotely or participate in frequent video conferencing, upgrading your plan ensures optimal connectivity. A higher-speed plan provides stable connections, clear audio, and smooth video quality, enabling you to engage in remote work and video conferences without disruptions or interruptions.

Furthermore, faster speeds accommodate simultaneous device usage. In households where multiple users are streaming, gaming, or engaging in various online activities simultaneously, upgrading to a higher-tier plan allows for a smoother and more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Lastly, upgrading your internet plan future-proofs your connectivity. As technology advances and internet usage continues to grow, higher speeds become increasingly essential. Upgrading ensures that your internet speeds can keep up with evolving demands and new technologies, providing you with a reliable and efficient internet connection for years to come.

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Alternatives to traditional internet connections

Depending on availability in your area, there may be alternative internet options beyond traditional connections. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

Fiber optic: Fiber optic internet offers incredibly fast speeds and reliable connections. It utilizes fiber-optic cables to transmit data at the speed of light. However, its availability is limited and concentrated in certain areas.

Cable: Cable internet operates over coaxial cables and typically provides faster speeds compared to DSL. It is widely available in urban and suburban areas.

DSL: DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) utilizes existing telephone lines to deliver internet connectivity. While DSL speeds may be slower than cable or fiber, it's more widely available, particularly in rural areas.

Satellite: Satellite internet is an option for remote or rural areas where other types of connections may not be feasible. It relies on satellites to transmit and receive data, but it can have higher latency and lower speeds compared to other options.

Consider the pros and cons of each alternative based on your location, budget, and specific requirements. Research availability, pricing, and customer reviews to make an informed decision about switching or upgrading your internet connection.

Final word

In conclusion, slow internet speeds can be frustrating, but there are steps you can take to troubleshoot and improve your connection. Running a free internet speed test can help you assess your current speeds and make informed decisions about your internet service.

By understanding the factors that affect internet speed, comparing ISPs, and negotiating with your provider, you can potentially save money and get a better internet experience.

Additionally, upgrading your internet plan or exploring alternative connection options can enhance your online activities and future-proof your connectivity.

With the right strategies and considerations, you can ensure that you have reliable, fast, and affordable internet service that meets your needs.