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Your digital world hinges on the strength of your internet connection. Whether it’s work or play, your regular online tasks are an integral part of your day-to-day routine. When your connection is beleaguered by slow load times, running those usual tasks can become frustrating and laggy. Running a Bandwidth speed test is a crucial step in accurately assessing what’s going on.
Verizon Wireless is one of America’s largest telecommunication companies and internet service providers (ISP). Hailed as America’s most reliable wireless network, Verizon has an incredibly impressive repertoire of premier internet solutions. Among the many services offered is a Verizon speed test that analyzes the speed and efficiency of your internet connection.
It’s impossible for any internet service provider to claim to provide a flawless and consistently uninterrupted signal, so, spotty or slow internet is an inevitable reality for most. However, if you’ve been dealing with regularly sluggish internet or simply want to measure your internet performance, conducting a Verizon speed test is the most important first step.
Using this guide, we’ll walk you through how to run a Verizon speed test, help you understand your results, and answer any questions you may have about your Verizon internet speed and web connection.
- What is an internet speed test?
- How to run a Verizon internet speed test
- Understanding my Verizon internet speed test results: Glossary of terms
- What is considered fast internet speed?
- What is considered slow internet speed?
- Why is my Verizon internet speed so slow?
- Troubleshooting: What factors can alter my Verizon speed test results?
- How can I speed up my Verizon internet connection?
What is an internet speed test?
An internet speed test is an evaluation of a broadband connection. During a speed test, a small digital file is sent from the ISP server to your local device. The test measures how much time it takes for that file to download to your computer, tablet, or smartphone, and then measures how much time it takes to upload it back to the ISP server.
Internet speed tests report on a number of essential features, including:
- Download speed
- Upload speed
Keep in mind that not all internet speed tests report on all of the above features, but download and upload speed and ping are standard measurements across the board.
How to run a Verizon speed test
Step 1: Prep your environment
Before initiating your Verizon speed test, make the following conditional adjustments to make sure your test is as accurate as possible:
- Close any software programs that could slow down the test (anti-viruses, games, multiple browser tabs, etc.)
- Disconnect any hardware that could cause latency issues (firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, etc.)
- Disable any connected Bluetooth devices (smartphones, baby monitors, voice assistants, etc.)
Step 2: Access the Verizon Speed Test
Here, you will simply be asked to “Get Started.” The system will automatically select the closest available server to you and begin the test immediately. The test should take no longer than 60 seconds for a full assessment.
Step 3: Survey your results
Once complete, your final results will reveal your download, upload, and latency rates. To gain more insight into what each of these measurements signifies, refer to our glossary of speed test terms down below.
With both your upload and download speeds evaluated, cross-examine those speeds with the numbers advertised within your ISP’s internet plan. If there are significant inconsistencies, it may be time to troubleshoot.
Understanding my Verizon internet speed test results: Glossary of terms
Conducting an internet speed test does not require any prior knowledge. Although, there is a bit of research required to truly understand the rates and measurements your speed test reveals. If you’re unfamiliar with industry jargon, we’re here to help you decipher and decode.
What is download speed?
Download speed measures the time it takes for data to be transmitted from the internet to your web-enabled device. In the vast majority of cases, ISPs offer much faster download speeds than upload speeds. This is due to the fact that most common online activities, like loading webpages, video-chatting, and streaming, are dependent upon fast download speeds.
What is upload speed?
Upload speed measures the rate at which data is transmitted from your device to the internet. In simpler terms, upload speed measures how many megabits of data per second you can send from one device to a server or separate device over your internet connection. Common online tasks, like video-chatting, sending emails, and gaming, all require speedy upload rates.
What is bandwidth?
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transferred via an internet connection within a specified amount of time. Though frequently mistaken for internet speed, bandwidth actually refers to the volume of data that can be sent rather than the speed in which it is transmitted. Bandwidth is traditionally measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
What is Mbps?
Mbps is the abbreviation for “megabits per second.” This unit of measurement calculates the bandwidth capacity of an internet connection and tells you how much data can be transferred each second through your individual internet connection.
What is latency?
Latency is the measure of time between a request and a result. Latency effectively records how much time it takes for a signal to travel to your ISP’s server and back to your local device. Lower latency means shorter lag time. Latency is measured in milliseconds (ms).
What is considered fast internet speed?
According to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards, fast internet is defined as a web connection offering download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps. These baseline speeds can easily support everyday online activities ranging from High-Definition video streaming and moderate online gaming to web-surfing and music downloading.
What is considered slow internet speed?
The FCC has asserted that download speeds of less than 25 Mbps are too slow to be considered broadband. Download speeds under 25 Mbps typically mean users will have difficulty connecting multiple web-enabled devices, experience frequent buffering when streaming videos, and several other laggy connectivity complications.
Why is my Verizon internet speed so slow?
Have you been running into trouble with an excruciatingly slow Verizon internet connection? There are several possible reasons that might explain why your speeds are so sluggish. Take a look at these common issues that may be preventing you from reaching peak performance levels.
Your WiFi signal is bad
When dealing with a weak, spotty WiFi signal, it’s next to impossible to get anything done quickly or efficiently. Jarring slowdowns in internet traffic, excessively long download times, and frequent WiFi disconnection are all tell-tale signs of router failure.
