Why You Shouldn’t Test Your Internet Speed on Your Phone
July 27, 2022
In this day and age, you can use your smartphone for just about anything. You can stream videos, communicate with your friends, families, or coworkers in countless different ways, monitor your home appliances and security systems, pay your bills, and so much more.
If you can do so many complicated things with your phone, wouldn’t it make sense to test your Internet speed on your phone as well? Speed tests are simple and take only moments, which is why you may be tempted to just take out your phone and run one from where you’re standing. However, you may not get the most accurate test results this way. Here’s why you shouldn’t use your phone to test your Internet speed, and what you should use instead.
Why Are Internet Speed Tests Not Accurate on Your Phone?
The device you use to test your Internet speed plays a big part in the results you get. Two things influence this:
1. How direct the connection is between your device and the server
We’ve discussed the difference between Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections. Whether you’re running a test or doing anything else online, your speeds will never be as fast over Wi-Fi as they are over a wired connection. That’s why a speed test that’s run over your wireless connection will show slower speeds than what you might be expecting from a Gigabit connection.
This is especially true if you use a router that's a little older or more outdated, and not equipped with Wi-Fi 6 technology. Your device’s connection will only be as fast as the weakest (or slowest) link, and if your router is not capable of handling the Gigabit speeds you’re supposed to be receiving, it will fail to bring your device anything close to 1 Gbps in download speeds or upload speeds.
If you need a new router, take a look at our Router Selection Guide.
Running a speed test over Wi-Fi is a great way to detect any issues with your router or wireless network. But if you want to see the fastest possible speeds you’re currently getting from your Internet connection, you have to directly connect your device with an Ethernet cable.
2. How much speed your device can handle
Your smartphone is powerful, fast, and adds a lot of value to your everyday life. However, as our phones have developed, so has the rest of the technology we use—including how we connect to the Internet. If you have a laptop or desktop, especially a new one, you can count on it to show you a much more accurate speed test than the latest iPhone.
That’s because your computer (especially if you’ve bought it recently) was built to handle must faster speeds than your phone can. As is the case with your router, your connection will only be as fast as the device you’re using allows it to be.
How Do I Run a Speed Test?
If you’re trying to measure the fastest possible download and upload speeds you’re getting to your home network, you need to use your computer and an Ethernet connection. Connect your computer directly to your modem with an Ethernet cable. Turn off or disconnect every other device that’s currently connected to the Internet, and close out all of your windows and programs.
From there, go to speedtest.net, make sure you’re connecting to the right server, and click “GO” to get started.
Running a speed test is a fast and easy way to figure out the cause behind a slow connection. It’s how you can determine whether there’s an issue with your router, devices, or Internet service. Taking the necessary steps and setting the right conditions before you start will ensure that you see accurate results, and get the most out of your speed test.