Advertised internet speeds are often shown as being significantly higher than the actual speed the customer receives.
Many of us have experienced dreaded internet issues. Either our connection doesn’t work or it’s running at a snail’s pace. This can even be the case when your internet service is supposed to be a super fast fibre connection.
Well, according to the Atlas VPN team’s data analysis, internet speeds can be up to three times slower than advertised. Numbers suggest that the faster internet bundles are usually seeing a significant drop in their actual speed. Slower plans seem to be closer to meeting their advertised speed.
This data is based on consumer reports from 22,000 internet bills. In this collected data, participants were asked to take an internet speed test using an online tool. Upon analysing the data, it appeared that internet packages up to 125 Mbps deliver the speeds ISPs advertise. Some were even seeing even higher speeds than advertised. However, when it came to deals of 150 Mbps, customers were seeing a decline in their true internet speed.
One of the most considerable differences was a 250 Mbps advertised package which reached a median tested speed of 195 Mbps. Others saw a difference from an advertised 400 Mbps to an actual speed of 256 Mbps. Premium plans suffer the same fate too, with an advertised 1200 Mbps deal only reaching 360 Mbps, ouch.
Not only is an internet service that isn’t running as intended frustrating it also seems like a waste of money. Premium plans don’t come cheap and if you are dishing out cash for the best speeds, customers expect to be able to achieve them.
Why is it happening?
Firstly, when you’re told an expected internet speed this is sometimes with a wired connection in mind. As soon as you go wireless you can expect some losses in speed. The further you are away from the source of the internet, the worse you can expect your internet to be. Then there’s the position of your router. If you place it inside a cupboard surrounded by other objects, this can cause interference and weaken the single.
So, wireless connections, your distance, and the positioning of the router all play a part in your internet speed. However, wired connections should be better. A little less speed to run wirelessly is understandable but it’s also important to remember how many devices are connected to the internet. In the digital age, many homes have multiple phones, computers, gaming consoles, and even your Alexa working off the same connection. Network congestion doesn’t even have to mean your household, densely populated areas tend to suffer more during peak hours.
What can you do to help?
Fixing a slow connection is sometimes possible to do from home. The good old, turn it on and off again in some cases actually works here. If your internet is having connection issues resetting the router may fix them. Some internet routers will also auto-reset which channel they are running on and find a less congested one. As mentioned before, if you are in a pinch to get something downloaded, try hooking up a wired connection to get the job done quicker.
Other options such as using a VPN can sometimes help as you can avoid some of those congestion issues. If your house has a connection that seems strong in some rooms and weak in others. For example, it’s worse upstairs, internet boosters can sometimes help maintain a stronger connection across the entire house. If all else fails, check your internet plan. Your provider may be able to discover the issue and rectify it. Certain internet providers also offer a guaranteed minimum speed as part of the deal, if your connection isn’t reaching that requirement you should be able to break your contract at no cost.
Image credit to Denny Müller