Ever wonder what all those things mean? Mobile download speed is kind of a big deal, especially if you like streaming videos or playing games on your phone. But what are all of these numbers? Data is measured in bits. Speeds of 1 kbps 1 kilobit per second are crazy slow, whilst speeds of 1GBps 1 gigabit per second are crazy fast. Most download speeds are shown in megabits per second Mbits as these are the most common speeds we see and experience on a day to day basis.
Remember do not confuse bits and bytes. However, download limits and files sizes are measured in megabytes MB. There are 8 bits in one byte and 8 megabits in one megabyte. When 3G came along, we got a new generation of phones that we called smartphones, phones that were able to connect fully to the internet.
Modern smartphones all have 3G, allowing you to go online. Finally, 4G arrived. Most, though not all, mobiles sold nowadays have 4G tech, though not all operators supply 4G service, and some operators make you pay extra for it.
Threefor example, no longer has a 2G network, so phones on Three will use only 3G or 4G networks. However, it is not yet available in the UK or really anywhere. Even within each of the generations, there are different ways of receiving a signal. And what about that brand new 5G tech? In the UK, mobile data speeds are relatively slow compared to other countries. The faster your connection speed, the faster your phone should be able to perform online actions.
A faster connection means faster loading web pages, high-quality video streams, and overall faster downloads. However, there are minimum speed requirements for streaming.
The newer your mobile tech, the shorter that latency period will be:. The more users that are connected to a signal, the slower that signal becomes. Think of it as a road. Network signals work in the same way. This is why speeds might be slower in cities where there are more users, or at certain times of the day when more people are likely to be using the network.
For a long time one of the many reasons 4G was so much faster than 3G was simply because fewer people had 4G devices. This is no longer true as a general rule since many people nowadays have 4G.
But when 5G becomes available this will be true again, since few people will initially have 5G devices or even a 5G phone plan. Accessing a webpage uses around 1. In real life, however, there is a chance that your download speeds could affect your download limit.
Firstly, this is because access to a faster internet connection often tempts people into using the internet more, into downloading more online games, or streaming more video, simply because these things are easier on a faster connection. Another reason is because some websites use adaptive technology. For example, YouTube automatically chooses the quality of a video depending on what speeds it thinks your phone can handle.
Upgrade to a new phone with 4G connectivity and YouTube may begin choosing High Definition by default instead. However, for the most part, this is probably going to cost you cash.So you've read about our 4G speed testsand now you want to know how your smartphone or cellular-modem speeds stack up to our results. You have a few easy ways to conduct such tests yourself.
Testing network speeds is a messy business. To measure your Internet connection's throughput, these apps will test the transfer rates between your smartphone or PC and the closest test server available. However, the test data will make several stops between your device and the test server--which means network congestion or signal interference will have plenty of opportunity to slow down your overall connection.
If you're trying to compare different devices on the same carrier, or speeds between different carriers, you'll get more accurate results if you try several tests in the same time and place, and keep track of the different speeds.
Don't base your results on a single test--everyone has a bad network day every now and then. If you don't already use Speedtest. Of course, you can also use this service to test your PC's cellular Internet connection either via built-in cellular Internet or a separate modem, such as the MiFi. All you have to do is navigate over to Speedtest.
Fortunately, if you have an Android or iOS gadget, you can grab the appropriate free Speedtest. Some users have reported problems with the app's automatically assigning a test server located on the other side of the world--when we tried the Android app, it thought we were in Kansas instead of California. If the same kind of thing happens to you, open the Settings menu and manually choose the closest server possible. The farther away the test server is, the more network hops your data has to make to get there, which means that you'll see slower speeds and lower pings that aren't necessarily reflective of your actual network speed.
Not on an Android or iOS smartphone? Don't worry, you still have speed-testing options. BlackBerry users can try the Cisco Global Internet Speed Test GIST app, though judging from the comments in the AppWorld listing more than a few people have had problems with its either using a test server that is too far away or simply refusing to work altogether.
Still, it's worth a shot. Windows Phone 7 users, on the other hand, should grab BandWidth, a quick-and-dirty testing app. Android iPhone Phone Accessories. Test Your Smartphone Data Speed. A Disclaimer Testing network speeds is a messy business.
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details. Currently reading.This internet connection speed test checks the speed of your internet connection - along with a good portion of extra details like ping, jitter, upload and download speeds, streaming latency, and packet loss - and gives you comprehensive feedback on which kinds of functions their network is capable of performing.
