Learn to check your cellular data speed and find out what constitutes good mobile internet speed
Australia provides the fifth fastest mobile internet in the world. Source
Telstra, a leading telecommunication and network provider in Australia, is the provider with the fastest mobile internet speeds in the country. According to Ookla, Telstra earned a mobile internet speed score of 47.27 based on an average mobile upload speed of 17.53 Mbps and download speed of 53.42 Mbps. Vodafone won second place with a score of 42.07 followed by Optus with 39.85.
However, individual experience can differ widely, and many users want to check the speed of their mobile internet speed on their own. That’s why almost every internet service provider (ISP) gives dedicated numbers, allowing customers to use them in order to check the internet speed on their mobile devices.
Many customers raise concerns that they are not getting the internet connection speed they’re paying for. In case an ISP has not given their customers a number to check their internet speed, there are many other ways to test how fast they are able to access data online.
Best practices for mobile internet speed testing
To achieve accurate performance testing of the mobile internet connection on a device, make sure you:
Do not use your internet connection while testing the speed:
Pause all applications running on your connection, such as streaming Netflix or downloading files, before performing a speed test. Be sure to pause all downloading and uploading in the background. The speed test application you’re using should be the only thing using your internet connection. It will help you calculate the speed of your mobile internet more accurately.
Test more than once:
A single measurement is not enough. You have to measure your internet speed more than once, at different times of the day. For instance, you may have a faster connection speed during the early morning or at midnight. The speed may vary even in different rooms or areas.
On a smartphone, internet speed depends on how many users around you are using data, the quality of the signal in your area, your location and a few other factors. If you move around between speed-tests and see how your connection varies at different times of the day and between different locations, you will have a better understanding of your connection.
You’ll probably have a slower connection speed during office work hours in central business areas than the speed you will have at the same location on Sunday when businesses are closed.
Also, if you live far away from a network node or in a highly congested location without sufficient infrastructure, you’ll most likely have a trouble with your mobile internet speeds, especially during peak hours when everybody gets online.
What constitutes good internet speed?
Before you figure out how to test your internet speeds, you must know what a good cellular internet speed is. If you use the internet for social media, email, surfing and listening to music, then 1 Mbps speed is enough. If you watch standard definition (SD) videos on YouTube, 2 Mbps is sufficient, while high definition (HD) video streaming requires a 5Mbps internet speed. To play games online or watch 4K, very HD movies, or if you heavily use high quality images and cloud services, then 10Mbps is a good baseline.
Remember that while you may buy an internet plan that promises 10, 25, or 50Mbps, a wide range of factors exist which affect the actual speeds you experience.
How to test your cellular internet connection speed?
There are mainly three ways to test the internet speed on your smartphone:
- Dial the number provided by your ISP
- Use speed-test tools on the official websites of your ISP
- Use third-party speed-test tools
A quick web search will show you many third-party tools. You can also use Telstra’s speed-test tool, or Optus’ speed-test tool, depending on the internet service provider you are using. Using these tools is as easy as visiting a website and clicking the “Begin Test” button.
There are many free speed-test applications available for Android, Windows, iOS and Mac smartphone or tablet. Just download an app of your choice, launch it and test your mobile internet speed.
If your mobile internet speed is problematically slow, you can try some fastest and easiest ways to speed it up. Turn off unnecessary programs, clear browser cache and cookies, perform a virus check, or you can purchase a signal booster. Mobile phone companies make many claims about the internet speeds available to you in order to get you to sign up, but testing your own speeds is the best way to make sure that reality is living up to their advertising.