Internet companies lure consumers with promises of lightning-fast speed. Since everyone wants the fastest Internet connection possible, it’s easy to sign up for the company that promises the fastest speeds on the planet. Yet, these companies don’t always deliver. Once you sign that contract, you may find your Internet speed begins to lag. The problem is that it’s often hard to find proof of this slow-down.
Enter the Speedtest.net app for Android and iPhone. This global app will test the speed of your Internet connection. You can then compare this speed to the speeds advertised by your Internet provider. If the speeds don’t match up, you may have good reason to cancel a contract (depending on where you live). At the very least, you can keep your Internet company on their toes with this clever app.
How the App Works
After downloading the app (you must turn on your location settings for this app to work), all you have to do is tap the “Start Test” button. Then, simply wait while Speedtest.net tests your current connection. After running this app, my results were: 7.88 Mbps download speed and 1.00 Mbps upload speed – not what my Internet company originally advertised. Once you have run the test, you can then decide what to do about your test results.
You can email the test results directly from the app (to your Internet company, I presume?). You can also look at test history (it’s a good idea to test your connection at various times throughout the day), and you can change speed settings (view speed results in kbps, Mbps, or kB/s). That’s really all there is to this app, but the app certainly serves a purpose. However, there are a few things that Ookla (app developer) might consider adding to this app to make it more complete.
Things that Would Make this App Better
First, a way for consumers to connect directly to Internet providers would be handy – maybe not feasible, but handy. This way, users could send an email directly to a provider without looking for a provider’s email address. Another way that this app could improve would be to provide users with some simple explanations.
The fact of the matter is that the average consumer has no idea how fast his connection should be. Therefore, the numbers that this app provides a consumer with mean very little. Of course, consumers can look up this information, but small explanations as to what test numbers mean could be helpful. This way, a user is armed with some knowledge of speeds when calling a provider.
Getting Out of a Contract
So, if your Internet speed is not as advertised, what can you do about it? Well, you first have to realize that the number of people using a connection at any one time will slow down speeds significantly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to test at various points throughout any given day (and on weekends). If your numbers are consistently low, you can call your provider.
Explain that you’ve conducted a speed test, and that your speed is much lower than the speed that you are actually paying for. Your provider may send someone out to your home to test your connection. Or, you may find that your provider has no good explanation for the slow speeds. In this case, you can attempt to break your contract and search for a new provider. Just keep in mind that Internet speeds aren’t always fast at all hours of the day. Still, this app will help you gain some understanding of whether or not you’re paying too much for a solid connection.