Why your speed test results may not match your plan

Have you taken an internet speed test and noticed a difference between the test results and the internet speed you signed up for? Learn why your results may not match your internet plan, the different types of speed tests and what they measure, and how you can optimize your Wi-Fi.


Wi-Fi performance explained

Ever wonder what factors really effect Wi-Fi performance? It comes down to three main things that will be explained in this video.

Understanding internet plan speeds

Imagine the connection from Frontier as an expressway leading to a city (your home). If you have a Fiber 2 Gig plan, the speed limit would be 2000 Megabits per second, which is the maximum speed that data can be transferred to your home.

Once you arrive at the city (your home), there are smaller streets, each with their own speed limits. These roads represent the connections between your router and connected devices like your mobile phone, tablet, and smart TV.

On the expressway, the connection to your router might be wide open with data moving blazing fast. On the smaller city streets, the connection from your router to your devices may move slower based on the type of device you’re using, your Wi-Fi connection, or other factors.

Now that we’ve covered the basics on internet plan speeds, let’s talk about how to measure your internet speed.

Measuring internet speeds

Internet speed tests measure the rate at which data is downloaded and uploaded. Download speed refers to how quickly you can receive data (i.e. streaming content) from the internet. Upload speed refers to how quickly you can send data (i.e. uploading images) to the internet.

The higher the speed, the faster the connection. There are two different types of internet speed tests:

Speed to home

This test measures the speed from our servers to your home’s router. The results will be the closest to your plan’s maximum wired speed and aren’t affected by  Wi-Fi or device limitations.

We offer a speed to home test through the MyFrontier app.

Speed to the device

This test measures the speed from your router to your Wi-Fi-connected device. We offer a speed to device test at speedtest.net.

Speed to device tests can be affected by wired and Wi-Fi device limitations, in addition to the number of devices. This could result in speeds that are different from the internet speeds you’re expecting. This is common across all internet providers, not just Frontier.

Why your speed test results might be lower than expected

Most often, you’ll see a difference between your speed test results and your plan speeds when taking a speed to device test. This type of test measures the speed from your router to your connected devices, so it can be affected by a number of things including the type of device you’re using (phone, computer, tablet, etc.) and the quality of your Wi-Fi connection. This can cause your results to be lower than your plan speeds.

Here are some other things that may impact your test results:

  1. Wi-Fi interference: Other electronic devices, physical obstacles like walls and doors, and even other Wi-Fi networks nearby can impact your speed.
  2. Range from the router: The farther your device is from your Wi-Fi router, the weaker the signal and, consequently, the slower the speed.
  3. Device capabilities: Not all devices are built the same. Your gaming laptop may be equipped for high-speed connections, while an older laptop might handle a quarter of the speed. It all depends on the types of devices you have.
  4. Many devices: The more devices connected to your network, the more crowded, or "congested," your network becomes, and this can slow things down.
  5. Software updates & background activities: Sometimes, devices run necessary software updates or background processes that can take up a chunk of your bandwidth, causing a slow connection.
  6. Devices with older Wi-Fi technology: Devices with older Wi-Fi tech take more time to transmit and receive data on your Wi-Fi network, slowing the entire network down.

How do I improve the speed to my devices or optimize my Wi-Fi?

Now that you know the differences between internet speed tests and common issues that can slow down your internet, there may be some things you can do to optimize your Wi-Fi connection. Learn more.

Need help troubleshooting your connection? Get internet troubleshooting tips or chat with us for more support.

Max speeds are wired. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary. For performance details, visit: frontier.com/internetdisclosures.

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