As the speed test runs, the animated speedometers will activate and supply users with the details of their online connection speed within 30 seconds. The first step is to test the network to determine the speed that it is operating at now.
If the results are adequate, then the connection can handle VoIP. Inadequate results, on the other hand, may be fixed by carrying out these tasks:. The speed test on this site is designed to deliver an in-depth report that covers a connection's speed, quality, data packet rate, and other important details. It will help users to gain a clearer understanding of how their existing web connection works and if it can handle VoIP service.
If your internet connection is not as fast as you'd like it to be, you can compare internet providers to find a better ISP.
Determining the speed of a connection is absolutely essential, because the findings will allow you to identify what applications it can effectively support. In basic terms, these speed test results indicate how quickly information passes through a network. This is particularly vital for VoIP service, which requires a strong web connection to transmit, assemble, and receive packets of information, which are then converted into sound files. A network's devices must all share bandwidth, and as a result, the greater the number of devices or employees tied into a connection, the more slowly that connection will execute tasks.
With residential or household VoIP, the connection is distributed to all units in the home. Web games, downloads, movie streaming devices, cell phones, and laptops are common functions for a household web connection.
Test Your Smartphone Data Speed
However, there could be other elements slowing down a connection's general speed. Some ISPs transmit information in different ways depending on what they think are favored functions for a household network. Once the speed test has run, users are supplied with several different results for different measurements. Below is a brief explanation as to what your test results mean in relation to your current broadband connection:.
In order to achieve maximum internet speed efficiency, users must have a dependable and fast-speed web connection. With that in mind, there are a couple of steps that can be taken to enhance an existing web connection and make sure it's running at the quickest speeds achievable:. Wirefly offers great deals on a large selection of smartphones, cell phones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other wireless devices for the nation's most popular carriers.
Shop with confidence knowing that Wirefly wants to help you find the best prices on cell phones, cell phone plans, TV, and Internet service. Inadequate results, on the other hand, may be fixed by carrying out these tasks: Determine how many units are connected to the network.
Insufficient test results sometimes happen because of unconnected cables or worn out wires in the network. Upgrade the machinery. Outdated units such as routers or modems often substantially decrease the speed of a network. The Components of a High-Quality Internet Connection Determining the speed of a connection is absolutely essential, because the findings will allow you to identify what applications it can effectively support.
Below is a brief explanation as to what your test results mean in relation to your current broadband connection: Ping or execution delay: A measure of how long it takes one data packet to be dispatched from one PC to another and then return. Jitter: A measure of several ping results in a row. A good jitter figure should be very close to zero. Download Speed: Rather than a pure measure of speed, this figure shows the number of bps that may be downloaded by one unit from another through the web.
Upload Speed : Like the download rate, this is not a true speed measurement but simply indicates the number of bps that may be uploaded between computers through the web. Bufferbloat : A latency test that is executed whenever a connection is experiencing low bandwidth. Normally, this is accomplished by performing a bandwidth check to enhance the connection's speed.
Data Packet Loss: This test measures how many packets of information reach their specified arrival point when dispatched from a PC.
Ways to Boost Connection Speed In order to achieve maximum internet speed efficiency, users must have a dependable and fast-speed web connection.
With that in mind, there are a couple of steps that can be taken to enhance an existing web connection and make sure it's running at the quickest speeds achievable: Perform the network speed test on this page.No matter how you look at it, mobile network performance has improved in the United States thus far in In Q1-Q2the U. The U. S ranked 94th for mean upload speed, between Angola and Poland. Mobile operators are just now rolling out 5G in some of the largest cities in the U.
During this period, over 4. Ookla has analyzed those tests to determine the mobile operators with the fastest and most consistent networks across the nation and which offers the best access to LTE. Mean download speed over mobile in the U. This raised the U.
The mean upload speed for mobile was 9. Though the percentage increase seems significant, the numerative increase was small. As a result of this small increase and the fast pace of mobile upload improvement globally, the U. This is an increase of T-Mobile was the second fastest up 9. Though Sprint was the slowest operator, they showed the second largest year-over-year improvement Operators continue to expand and improve their networks across the country.
This section outlines those larger improvements. A specific look at developments related to 5G appears below. This strategy, combined with a slew of Category LTE smartphones, meant a tremendous boost in coverage, speeds and overall capacity. T-Mobile has expanded its LTE footprint at a furious pace thanks to the addition of MHz spectrum and the agility of its network team. However, some of this spectrum is sitting idle and waiting to be utilized.
