Internet seem slow?  The first thing you should do is perform a speed test.  Learn more about Internet speeds, how to perform a speed test, and how to understand your speed test results with the tips below.

Internet speeds explained

Shaw and most other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) divide their Internet plans according to download speeds. Your download speed determines how quickly your devices can receive data online, which can be everything from downloading a 4K movie to receiving an email. While a higher download speed does mean a faster connection, it is wise to note that this is divided amongst all devices connected to your home network, so the more devices that are online, the lower top end speed you will see.  

If you want to ensure you are getting the right speeds or if you are experiencing slower than usual speeds, a speed test is a great way to see what download speeds are in real-time. While testing at the same time of day is a good idea if you are trying to track an on-going issue, it’s good to test speeds at different times of the day to get a full grasp of your speeds and ensure track consistency.

Performing a speed test

Before you start

  • Check your Internet plan in My Shaw, under Internet, to see which plan you are currently subscribed. Details on download and upload speeds can be found under View Details on Internet Plans.
  • If you don’t already have access to My Shaw, you can find out how here: How to manage your account using My Shaw.
  • Make sure no other device or user is actively on the network.
  • You will get the best results using a device plugged directly into your modem, using the most current hardware (i.e. Gigibit eithernet adaptor, Cat6 eithernet cable)
  • Ensure you are using the most up-to-date version of your browser.


How to perform an Internet speed test

  1. Stand 10 feet and within line of sight to your modem with a device connected to your WiFi network's 5G band, or connect a device directly to your modem with an Ethernet cable.
    Note: Our Shaw Gateway customers will not see their network split into two bands due to the feature Band Steering.  For more information on this feature, please see Benefits of using one WiFi name and password for your home network.
  2. Visit using the device you will use to test your speeds.
  3. The speed test should default to a location nearest to you. If you feel that the default location is incorrect, you can choose from a selection of servers in your country.
  4. Whenever you are ready, click or tap on “Go.”
  5. After the test is complete, record your results, especially your download and upload speeds.
  6. To ensure accurate results, perform the speed test one more time. If you are not satisfied with your results, please try on a different device to verify this is not a device limitation.  Please see Device Limitations

How to understand your speed test results


 Example of Shaw speed test results of Fibre+ Gig plan on wired connection using a compatible device.

  • Ping: How fast your device connects to the network – the higher the ping, the longer it takes to transmit data.
  • Download speed: How fast your device can receive data from the Internet, such as receiving an email, a file or a movie. This can be dependent on device limitations, see below.
  • Upload speed: How fast your device can transmit data to the Internet, such as posting pictures to social media or sending an email. This can be dependent on device limitations, see below.

Device Limitations

Depending on when a device was manufactured, it may not be able to reach the top speeds offered by your internet plan. This is true, regardless of whether the device is wired directly to the modem or operating in an ideal WiFi environment. Many devices made prior to 2015 are incapable of reaching speeds over 100 Mbps. Some devices lack the capability because high speeds aren't deemed necessary for use.

If you're unsure of your device's speed capabilities, we recommend that you check its technical specifications or contact the device's manufacturer about potential upgrades or updates that might improve its performance.


Did your results match or are relatively close to the speeds of your Internet plan?

If yes, then the problem may be with your device.

About WiFi Interference

If no, there are other ways to improve your speeds.

Troubleshooting Slow Internet speeds

Other questions?

Please see our Speed Test FAQs for other questions you may have, or our article About: Internet Speeds to learn more.

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