How to Test Your Internet Speed on the iPad

Make sure you're getting what you pay for from your internet

iPad laying on table with lights coming out of the screen

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A slow iPad may not really be slow; a poor internet connection may be the cause of its performance issues. To troubleshoot these problems, test your iPad's internet speed. Many apps rely on the web, and a poor connection can impact these apps in different ways.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 10 and later.

The Best Speed Test

To test your iPad, download the Ookla Speedtest mobile app. To check the Wi-Fi speed on the iPad, launch the app, permit it to use location services if it asks, and tap the Begin Test button.

The Ookla Speedtest display looks like a speedometer in a car, and like that speedometer, it doesn't need to hit the top speeds to register a fast connection. There is nothing to worry about if it doesn't top out. It depends on how you use your iPad.

Test your connection more than once to get an idea of your average speed. It's possible for Wi-Fi to slow down for a few seconds and then speed back up again. Do multiple tests to account for any variance.

If you get an unsatisfactory speed, such as one below 5 Mbs, move to a different location of your house or apartment. First, test the speed standing next to the router, then move to other parts of your residence. When a Wi-Fi signal travels through walls, appliances, and other obstructions, the signal can become weaker. If a spot doesn't receive a signal or receives a poor signal, reposition the router to see if that speeds up the connection.

What's a Good Speed?

Before you can tell whether or not you are getting a good speed, determine the bandwidth capabilities of the internet connection. The speed of your plan may appear on the bill from your internet service provider (ISP). You can also test the connection using a desktop or laptop wired into your network with an Ethernet cable connected to the router. Use the web version of the Ookla Speedtest to find out the approximate maximum bandwidth on your PC.

  • Less than 3 Mbs: Devices will have problems streaming video and may experience slow times loading web pages or streaming music. It takes about 1.5 Mbs to get crisp audio with Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming music apps. However, if you consistently have below 3 Mbs, you may experience issues as the internet connection may bounce between 1 and 2 Mbs.
  • 3 to 5 Mbs: This speed streams music and loads web pages, but experiences issues with streaming video and may downgrade the quality from YouTube and other providers.
  • 6 to 10 Mbs: Video streaming should be smooth, but there could be problems streaming high-quality video from multiple devices. This speed works well if you stream to one television or tablet at a time.
  • 11 to 25 Mbs: Speeds over 10 Mbs ensure your device won't get bogged down streaming HD quality video. This speed range makes it possible to stream to multiple devices at once.
  • Over 25 Mbs: This speed can stream 4K and UHD video, connect several devices, and stream video from multiple sources.

What the Ping Time Means

The ping time can also be an important indicator. While bandwidth measures how much data can be downloaded or uploaded at the same time, ping measures the time it takes for information or data to get to and from the remote servers. Latency is essential, especially if you play multiplayer games. A ping time of less than 100 ms for most connections is ideal. Anything above 150 can cause a noticeable lag when playing multiplayer games.

When Your iPad Is Faster than Your Laptop

It's possible to exceed the maximum internet speed on your iPad if you have a newer model and your router supports using multiple antennas. Multiple antennas are usually available on dual-band routers that broadcast on 2.4 and 5 GHz. The iPad makes two connections to the router and uses both at the same time.

Use this to speed up your Wi-Fi if you encounter problems. The newest 802.11ac routers use a beaming technology to focus the signal on iPad devices that support that standard. The iPad introduced this technology in the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4, so if you have one of these or a newer iPad like the larger iPad Pro, you can use the latest routers.

Troubleshooting Slow Speeds on Your iPad

If tests show that the iPad is running slow, reboot your iPad, and rerun the tests. Rebooting fixes most problems, but if the iPad still has issues, reset the network settings on your iPad.

  1. Open Settings.

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  2. Tap General.

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  3. Tap Reset.

    Test internet speed iPad
  4. Tap Reset Network Settings.

    Reset Network Settings on iPad
  5. Log in to the Wi-Fi router after the iPad's network settings have been reset.

Some older and cheaper routers slow down the longer they are left on, especially when the router is connected to several devices. If this is the case reboot the router.