Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm having problems with my internet connection, and I'm pretty sure it's my ISP, but I'd like to rule out the wifi connection between my PC and router.

According to InSSIDER the radio connection is fair, but I'd like to see how this translates into transfer speed. Is there any easy way to test this? (Router is a Linksys WRT54G running tomato).

share|improve this question
You've really posted a vague question(s) here. What is meant by having problems? As far as your WLAN there are so many issues which affect the wireless spectrum (i.e., microwave ovens, florescence lights, other wireless devices, Bluetooth, etc.). Also, how many other WAP’s do you have in your vicinity and what channels (e.g., 1-11) are they using? Most WAP’s have default channels used which means many are in contention for the same frequencies which causes you problems... – packets May 9 '13 at 13:24
@packets at this stage I just want to know if the problem is with my side or the other side of the router. – UpTheCreek May 9 '13 at 14:31
@packets - so it looks like its my problem, not the ISP. I'll post another more detailed question. – UpTheCreek May 9 '13 at 20:45
Follow up question: – UpTheCreek May 9 '13 at 20:59
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you have multiple computer connected on the same router, you can simply copy a large file over the network to see the speed on that.

Few tests you can do:

  • Both devices on wireless (slowest)
  • One device on wireless, one on wired (equally slow as above as the bandwidth is capped by the connectivity of the one in the wireless)
  • both on wired (should be considerably faster compared to the two above)

And that should give you an idea what the transfer speed are (and whether it is your WiFi is acting up, or your router may be dying if its still bad transfer speed on wired)

To test external connection (download / upload speed) is a good starting point.

Also sometimes external connection really depends on where you are downloading from. Some geographically close sites generally faster, and others will be slower.

Another test you can try (if your ISP are hosting some game files or acting as a mirror node for ubuntu distribution), download files from your ISP as it will be 'local' for the ISP, and that speed should be fast as the connection does not go past the ISP gateway.

A few things that can make external connection slow:

  • The target site you're downloading from have bad upload / swamped / generally slow (possible)
  • Connection beyond your ISP Gateway are slow (a bit rare but not impossible)
  • (If you have Dial-up or ADSL or cable modem) Your physical copper line between your house to the telephone exchange is damaged / bad / have interference (or in the case of ADSL - your house is far from the phone exchange)

Hope this helps.

share|improve this answer

Connect your PC via Ethernet to the router and perform a speedtest, this will rule out your wifi and give you a accurate result!

share|improve this answer

Go to to test the whole connection's speed. This will tell you if your ISP is slow.

share|improve this answer
But this doesn't test the ISP in isolation. – UpTheCreek May 9 '13 at 16:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .