Most major operating systems have tools built in to check Wi-Fi speeds.
While holding the option key, click the Wi-Fi icon in the top-right corner of the screen. A menu will open–look for your current Wi-Fi network. The speed will be shown next to Tx Rate.
If you're using Windows 10, open the Start Menu and choose Settings. Go to Network and Internet then scroll to Network and Sharing Center.
Click on the Wi-Fi network you want to check the speed of. A new window will open. The Speed field will show you the current Wi-Fi speed.
Mobile users can check Wi-Fi speed with the help of additional applications.
Android doesn't have any built-in tool to check Wi-Fi speed. However, Google provides a Wi-Fi speed tool in the official Google Wifi app, available on Google Play.
Unfortunately, Apple doesn't provide any default tools to identify network speed, nor does it provide any official apps for the task. iOS users need to use third-party apps to get a Wi-Fi speed report.
The Google Wifi app is available on the iOS store, as well.
There are plenty of third-party applications that will tell you your network speed. You can find downloadable applications and ones that operate entirely from a browser window, like these:
- www.speedtest.net - This online tool is owned by Ookla and provides a real-time readout of your current network speed.
- fast.com - This domain also provides network speed feedback. It’s owned by Netflix.
You can also use the built-in speed test tool with the Google search engine. Just search for
network speed test to get instant results. The speed will be listed in a box above the search results.
By tracking your Wi-Fi speed, you can narrow down when your network experiences any drop in performance and by how much. You can use this opportunity to look for factors that are causing the drops to occur and make changes to help resolve them.
Some things to look for:
- Time of day - Is there a consistent pattern to when the drop occurs? Sometimes bandwidth is limited around peak usage times.
- Other appliances - Are any other appliances or machines operating nearby when the drop occurs? Microwaves have been known to cause network interference when operating too close to the wireless router.
You can also take this opportunity to try adjusting the Wi-Fi channel or resetting the router. Checking your Wi-Fi speed will be a key tool in optimizing your wireless performance.
If you're experiencing consistent network issues, you may benefit from a new ISP. Xfinity has several plans to choose from for new customers.
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