Speed Test Plus - More Information & Factors That Affect Results

Speed Test Plus measures the speed of your broadband connection and the quality of the connection.  

Factors That Affect Speed Test Plus Results

There are many factors that impact your test results. Throughput problems in your local area network, IP or access overhead, and network design all play a role.

An Example of Throughput

You have Ethernet 8.0 Mbps service and need to transmit an email which is exactly 1MB in size You may expect it will take exactly 1 second to transmit that message. But it will actually take longer as the total information that needs to be transmitted is more than 1MB. The total information is called Payload. The channel needs to not only transmit the payload but also some addressing details like where it is coming from and where it is destined to.

The device that sends this email will break down the message into smaller pieces and package them into what are called IP Packets. The size of these packets is usually determined by your Local Area Network. Some have smaller size, so the message will take more IP Packets to transmit; while others may have larger size which needs fewer IP Packets. Each IP Packet also contains an IP Header. This is where the information like the source IP Address, the destination IP Address and additional information about the payload is included. IP Header is usually 20 Bytes (160 Bits) long.

Assuming that this customer uses 100 Byte payload, each IP Packet will now be 120 Bytes long. And that 1MB message will have to be broken down into 10,000 payload pieces. That means to transmit the whole message the channel really needs to transmit about 1,200,000 Bytes or 1.2 MB or 9,600,000 bits. It will take at least 1.2 seconds to transmit all these bytes on this 8 Mbps service assuming that all these IP packets with the payload arrive without any errors and not needing re-transmission. This is called IP Overhead.

Actual Throughput will always be less than line rate of the access service that is communicated by your provider—and this is all based on IP Overhead only. Ethernet services also have a Layer 2 or Ethernet Overhead. Other services may have ATM, Frame Relay or other kinds of Overhead depending on the design. All of this may contribute to a slower bandwidth throughput than what you are expecting.

Other factors that frequently affect Throughput:

  • The number of devices sharing the access circuit and the activity the other devices are generating while speed test is being run on one of the devices
  • A rogue LAN port that is clogging the LAN with transmission
  • A leaky LAN port which degrades LAN performance
  • LAN signaling issues which create a lot of packet re-transmission for the devices on the LAN
  • LAN Router with performance issues, low processing power or Deep Packet Inspection and advanced security features like URL blocking enabled
  • Wireless Access Points on the LAN side
  • Distance (both geographical as well as number of hops) between the speed testing client and the server

Speed Not as Expected

Several factors may slow your connection, resulting in lower-than-expected speeds. Try these simple suggestions below. But if your slower speeds persist, contact your broadband service provider to see if they can determine the issue.

  1. Be sure to stop any downloads or programs that may be using your connection while running the Speakeasy Speed test.
  2. When using a wireless connection, there may be wireless interference. Try used a wired Ethernet connection instead.
  3. Try rebooting your modem or router and then running the test again.

If you routinely experience lower-than-expected results, contact your broadband provider so they can assist you with troubleshooting.

Interpreting Your Speed Test Plus Results

The MOS score is used to predict the quality of the voice calls over your current network. The scores range between 1 (worst) and 5 (best). A score of 4.4 is the perceived maximum for a VoIP call. A 4.0 is considered good.

For business users, you should have enough downstream capacity to accommodate office needs. VoIP calls, video streaming, web browsers, and email transfers all require downstream throughput. Upload speed is critical for making VoIP calls, sending large files, and hosting websites.

Packet loss can severely impact voice call quality by making calls sound choppy. In data usage, buffering and delays will be noticed as packets need to be resent.

High latency will be noticed on voice calls through delays in conversation and periods of silence. In addition, web pages may load more slowly.

High jitter values may cause voice packets to be delivered out of order, which can results in echo or talk-over effects.

Saving Your Speed Test Plus Results

Your most recent results are saved in Results History. If you do not see a saved history, please make sure that cookies are enabled in your browser settings.


  • Download Speed
    Download is a measure of how fast your connection delivers content to your computer or local area network. This is measured in Megabits per second (Mbps).
  • Upload Speed
    Upload is the measure of how fast content is sent from your computer or local area network to others on the Internet. This is measured in Megabits per second (Mbps).
  • Packet Loss
    A term that refers to the occasion when data units or packets (packets of information passed on the broadband connection) fail to reach their destination. This is measured as a percentage of the total data packets attempted.
  • Latency
    In a network, latency, a synonym for delay, is an expression of how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another. In some usages, latency is measured by sending a packet that is returned to the sender and the round-trip time is considered the latency. Low latency is extremely important for businesses and power-users.
  • Jitter
    The variation of time of the latency across a network. This is measured in milliseconds (ms) as the average variation of time of the total data packets attempted.
  • MOS
    A numerical score of the perceived quality of a voice call. This is calculated using the results of the packet loss, latency, and jitter tests on a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best). Speed Test Plus displays your MOS score at the end of the test.
  • Throughput
    Throughput is the maximum amount of communication or messaging that can be transmitted through a communication channel during an elementary unit of time, usually, in a second.

    Depending on the type of channel, the addressing mechanism used in that channel, the type of messages are being transmitted and how secure the transmission needs to be—along with physical attributes like temperature, humidity and signal-to-noise ratios—actual measured throughput will vary.

If you are having difficulty getting the Speed Test Plus to run, please read our Troubleshooting page.

CALL US: 800-556-5829   to speak to one of our Business Consultants today.