No matter what type of Internet connection you use, — fiber, cable, or DSL — performing a speed test at different times during the day gives you the best idea of your bandwidth quality. Since its overall speed is affected by network traffic based on the time of the day, running a DSL speed test at different times makes perfect sense.

Let’s take a closer look at ways to ensure your DSL speed tests give you an accurate report of your ISP network quality.

DSL is Affected by Network Traffic

Despite the fact that a DSL connection isn’t shared between the other residences in your neighborhood — unlike cable-delivered Internet — a DSL network occasionally suffers from slowdown during the evening hours. You probably noticed this effect if you regularly run speed tests during the evening as well as during the day.

The reason for this poor performance relates primarily to the extra traffic generated during the evening by subscribers streaming video and other rich media content. As more consumers unplug traditional cable and satellite television services for Internet-based video on demand options, expect this trend to continue until the larger investments in network equipment are made.

This DSL slowdown issue becomes exacerbated the farther away your residence is from the central office of your ISP. The distance from the modem to the network central office affecting bandwidth is an issue unique to DSL as opposed to cable or fiber delivered Internet service.

inconsistent DSL speeds

Your DSL Speed Test May Not Be Accurate

The bottom line is if you only perform speed tests during the evening, you aren’t getting an accurate account of your Internet speed. It is important to regularly run tests at various times throughout the day as well as on the weekend. Make it a point to perform a speed test early in the morning in addition during the evening’s prime viewing time, and record your results.

Keeping a running tally of your Internet speed is especially important when trying to determine the accuracy of your DSL speed test. In addition, if your ISP isn’t keeping up their end of the bandwidth bargain, these speed test reports will help you earn a refund if warranted.

So, when it comes to DSL speed tests: test early; test late; test often, and save your test results!