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Understanding Speed Test Results


When running a speed test, remember that many things can impact results. The list below is not all-inclusive because of the rapid evolution of technologies that continue to introduce items that can impact performance.

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

Refer to the following based on your equipment for the most accurate results.

  • For Cox Panoramic Wifi users, use the Cox Panoramic Wifi app.
    1. Download the free Cox Panoramic Wifi app from the App Store or Google Play. Your mobile device or tablet must meet the following requirements.
      • iOS version 11.0 or later
      • Android 6.0 or later
    2. Enter your Cox primary user ID and password.
  • Non-Cox Panoramic Wifi users, download the Speedtest app or run a test from www.speedtest.net in your browser, using a hardwired connection to the modem or combination 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 service tier.
  • Upgrading to a modem that bonds more channels can help improve performance.
  • Newer model modems can better leverage available network capacity.

For customers with DOCSIS 3.1 modems with the Gigablast Internet package, a Gigabit-capable router is recommended for the best experience.

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, running the speed test from multiple devices is recommended.
  • For tiers above 100 Mbps, the device must have a 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) Network Interface Card (NIC), also called a 1 Gig Ethernet Port, to realize hardwired speeds. The prior version limits the connection to 100 Mbps.
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 to verify your latest version. Close open windows / 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, meaning no cuts, and is securely connected to the modem and the device.
  • Scan for viruses, spyware, and other malware.
  • Be aware that firewall software like McAfee and Symantec 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 the number of simultaneously connected devices. Remember, some devices can access the internet even without using them. For example, phones and tablets can be set to download updates automatically.

If You Cannot Run a Wired Speed Test

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

  • Verify that the device is connected to your WiFi network.
  • Run the speed test while near the modem or router. This helps 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 is to be run.
  • Ensure that no other devices are connected to your WiFi network. The WiFi connection is based on the lowest capability of 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, for example, and can be more congested.

Additional Impacts on Service

Unfortunately, things outside your and Cox's control can also impact performance. The sites / services that you use also play a role.

  • The infrastructure for the website / application may not be able to support the speeds that you have. This is more likely to be noticeable for Ultimate and Gigablast customers.
  • The website / application may not be able to support the number of simultaneous users.
    • A site may not have enough capacity to support all users during peak usage.
    • A site may not have enough capacity if it experiences a sudden influx of users if something "goes viral."
  • In the same way, you purchase Internet service from Cox, the website / application purchases Internet access from a provider and may not have the right service to meet their needs.

To learn about your Internet package speeds, limits, and allowances, refer to Speeds and Data Plans Information.

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