The existing MHz capable radios that T-Mobile has been installing over the past year, like the Ericssonare 5G-ready and that unused portion of MHz spectrum can be activated for 5G with an over-the-air software push.
This capacity should also spur the necessary backhaul upgrades to support faster speeds and overall increases in traffic. A merger with Sprint would offer a unique blend of low, mid and high band spectrum, with the potential to deliver an impressive nationwide 5G network. Virtually all mid-band spectrum assets have been repurposed for LTE, and in many markets, a portion of the MHz spectrum is used to fortify the coverage layer.
Verizon Wireless is almost certainly making all the necessary investments and upgrades in preparation for the upcoming 5G network expansionincluding radio access that requires a robust fiber-fed backhaul network. However, in order to maximize the 2. This may reduce the lengthy zoning and permitting process, allowing the combined company to utilize this valuable spectrum in the shortest time possible.
The next obvious upgrades for Sprint will be securing multi-gig fiber backhaul to support their upcoming 5G rollout and activating 4-layer MIMO, which will improve both speeds and capacity.
While many consumers are looking to get the fastest speeds possible, others still struggle to get the kind of consistent speeds that allow them to reliably use their mobile devices for common use cases like streaming HD video.Wondering how to check the mobile data speed of your cell phone?
This test also provides detailed feedback on the type of functions your mobile data connection is capable of carrying out. Examples of functions reported include buffering of live video on popular video apps and sites such as YouTube or Hulu, mobile gaming, app usage, mobile hotspot, and more.
Unlike other cell phone data speed tests, our test does not require you to download an app, nor does it require the use of Java or Flash. Our test is built in HTML5, so it works on any device, right in the web browser. You can check your mobile data speed test by running the test now, but please keep in mind it may take 30 seconds or more to present you with your results.
Do not close the browser tab or put your phone to sleep while the test is running. The main reason you're likely using this test is that you're interested in finding out what your mobile data speed is in your current location, and whether it is robust enough to use your phone's internet connection for whatever data-intensive task you have in mind.
After the execution and finishing of the speed test, users are provided many different results to measure particular criteria. Listed below is a summarized explanation of what your results are specifying, depending on your residential or business broadband setup:. Wirefly offers great deals on a large selection of smartphones, cell phones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other wireless devices for the nation's most popular carriers. Shop with confidence knowing that Wirefly wants to help you find the best prices on cell phones, cell phone plans, TV, and Internet service.
Steps To Ensure Your Cell Phone Data Connection is Solid The main reason you're likely using this test is that you're interested in finding out what your mobile data speed is in your current location, and whether it is robust enough to use your phone's internet connection for whatever data-intensive task you have in mind. Some things to keep in mind: Your wireless data speed can change based on your location, and how many towers your carrier has within your location.
The fidelity of your connection can also be affected by whether you're indoors or outdoors. Your wireless data speed can be influenced by how congested your carrier's network currently is. You may get better data speeds in the middle of the night when few other people are using their devices. Different carriers have different coverage depending on the location you're in.
You should be sure to run this speed test with your Wi-Fi turned off, if you're truly interested in your cell phone data speed. If you're Wi-Fi connection is turned on, then what you're actually testing is the speed of whichever Wi-Fi network you're connected to. Analyzing Your Mobile Data Speed Test Results After the execution and finishing of the speed test, users are provided many different results to measure particular criteria.
Listed below is a summarized explanation of what your results are specifying, depending on your residential or business broadband setup: Download Speed: Instead of measuring pure speed, this measurement displays how much can be downloaded to your device per second. Upload Speed: Similar to the rate of downloads, this isn't a pure measurement of speed, rather it is a simple indication of the amount of data that can be uploaded per second from your mobile device to the web. Ping: Measurement of the length of time one packet of data takes to transfer from one end point to another.
Jitter: Measurement of multiple ping results occurring sequentially. A score close to zero signifies a good jitter result. Bufferbloat: This is an executed test of latency, occurring whenever low bandwidth is experienced during a connection. This is normally achieved through a check of bandwidth being performed in order to optimize the speed of the connection. Packet loss: This is a measurement test that determines the number of packets, and how many reach their destination when sent from one device to another.The results are in for Wirefly's Internet Speed Rankings.
