Stevens County Broadband Speed Test FAQs

What is the Stevens County Broadband Speed Test?

The Stevens County Broadband Speed Test allows you to test the speed of your internet connection. The data it collects will help all of us assess the state of the internet in Stevens County, WA.

The speed test measures download/upload speeds and the roundtrip time (latency).

 

What data does this test collect?

The test collects the information you supply and the results of the speed test.

This data is stored in a private database, combined with other users’ results, and published to the map in anonymous form.

Anonymity of users is protected. This test does not access or collect information from your device or about your other Internet traffic (emails, web searches, etc.) or any personally identifiable information.

 

How will it be used?

You can run the speed test to check the speed of your own connection.

The Broadband Action Team of Stevens County uses the data to compare speeds with what internet providers advertise and tell the FCC. It helps identify areas of Stevens County that are underserved by broadband.

How do I know if my connection is wired or wireless?

A wired connection physically connects you to the internet. A landline phone or cable internet is wired (even if you have wifi inside).

A wireless connection can be from satellite, a cell phone, a dish, an antenna, or a portable hotspot.

 

What do these results mean?

Your speed test results show the actual upload and download speeds at the time of the test as well as the roundtrip time (latency). Results can vary depending on:

  • the device you are using

  • your operating system

  • the browser you use

  • the time of day you take the test

  • WiFi vs wired connection

  • the number of devices connected to the same signal at once

You can take this test as many times as you like, from as many devices and locations as you like. Note that this will use data against your allowance if you have a monthly data limit.

For the most accurate test results:

  • If possible, connect to the Internet directly via a cable, DSL or fiber modem. Your own WiFi may be slower than the service you are paying for.

  • Make sure you (or someone else on the same network) are not downloading or uploading anything.

  • Close any other programs that are using the Internet.

  • Turn off any computers, tablets, smart TV's or other devices that share your network.

My test timed out or my test got an error.

Sometimes a test hangs up, times out, or generates an error. Try it again. If it does it again, please report it to broadband.map@stevenscountywa.gov

 

What can I do to improve my speed?

  • Assess your usage.  Reduce the number of devices connected to you network at the same time to improve the performance on a single device.  Shift your peak usage tway from peak hours (e.g. download large files after midnight).  Close programs that run the the background.  Common examples include Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.

  • Check your equipment.  You may improve performance significantly by switching from a wireless to a wired connection, resetting your router, or updating your WiFi router or network card.

  • Upgrade your plan or switch providers.

The More Technical Answer About How the Broadband Speed Test Works

The Stevens County Broadband Speed Test uses the open source test and servers provided by Measurement Lab (M-Lab), a consortium of public interest groups, academic institutions, and industry partners, providing an open platform dedicated to Internet performance measurement. 

When you start a test, your browser opens a connection to the closest M-Lab server. It then exchanges with the server a synthetic stream of data, generated solely for the purpose of measuring your connection at that time. The server collects around 100 low-level metrics during the test.

When the test is completed, the user is shown three of the most accessible measurements: download speed, upload speed, and minimum round trip time.

 

How can I learn more?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at broadband.map@stevenscountywa.gov.