While WiFi routers are sturdy pieces of technology, like any other digital tool, they can break down over time. While a simple router reboot can solve many basic issues, more complex issues may require a total router replacement to restore your original connectivity performance.
You’re on a low-tier internet plan
Verizon Wireless, like most Internet service providers, offers many different service plans that operate on a tiered structure—the more comprehensive the package is, the more you’ll pay out of pocket.
If you’re uncertain of what internet speeds your Verizon plan offers, log in to your Verizon account and access the details of your monthly contract. From there, you’ll be able to locate the relevant information regarding the speeds you pay for compared to the speeds you actually get, as proven by your Verizon speed test.
If your Verizon speed test results don’t match what your service plan promises, contact Verizon Support to talk to a representative who can explain or mend your connectivity problem. In the event that you find you’ve outgrown your current and require a more powerful connection, contact an ISP representative to survey your available options.
Network latency is too high
Your internet speed depends largely on two essential elements: bandwidth and latency. As already mentioned, performance suffers when latency is too high. Unfortunately, when it comes to controlling and maintaining network latency levels, there are a range of factors beyond your control.
Some geographical regions are more prone to congestion and the sluggish effects of throttling than others, and if you live in those areas, your web speed may also suffer.
Your device may have a virus
If the device you’re testing on has any sort of malware or virus, your web connection will likely suffer. These malicious software programs can infect your computer and make your internet speeds crawl. Spyware, in particular, can monopolize your internet connection and ruin your PC performance altogether.
If your testing device has any kind of malware or virus, it is likely that your web connection will suffer. These malicious software programs infiltrate your computer system and can cause speed bottlenecks. Spyware, in particular, can commandeer your internet connection and altogether ruin your PC performance.
Troubleshooting: What factors can alter my Verizon speed test results?
In order to achieve the most realistic speed test assessments, it’s important to first ensure that the digital atmosphere is suitable for testing. There are a number of variable external and internal factors that can influence the results of your internet speed test. These factors are either associated with software or hardware discrepancies. Let’s take a closer look:
There are certain types of software programs that could potentially trigger a bottleneck in connectivity—namely firewalls, anti-virus systems, and administrative devices, to identify a few.
These types of programs inspect each and every incoming and outgoing piece of data transmitted to your device. In some situations, these programs also provide additional data to assist with encryption. This can dramatically impact your Verizon speed test results if you fail to disable them before testing.
Your internet browser of choice—whether it’s Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge —may be the reason behind your lackluster speed test results. Each individual browser provides varying degrees of processing capabilities, which plays a vital role in your device’s performance capacity.
If you were to perform one Verizon speed test through Chrome and one through Safari, you might see different results. We suggest that you run the test using your primary browser to get a realistic insight into the regular speeds and levels you can experience at any given time.
All types of web-enabled devices will yield remarkably different speed test results even if they are using the same ISP and connection. For example, the results you’d see from a speed test conducted on a tablet or other mobile device would likely be different from the speed rates you’d see from a desktop computer speed test. This is largely due to robust differences in available bandwidth, internal hardware, and connection type.
Your internet performance is most directly influenced by the availability and quality of your network devices. This generally includes the router or ethernet cable—the two central devices you need to foster a network connection. Note that if you have a wireless WiFi router interface, it is very likely that your Verizon speed check results will be considerably slower than the speeds you’d generate via a direct, wired ethernet link.
How can I speed up my Verizon internet connection?
Before you pick up your phone and dial Verizon Support, check to see if there are any DIY options you can pursue to speed up your Verizon Internet connection without any expert help. Believe it or not, there are a multitude of convenient, cost-free solutions to optimize your internet connection.
Whether that means disabling all bandwidth-heavy programs or modernizing your internet plan, there are a number of workable ways to speed up your Verizon Internet.
Method #1: Relocate your router
Is your router positioned in a random, secluded corner of your home? Although you may like it out of sight and out of mind, you’re likely compromising your web connection at the same time. Oftentimes, your WiFi signal is only as good as the place you put it, so be sure to relocate it to an area that is more central and open.
WiFi signals travel perpendicularly, which means when relocating your router, placing it somewhere like a shelf, bookcase, coffee table, or fireplace mantle will serve you best.
Method #2: Switch to ethernet
All across America, people are becoming increasingly reliant on WiFi. With such a high volume of people utilizing WiFi, bandwidth can become clogged and slow everyone down—especially if there are multiple devices or routers near each other.
Switching to a direct ethernet connection allows you to dodge the growing bottleneck dilemma. Establishing a direct, wired line from your router to your computer also ensures that your web connection is superior to what you’d receive from a WiFi web connection.
Method #3: Upgrade your internet plan
Even if you live in a rural, middle-of-nowhere city or town, odds are highly likely that among the few available ISPs in your area, there are multiple internet subscription plans you can choose from. If you have taken every precaution to confirm that your speed test is as precise as possible, and you’re still unhappy with the results, it might be time to update your contract or switch ISPs to land higher speeds.
Contact your provider to inquire about alternative solutions. Before you dial, make sure to do some homework so that you can come into a negotiation with a clear understanding of what you need and what price you’re expecting.
Paul Williams brings a wide range of experiences to his writing. He worked extensively in technology, as a software engineer, technical writer, and now a technology writer. Known as the leader of one of the top American Spacerock bands, his forward-looking music continues to be heard all over the world.