Results for mobile internet speeds in general and by carrier are below. The report is a joint research partnership between Wirefly and SourceForgethe leading open source software repository on the web. The Wirefly Speed Test can measure data speeds on any device, and does not require Flash or Java to run. During the first half ofthousands of unique mobile devices performed thousands of speed tests using Wirefly's test.
Wirefly has analyzed these tests in order to determine average download speeds and upload speeds across the United States, and announce which mobile carrier has the fastest data speeds in the country based on these results.
Average mobile data speeds in the United States are This year, T-Mobile edged out Verizon Wireless as the carrier with the fastest average download speed based on Wirefly Speed Test results. This year, Verizon Wireless finished as the carrier with the fastest average upload speed based on the Wirefly Speed Test results.
All the plans from the carriers listed in this report can be compared here. Wirefly offers great deals on a large selection of smartphones, cell phones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other wireless devices for the nation's most popular carriers. Shop with confidence knowing that Wirefly wants to help you find the best prices on cell phones, cell phone plans, TV, and Internet service.
T-Mobile - Verizon Wireless - When it comes to LTE, how fast your smartphone can download and upload data often depends on where you are. But if your phone is tied to Verizon's LTE network, there's a pretty good chance your data speeds are going to beat everyone else's.
See the section at the end of this page for the latest on the status of 5G. For those of us who don't live in the specific areas where 5G coverage has launched, LTE is going to remain the way most of us get our high-speed data. And when it comes to LTE, Verizon is still tops.
After testing wireless network speeds at multiple locations in eight U. The carrier swept all three categories we measured — average download speed, average upload speed and the time it takes to download an app from Google Play. This is the third consecutive time Verizon has topped our network speed rankings. Those rankings reflect our tests frombut stay tuned — we'll be updating in the coming months with new LTE numbers as well as 5G testing.
Which carrier is the runner-up depends on what metric you value. While Sprint may have placed last among the Big Four carriers, it posted the biggest improvement, doubling its average download speed from the last time we tested. It also performed dramatically better in our app download test, narrowing down the gap with T-Mobile to 7 seconds. It's clear that Sprint's efforts to improve its 4G capabilities ahead of its planned merger with T-Mobile are paying off.
But Straight Talk, which lagged other carriers in previous tests, turned in a stellar performance when using a SIM card tied to Verizon's leading network. Straight Talk uses other carriers' networks, too, and when we tested with different SIMs, the speeds weren't as fast.
Cell Phone Carrier Internet Speed Rankings 2017
We tested eight popular carriers. In our past tests, we've included Virgin Mobile, but during our test period, Virgin was positioning itself as an iPhone-focused carrier, and we use Samsung Galaxy phones in our testing to ensure a level playing field — iPhones use different modems, depending on the carrier you select.
We conducted our testing using the Galaxy S9. Seven of the carriers we tested supplied us with a test unit tied to their network. In the case of Boost, we bought an S9 directly from the company tied to its network. We used the same phones to test the different networks in eight cities. We conducted our testing from June to August In each of the cities, we selected six test sites based on geographic diversity and popularity.
Those test sites included an equal mix of outdoor and indoor testing. We ran Ookla's Speedtest. We also downloaded Discord a 40MB file from Google Play and timed how long the app took to install; if the app didn't download after 5 minutes, we stopped the test and listed its download time at for that location. After determining average download and upload speeds for each location in each city, we used those results to come up with an average performance number for all six cities.
To determine our final rankings, we looked at both download and upload averages as well how close the gap was between different carriers; we also considered how carriers fared when downloading mobile apps. It's no mystery why Verizon has tightened its grip on the top rank in our network testing. It had both the fastest download and upload averages across our eight test cities. It also turned in the fastest average time on our app download test, with a blazing-fast second average.
In fact, in only one city did it take longer than a minute to download Discord on Verizon's network. Verizon was the top-performing network in more than half of the cities where we tested. In three of the cities where Verizon didn't take the top spot Dallas and San Franciscoit was the runner-up. The only city where Big Red missed the mark was Philadelphia, where it had the worst download speeds of any of the Big Four carriers.
Verizon's best performances were recorded in New York and Chicago, the country's two largest cities. The carrier not only had the best download speeds in both those cities but also finished well ahead of the next-fastest carrier. In New York, Verizon's In Chicago, Verizon's It was the only carrier not to struggle when we tested in the Haight-Ashbury district, where it trounced the competition; and it also fared well at tests in Golden Gate Park and the Duboce Triangle neighborhood.