You’re paying an ISP (internet service provider) for an internet connection rated at a certain speed. There are endless tests available to determine your connection speed. It’s important to know that you’re getting the speed you’re paying for.
You shouldn’t rely on one single test/tool or website to gauge your speed. It’s best to confirm with many different sources to get a really good idea of where you’re at. Also, testing at different times of the day and making sure you’re testing under the same circumstances is key. If you’re uploading a bunch of YouTube videos or streaming a movie it would alter the test results.
Traders need all the advantages they can get. The speed of your computer (CPU, RAM, SSD) is important, as well as the rated speed of the ethernet ports on your motherboard.
This could be the best piece of advice you’ll ever get. For trading, always use a hard wired ethernet port for your internet connection, avoid WiFi if you can! We’ll go into further detail on this in future articles, but a hard-wired connection is always the preferred method of connecting your computer to your router.
Before running any testing, make sure to do the following:
In the simplest sense, download is receiving data to your computer and upload is sending data. The data transferred is measured in megabits. Typical downloading activities are watching YouTube videos, listening to music, browsing the web and watching movies on streaming services like Netflix.
Uploading is sending data from your computer to another device or server. Sending email, uploading videos to a YouTube account or sending your audio/video through skype or zoom requires uploading. It’s normal that your upload speed is significantly slower than download speed.
Let’s start with the easiest test. Go to google and type in “speed test”. You should get a box at the top of your search results that looks similar to this:
The test should finish up fairly quickly, usually under a minute. Then the results will pop up.
Your results will, of course, be much different than this. Your speed could be significantly faster or slower.
When testing internet speed, the first go-to site we think of is https://www.speedtest.net/.
OOkla Speedtest claims they have over ten million unique tests every day. They’ve been around since 2006 and have completed over 45 billion tests according to their website.
What’s nice about Speedtest has always been its simplicity. Just go to the site and click the big “Go” button and the test begins! Just be careful not to click any of the ads surrounding the “Go” button. We understand they need to make money, but it does make the site look a little unpolished with all the ad placements.
Below the “Go” button you can change the server. Usually, it’s ok just to leave the default server that’s set. We recommend running the test 2 to 3 times for each server you select so the results can be compared.
Speedtest.net measures your network connection in real-time so tests done at different times can vary based on network congestion and other factors. Also, testing over WiFi can provide mixed results that are impacted by the type of wireless router you own and the device you’re testing from. To get a real feel of what your internet connection is capable of, it’s best to test with a wired internet connection. You should have the newest appropriate hardware (wireless router, cable modem) that can take advantage of the advertised speed you’re paying for.
You’ll see below the “Go” button another option – Multi & Single. By default, it should be set to Multi. “Multi” means that multiple connections are used for the test. The speed is measured across all of them to determine the results.
Servers used during testing can perform differently. Typically, servers closer to you will perform faster. That’s why testing with several different servers will give you a better picture of your speed. Also, different web browsers can product different results, we recommend using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
Testing your internet connection couldn’t be simpler than going to https://fast.com. The test begins automatically, you don’t need to even click a “Go” button like with OOkla. Fast.com was developed by Netflix. Being the largest streaming service in the world, they have a vested interest in making sure their customers are informed about the speed of their connection.
When the test has finished running, click on the “Show More Info” button. You’ll be able to see your latency and upload speed as well as the server information. Unfortunately, you can’t change the server with Fast.com. If you need more advanced features, we recommend creating and account with OOkla and you’ll have access to more tools and settings.
Having an ultra-fast internet connection is incredibly important for traders. Having a powerful trading computer with the best ethernet port speed is critical to being a successful trader. When you’re ready to invest in a new trading computer, we’re here to help!