Is Your ISP Messing With Your Internet Speed Test?

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The speed of your internet connection has never been more important, as it must handle content that is essential for work, for play and for social interaction. ISPs talk a lot about the internet speed that they provide. But, how can you be sure that your ISP is not inflating speed test results? Actually, a recent discovery has shown that ISP can do that by using Internet port 8080 to conduct the test. Port 8080 is somewhat free from traffic juxtaposed to ports 80 and 443 which are used for most Internet traffic. Because of this, test results can be inflated by as much as 200%.

Is Your ISP Messing With Your Internet Speed Test?

What Should Internet Speed Test Tell You

The role of an Internet speed test is to make sure that the ISP is providing the service level which you pay for. So if you pay for a 50 Mbps tier. a speed test should verify that, and it usually will if it runs on port 8080. However, if your home Internet is accessed by multiple users at the same time, bandwidth will suffer. If your speed test returns the same result, it is because of the port 8080, which ignores the additional activity all competing for its portion of the bandwidth. It is crucial for your speed test to return significant results relevant to your current Internet usage scheme. This will enable you to make adjustments to your home network in order to improve its performance. Free internet speed test is one of the ways to check this.

Is Your ISP Messing With Your Internet Speed Test?

How Do IPS Inflate Internet Speed Tests

TCP ports 80 and 443 are used to transfer the majority of web browser based traffic. On the other hand, port 8080, which providers use to inflate internet speed test results, is rarely used for traffic. So the tests conducted on port 8080 are multithreaded, which means that they open more than one connection to the host and mix the speed. This is how a congestion issue can be disguised. Majority of speed tests are made to benefit the provider instead of the consumer.

Bandwidth Limiting

Besides inflating internet speed test results, ISPs are known to slow down connection when too much data have been used. This is how they enforce their bandwidth caps. This can even happen to people who have paid for “unlimited” connections. This is usually the case at the end of a month. You can check this by using the previously mentioned internet speed test, and if you constantly see lower speeds close to the month’s end, your ISP is choking your bandwidth. You need to consider other factors that can impact internet speed results. If someone is downloading or uploading certain content on your connection, the result may not be correct. The best time to do this is during the night when nobody is using the connection.

Transparency

Internet Service Providers should be honest about what they are doing. It is every customer’s right to know whether or not their traffic is being throttled and they should be given a choice to have that block removed. This can be very important for business that use VOIP telephony, video conferencing and other apps that use a fair share of the bandwidth, because they might find a governor placed on their traffic. Also, small businesses, that have a number of people sharing their limited Internet pipeline, will experience internet speed problems, when all of these people put on their VOIP headsets and join video conferences simultaneously. So, bandwidth limiting should be done openly to prevent users from being unaware about the throttling and so that they can reduce their usage prior to start of the block.

This can be a Victimless Crime

Basically, this is a fraud on the part of the provider. But, if the user is unaware of the inflated internet speed test or bandwidth limiting, is it really? In order to prevent this and to get what you pay for, you need to properly inform yourself about what your provider is actually offering and to check if that is true.