Learn more about testing your Internet speeds and running a Shaw speed test with these Frequently Asked Questions.  If you've wondered how upload and download speeds affect your use and enjoyment of the Internet, learn more below.

Speed Test FAQs

Use the information below to learn more about Internet speed tests and running a Shaw speed test.

Why am I not getting the speeds that match my Internet plan?

Several factors can affect your Internet speed. In order to properly diagnose your problem, you can perform an Internet speed test. This will help you figure out if the problem is with your device or connection.

It's important to note that the maximum speed on your internet plan will be shared by all the devices connected to your home network (both WiFi and wired devices). It's normal to experience slower speeds if you have many devices connected at once, or one device consistently uploading/downloading substantial amounts of data. This is more noticeable on slower speed packages.

Check to see:

  • How many devices are connected to your home network, both WiFi and wired.
  • If your devices are running bandwidth-heavy programs (e.g. streaming, downloading, performing updates)
  • Try closing apps and reducing the number of connected devices to see if performance improves for the devices still connected.
  • If the Shaw modem is within 10 feet and in line of sight of you when running the test.


What is a speed test?

A speed test lets you check your Internet speeds in real-time, including download and upload speeds. You can use this information to check if you’re getting the speeds in your plan.

 

How do I run a speed test?

To learn more, visit How To: Run an Internet Speed Test 

 

Does it matter what location or server I choose for my test?

Shaw Speedtest will automatically choose the server closest to your location for its test. While you should stick with the default, if you want to check if there is a closer location, you can use the drop-down menu to select a new location. We recommend picking the closest location to get a true test of the network’s speed.

Can I use WiFi to test my speed?

With WiFi, there are several factors that may interfere with your speed test, such as other devices that may cause interference with your network. For the best results, you should perform the test using a device plugged directly into your modem, or if that is not possible, stand as close to the modem as possible and connect to the 5GHz band if available.

What factors would affect my speed test?

The following may interfere with your results:

  • All active devices connected to your network, the more devices connected, the greater the impact
  • Any activity on the device besides your browsers, such as downloading a file
  • Streaming a movie or TV show
  • An out-of-date browser
  • Electronics, including kitchen appliances
  • Mirrors
  • Aquariums
  • Dense building materials, such as walls, floors or cupboards/bookshelves

For an in-depth look at how interference can affect your wireless signal and how to mitigate it, please read WiFi Interference.

 

What are 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.

 

How do I interpret my results?

Shaw Speedtest will calculate your ping, download speeds and upload speeds. Measured in milliseconds, your ping refers to the latency of your connection - the higher the number, the longer it takes to transmit data. Your download speed is how fast your network can receive data, while upload speed is how fast your network can transmit data.

 

What do I do if my results show speeds that match my Internet plan, but my Internet and WiFi are still slow?

Since the problem most likely lies with your device, the following methods may help improve your speeds:

  • Ensure your device and any software is up-to-date
  • Reboot your device
  • Check your device for malware and viruses
  • Ensure your device has the appropriate WiFi technology as older Wireless-B/G/N models offer slower speeds
  • For the best WiFi speeds, connect your device to the 5 Ghz channel rather than the 2.4 Ghz channel
  • Move your modem/router to a more centralized and open area
  • If you're still having issues with slow speeds, please visit Troubleshooting: Slow Internet Speeds

 

What do I do if my results show slower speeds compared to the speeds I should be getting with my Internet plan?

If your test results show significantly slower speeds than expected, the problem may be with your connection. The following methods may help improve your speeds:

  • If you have a Gateway modem, you can use the Home app to see how many devices are connected to your network and disconnect unused devices
  • If you’re using a coax splitter, it may be damaged and needs to be replaced. Try unscrewing the cable both at the wall and the modem, ensuring there are no splitters attached, and re-screw the connections finger-tight to ensure a solid connection
  • Reboot your modem
  • Visit our Service Updates to check if there are any outages or interruptions in your area

Other Speed Test Resources

For more information on Internet speed or about speed test, refer to the following resources.  Please note that Shaw is not affiliated with these websites in any manner and provides this information for reference only.

http://fast.com/

https://www.speedtest.net/about/knowledge/faq

https://blogs.opera.com/news/2015/06/what-affect-internet-speed/ 

https://www.intel.ca/content/www/ca/en/tech-tips-and-tricks/how-to-increase-wifi-speed.html


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