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Understanding Speed Test Results

Details

A Speed Test is a tool you can use to help understand your Internet performance. Most speed tests demonstrate how long it takes to download and upload data across many elements of the connection, including the Cox network, the public Internet, the network the speed test service is using, and your business network. In addition to download and upload speeds, some speed tests also include ping, latency, jitter, and packet loss.

When running a speed test, keep in mind that many things can impact results, even though Cox Business offers Gig speeds and we over-provision the speed tier. It’s important to note that when you run a speed test, you likely will not experience 1 Gbps on the test result due to numerous factors that can impact your Internet speeds. The items below are not exhaustive, and the rapid evolution of technologies continue to introduce items that can impact performance.

If the test is run over WiFi, network congestion and WiFi capabilities of the modem or router can impact the results.

For the most accurate results, run a speed test using a hardwired connection to the modem or WiFi modem, and ensure that no other device is actively using the Internet. Do not hardwire to a router.

Based on the... Use these tips to improve your speed...
Modem / Router

The capabilities of modems, routers, or combination WiFi modems can impact your results. For the most accurate results, ensure the following.

  • Whether you are using a modem, router, and / or combination WiFi modem, they must all meet the minimum requirements for your tier of service.
  • Upgrading to a modem that bonds more channels can help improve performance.
  • Newer model modems can better leverage available network capacity.
Age of Your Device

The age and capabilities of the device from which the test is run can impact the results.

  • To determine if the device is impacting speeds, it is recommended to run the speed test from more than one device.
  • For tiers above 100 Mbps, the device must have a 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) Network Interface Card (NIC), also referred to as a 1 Gig Ethernet Port, to realize hardwired speeds. The prior version limits the connection to 100 Mbps.
  • For devices with 1 Gig Ethernet Ports available, note that the max speed will not reach 1 Gbps and that 950 - 980 Mbps is more likely considering traffic management overhead.
Computer and Operating System


 Use the following steps to determine speed tests on your computer and operating system.

  • Verify that the operating system on the device is up to date. For Windows devices, it should be Vista or newer.
  • Use Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox and verify that you have the latest version. Close open windows and tabs.
  • Evaluate the processor speed, memory (RAM), and hard disk space, which can impact overall performance and speeds.
  • Delete cookies and temporary Internet files.
  • Uninstall programs that are no longer needed.
  • Disable or uninstall auto-start programs that are no longer used.
  • Turn off browser add-ons and programs running in the background

Additional Considerations

  • Verify that the Ethernet cable is in good condition and is securely connected to both the modem and the device. Cox Business recommends that Ethernet cable be CAT5e or CAT6. CAT5 cannot achieve Gig speeds.
  • Scan for viruses, spyware, and other malware.
  • Be aware that firewall software can cause incorrect results. This is more likely if you have more than one firewall enabled on a device.
  • Turn off file sharing applications like BitTorrent.
  • Turn off proxy services like VPN.
  • Check number of simultaneously connected devices. Remember some devices can access the Internet even if you aren’t using them. For example, phones and tablets can be set to automatically download updates.
  • Many employees now carry at least two Internet-enabled devices. Guests and visitors to your business often need Internet access as well. With each device connected to the network consuming a portion of your available bandwidth, Cox Business recommends ensuring you have adequate bandwidth to accommodate peak usage hours.

If You Cannot Run A Wired Speed Test

If you cannot run a wired speed test, in addition to the above complete the following.

  • Verify that the device is connected to your WiFi network.
  • Run the speed test while in close proximity to the modem or router. This will help to eliminate obstacles such as walls, kitchen appliances, and other radio signals, that can impact the WiFi signal.
  • Check the WiFi capabilities of both the modem and the device from which the speed test will be run. Using an IEEE WiFi protocol with a 802.11ac WiFi network is recommended instead of utilizing older technology.
  • Ensure that no other devices are connected to your WiFi network. The WiFi connection will be based on the lowest capability of the any device on the network.
  • If using an 802.11ac capable modem and device, switch to the 5 GHz channel. Most devices connect the 2.4 GHz channel, which is used by many devices, such as microwave ovens, baby monitors, wireless phones, and Bluetooth devices, and can be more congested.
  • When testing your speeds using your wireless connection, the max speeds on the 802.11ac 2.4 GHz is approximately 600 Mbps. The max speeds achievable on 802.11ac 5 GHz network is approximately 1.3 Gbps.

Other Potential Impacts to Service

Unfortunately, things outside of your and Cox Business’ control can also impact performance. The websites and services that you use also play a role.

  • Third-party speed test websites are typically not indicative of Cox network performance. The results can vary widely because of geography, test methodology, unrelated Internet traffic, and server payload.
  • The infrastructure for the website or application may not be able to support the speeds that you have. This is more likely to be noticeable for Gig customers.
  • The website or application may not have capacity to support the number of simultaneous users.
    • A website may not have enough capacity to support all users during peak usage times.
    • A website may not have enough capacity if it experiences a sudden influx of users if something “goes viral.”
  • The same way you purchase Internet service from Cox Business, the website or application purchases Internet access from a provider and may not have the right service to meet their needs.

To learn about your Internet tier speeds and other details, refer to Cox Business Internet Service Details.