How do I check my real internet speed

  Garawa 11:51 28 Jan 2010

Hi, been going round in circles getting bits of info so I thought I'd try here. My internet is incredibly slow. In fact my 5Mb seems slower than when I had 2Mb! I have cleared the cache, deleted all temp etc files and checked for spyware etc which slows the system as clean.

A few months ago I all but lost the internet which turned out to be a faulty filter. It was previously connected (I know) to the socket using a phone extension. While I waited for the filters to arrive, I took the time to replace the cable with a modem one. Since then, my speeds have shrunk. Webpages take ages to load and video, although at times good quality, can be very jerky on ITV player.

In a nutshell, I was showing diagnostic speeds of between 3.4Mbps (peak) and 3.7Mbps (off peak) on a phone cable. With new filters and a modem cable connected to the same socket I am now getting 3.2Mbps (off peak) but only a paultry 2.4 at peak times. If connected to the test socket I get really fast downloads at around 5.6Mbps but I cant leave it there as I lose all my upstairs extensions. I suspect I am getting speeds much slower than shown on the diagnostics also.

Any ideas?

  The Kestrel 11:58 28 Jan 2010

If you are running your PCs from extensions and there is a marked difference in speed from the test socket, it might be worth fitting one of these to your master socket click here. I did this and my speed increased around 25 to 30%

  Garawa 12:14 28 Jan 2010

Thanks, I will have to get one when they are back in stock.

I was more interested though as to why my speeds have dropped significantly when I am using all new equipment and the proper way of connecting. I have been told that using phone extensions are a no no but why, on a rubbish phone extension did I get over 1Mb more?

And how do I see what speed the pc is actually uploading and downloading at (and what it should be) if my speed is showing as 3Mbps?

  The Kestrel 13:32 28 Jan 2010

Have you tried one of the various broadband speed testers. I use this one click here which seems to give reasonably accurate results.

  The Kestrel 13:34 28 Jan 2010

Meant to mention that I got my I-Plate from click here. I used the BT site as it gave lots of information about the plate.

  Garawa 14:25 28 Jan 2010

Thanks for that. It seems my broadband speed seems to be normal so there may be other issues slowing IE. I think I may have to borrow more filters to see if I was sent some dodgy ones.

The Iplate should improve speeds but I am guessing that as I am only getting just over half my potential, this may just improve it back to the level it was before the "improvements".

  john bunyan 14:37 28 Jan 2010

As well as factors such as how far from the exchange you are, etc, I think a lot depends on which ISP you are with. I have been with Pipex for many years - recently taken over by Tiscali and in turn by Talk Talk. The only reason I stay is that their spam filter is good now and I cannot face the fag of changing e mail addresses. My "up to 8 Mbps" has varied from as low as 1 to just over 6 Mbps. I an sure the main reson is how many customers are using the "pipe" that supplies me. I have had a number of goes at them and have tried all the things they suggest such as using the test socket etc. I use to check speeds.I hope they improve as Talk Talk integrate the system. I thought of changing to Zen - the top dog in "Which"

  Garawa 15:04 28 Jan 2010

I am with Tiscali and they weren't a great deal of help even when my speed dropped to a tiny 145Kbps at the start of my problem. When I was on the 2Mb service the lowest speeds I got was 1.2Mbps. On the 4Mb service I usually got 2.8Mbps and only the 8Mb service I got 3.7Mbps. All these remained very stable. I now get around 2.4 but can be as high as 3.3Mbps and the only variable in all this is a better (proper) cable and new filters. I can't figure out how after years of stable speeds I have dropped a lot by having a better set up that fluctuates massively.

  Garawa 15:06 28 Jan 2010

PS, this means that after 14 months+ of being on twice as fast service (8Mbps)I know have speeds slower than those I achieved when on the 4Mbps.

  The Kestrel 15:19 28 Jan 2010

I find IE, as a browser, much slower than either Google Chrome or Firefox, both of which I use as browsers. It might be worth giving one of these a go in place of IE. You can always keep IE on your PC as well. In fact I have all three available.

  john bunyan 15:56 28 Jan 2010

I think this is a Tiscali issue. Yesterday I got over 6 Mbps. Today 2.34. My average recently 2.44! Average for this ISP according to is 3.35.Luckily I am on a one month rolling contract so can ditch them at quite short notice. There are simply too many users on stream at times, so they cannot supply enough bandwidth.

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