How to Interpret Connection Speed Test Results

Making sense of speed test data

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Not all internet connection speed tests provide the same metrics or parameters in their results, but all of them provide both download and upload speeds. Other metrics may include QoS, RTT, and Maximum Pause.

Upload and Download Speeds

Measured in kbps (kilobits per second) or Mbps (megabits per second), these values represent the rate at which data transfers to or from a network device.

In the case of download speed, it refers to the rate at which data downloads to your computer or mobile device—be it VoIP data, software, documents, or media. The upload speed is how quickly the data can be transmitted to the internet, cloud, or network device.

For a quality voice call, a download speed of 100 kbps and an upload speed of 80 kbps are sufficient. You can get an idea of your upload and download speeds by installing a network meter.

QoS (Quality of Service)

QoS represents the ratio of the worst data reading to the best. It is a measure of the level of consistency in download speeds. In speed tests, it is represented as a percentage. The higher it is, the better the quality. For good VoIP, the QoS should be 80 percent or more.

RTT (Round Trip Time)

The RTT is the time it takes for your device to send and receive a packet via the network path being tested. It is measured in milliseconds (ms). The smaller this number, the better the connection.

For VoIP, it is sufficient to have an RTT of 250 milliseconds or less. This means that the packet of data took a quarter of a second or less to go from your device to the test host and back. Round trips that take more time are likely to result in dropped calls or lag time.

Max Pause

This is the longest pause your test has recorded between data packets. For a good call, this should be a small number. Any max pause below 100 is good for VoIP.

These values should give you a clear idea about how good or bad your connection is.

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