Many of us have been working from home, mainly because of the pandemic. We don’t want to experience technical issues because that would affect our productivity and work. But, do you always know if the internet issue is external, internal, or the problem with your internet service provider? Many people get frustrated when a problem arises, so they talk immediately with the internet provider before knowing if it’s an internal or external problem. Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard discuss an internet speed test app that would help you understand what’s really going on when you have internet problems.
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How Can An Internet Speed Test App Make Our High Use App List?
Tom is going to give you one of his favorite apps. I wouldn’t say favorite like, “Amazing, I love this app. It’s so much fun.” It’s not but it’s a useful app.
I wouldn’t call this a trendy app or one that people are going to think you’re super cool if you tell them about it, but this is an incredibly useful app for most of us out there. Everybody who’s reading this episode I’m sure has a home internet service in their home. The vast majority of you do at least. Now, the infrastructure bill has passed with more money for home internet and high-speed internet, so hopefully everybody in America at least will have access to high-speed internet in their home. Sometimes, we’re working on our computers, on the Wi-Fi on our phones or maybe we have our streaming TV service, and we get the little bar that things are loading slowly or the Netflix spinning circle of death.
We’re here in Zoom and all of a sudden you see yellow and red going on.
It says, “Your internet connection is unstable.” You’re like, “What the heck?” If you’re like me, I get mad when that happens.
We pay a lot of money for the high-speed internet.
We do, and it should work. I know this is a first world problem. Our younger kids that are in middle school and elementary school, honestly, when they’re streaming something on their device and it pauses because it’s buffering or loading, you would think the world ended. You would think that something happened like they dropped their iPad. It’s cracked and destroyed. They’re never going to use it. They’d be screaming, “Mom.”
One of my favorite stories is our middle school daughter when she was a toddler learned the word loading, “What’s wrong with your iPad?” “It’s loading.” It was one of her early words.A lot of times, the internal problem can be solved by rebooting your router and improving the situation right away. Click To Tweet
The point of talking about our internet is with some of the problems and inconveniences but the reality of our modern home internet is that our speed of that internet is not always consistent, how strong that signal is. With more people using it, everybody is splitting whatever speed or bandwidth that you have from your provider. A lot of times there can be problems, but do you always know if it’s a problem internally in your home or in your Wi-Fi, or is the problem with your internet service provider? A lot of people pick up that phone, chat or email their internet service provider before they know if it’s an internal or external problem.
A lot of times, the internal problem can be solved by a reboot. You can reboot your router. You can do some things like that and improve the situation right away. This is a great app for you to go, use and check if you’ve got to do something critical like you’re uploading. Our son-in-law does videos and amazing movies. He’s got to load them up and they’ve got to be consistent if they’re going to make it into Vimeo or YouTube or where they’re going to go. They need to be there in a certain time. He’s got to know everything is good. Should he reboot the router before he starts? You want to check those things.
The other thing you want to know though is sometimes you have a local problem on your computer, a problem with an app on your computer or an app on your phone. It’s not your internet. How can we be sure? That’s what I want to share with you. There is an app called Speedtest. It is by a company called Ookla.
It’s simple. As long as your phone is on Wi-Fi, it is going to come up and test its senses, who your internet service provider is. In our case, it’s Cox Cable company internet. There is a big circle that’s radiating that says, “Go.” You click Go, and it’s going to test a few things. It’s going to test how close your near server is. It’s going to then download a very large file for a period of 10 or 12 seconds, and measure the speed. Then after it’s done with that, it’s going to upload a file and test your current upload speed that’s available in your internet. This tells you if there’s a problem with the internet service provider or maybe the issue is going on something else.
I want to be clear for everyone out there that this is an Apple iOS, so iPhone. It is also available on Android devices. You are able to get this app on both. It also is an internet site, so you can go to the internet site and do it over your desktop if you want. It’s Speedtest.net when you go to do it on the internet.
It’s a web app. You can test it from your laptop. I have it on my iPhone. For those of you reading the episode, I’ve done a Speedtest on my phone as I’m talking here. This is interesting, Tracy, because even you and I are on the same network doing our recording, connecting to each other through Zoom and my phone is on the same network, I did a Speedtest which was 270 megabits per second download, 33.9 megabits per second upload. I happen to know for our internet that’s pretty good.
Was that good or bad? What does that mean?
The measurement of speed is megabits per second, and that’s upload and download. If you think about it, when you’re going to look at a website, your device downloads the page from the website onto your local phone, computer or TV, and uses it. That’s a download. All of us use a lot more download than we do upload. Normally, your download speeds are a lot faster than your upload speeds.
If some of you have fiber optic, you might have just as fast upload as you do download because that tends to happen there more. They tend to limit your download speeds and upload speeds, depending on what level of service you’re paying for with your cable provider and how much money you’re paying them. They have tiers of service from 50 megabits per second download up to 1,000 megabits per second download and everything in between.Sometimes, you have a local problem on your computer, a problem with an app on your computer or an app on your phone. It's not your internet. Click To Tweet
It’s a measure of bandwidth and speed. We’re not going to cover all that here because that’s a rabbit hole we could go down on internet service providers. Suffice it to say, the larger the number, the better. Rather than tell you what’s better and how much you need or should have and how much you shouldn’t, I would say learn what your number is, what your service you’re paying for is. Get the Speedtest app by Ookla. It’s free. Test it out and see if you’re getting what your internet service provider says you should be getting or what you’re paying for.
Test it over time and know what the average is, “Even though they say I should be able to get up to this speed, here’s what I get on a normal basis.” Know what that is because if then all of a sudden you’re getting 10% of that, maybe something is wrong. You need to call your internet service provider, have them check and make sure something doesn’t need to be reset or there’s a problem they have to fix.
One thing we learned early on was that there can be issues with the type of router you have, if it’s old and you haven’t updated it. That can interfere and make a difference. It’s something worth calling them if you’re seeing low numbers consistently especially. One thing I want you to note, Tom, that you didn’t see on your end but I did is when you hit the Speedtest app and ran the Speedtest, while you were recording here, you went to yellow and I got this crackly broken up speech on my end. It interfered with the recording here. They’re not going to notice it because we’re recording you on your end, me on my end, and our team will make that and edit that just fine. Try not to do the Speedtest while you’re in the middle of a critical recording.
That’s a good point, Tracy. I didn’t realize that. I did another one. As you were talking, I heard you crackling a little bit. Isn’t that interesting? I did another test and it’s showing me a little lower speed, 174 download and 33.6 upload.
One of Tom’s favorite apps that he uses again and again finds great use to it. It helps us because if things aren’t streamlined here and we have problems with our internet, our business is in our home here. We have home offices. Not that we’re here all the time because we can also go to the office, but when we are here, we’re all here. That’s a drain and pressure on the internet.
If we’ve got critical recordings, we’ve got to know whether or not our internet is fast enough. That’s the Speedtest app. We’ll get all the information for you at NextLittleThingPod.com. While you’re there, we have another podcast called The Binge Factor. If you’re interested in learning more about podcast, The Binge Factor is right there on the same website along with this show.
I hope you enjoy this episode. We’ll see you next time.