Difference in Mbps speed?

Here are my speeds on two devices at the same time. On the left Chromebook measured by Netflix. On the right Moto G phone. What is the difference?!

The first is a measured speed using a test file pulled across the Internet to your Chromebook.

The second is a link speed negotiated by the 802.11n protocol between your Moto and Router. Try running the Netflix test on the phone, you should get a similar 18 Mbps.

i.e. The first is more a test of your ISP. The second is your local WiFi speed (in theory).


Add the Netflix Fast test utility to your phone to get a fair comparison:

The figure shown in the phone menu is likely to be the theoretical maximum for the network protocol, and doesn’t take into account the practical maximum for the hardware at each end, or the network reception.

Network experts please correct me if I got anything wrong.

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Ran NF App on the phone. Now I understand.Thanks so much. How did I ever get along before TWIT Community?

(ATT says we get up to 100, well I guess that’s on its way “up-to”)


Hmmm, that’s some way off ‘up to 100 Mbps’ :joy: Do you have any comeback with ATT?

The internal network speed is more relevant to sharing files between your own devices, or accessing files you have stored on a NAS, for example.

Also I assume it’s a good idea for your internal speeds to be > your ISP otherwise there’s not much point paying for the faster ISP speeds. Never had that luxury here though!

Interesting the big difference between the phone and Chromebook (tenth of the speed). Assume older hardware/protocols?


Well here’s the deal I am 84 living with my daughter who is 54. Its her house and she selects the provider. She is satisfied with things as they are.
I think she would be open to me having my own service from another provider such as WOW or Spectrum. But how do I know if I would be any better off. Don’t they just use the same lines but provide a separate bill?

Well the “up to” speed is a theoretical maximum… which could be reached IF :

  • Your PC hardware (computer, tablet, phone) is fast enough and its OS is optimized enough
  • Your network hardware is efficient enough (and you have it exclusively to yourself)
  • Your ISP is not over burdened by other customers (i.e. your path to the Internet is exclusively yours)
  • The site/service you are connecting to is not over burdened and also has optimized hardware to match the speed you would like to pull from it at (the maximum, presumably)

So… in other words… Unless your service is unacceptably slow, I wouldn’t lose sleep over any maximums… they’re pretty near impossible to achieve except in ideal circumstances.


If that’s all there is to the property, then yes, the same local loop/copper will be used by whoever you get the service from.

One thing that might be worth checking is are there any people you know who use WOW or Spectrum? How do their speeds compare with yours (especially at peak times?)

At our last place (UK) we just went with BT like most people in the village, and speeds weren’t great. Called them out several times and they put a new master socket in, checked everything and eventually blamed the copper and said it was as quick as it could be.

There’s a great UK web site Sam Knows that lets you find your exchange, and see who has equipment in there (rather than just reselling someone else’s service). I moved to a competitors service (same copper) and speeds tripled.

So in summary, you could get better broadband speeds if you move to someone who is not so oversubscribed, even with the same copper to the house.


I guess I am pretty well stuck with things as they are. Its frustrating that at peak periods of the day the only thing that gets through in a watchable condition, is Netflix. My understanding is that they pay ATT to make this happen. I would assume they do the same with WOW or Spectrum.
I don’t know anyone else nearby to see if their providers are better.


I have one of the units from SamKnows that monitors your connection speed at various times of the day. I joined ACCC program her in Australia to determine what percentage of the quoted rate users were getting from their internet plan. I don’t have it connected anymore, but did provide some nice information of how speed varies during the day.


Might not be your cup of tea, but I would test the speed using your phone and the Netflix app on wifi, and then on your mobile connection, if you have mobile data available.

An option would be for you to go to a mobile broadband connection if the speed is significantly higher. Much more expensive, could have data limit caps, and still has the slowdown problem at different times of day in some areas. But it gets you off the single hardline, and may improve speed.

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I don’t have connection problems that bad to go the cellular route. I mistakenly watched a movie recently on cell. Cost me $50. Social Security does not pay that well.

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Agreed that using your normal mobile phone data for streaming is outrageous.
Also, don’t know what providers you have access to where you are. A lot of locations and providers have mobile broadband devices and services that bring the price down to almost reasonable. The devices are fairly inexpensive, provide data at reasonable speeds, and you need to shop around for different prepaid data plans.

As an example here in Australia, I am looking at a 24 month plan that provides a Netgear Nighthawk M2 router, and 500gb data/month for $75/month. I know such devices and plans are available from US providers. I have looked at ATT, and they do have plans similarly priced, but be careful of the small print.

Jeeze, I’d blow through that in a couple of days to a week max. I have unlimited, thankfully. I used to not have unlimited, and I was paying $50 extra for all my extra (it was capped at $50/mo extra) until I realized I could save money by getting a faster plan which was more expensive, but came with unlimited data.

We take what is available and we can afford. Ten years ago 25gb/ month was amazing.

I have a 500mbps LTE contract,. At work, I get 0.03 mbps, at home 8-16mbps.

We have unlimited telephone and Internet for 40€ a month (50mbps) and we use 500 - 750GB a month.


Since you mentioned Spectrum as an option I beleive that means you are in the USA.

No they use different wires.

This is why there is so little provider choice in the USA. Where I live only Spectrum has broadband wires in the area so for any other provider to come into the area they have to run their own wires.

I am in USA. Wires in our community are all underground. I doubt Spectrum would trench for a seperate line. At least not without me paying for it. I just hate to even talk to these people. They are always full of empty promises.

If Spectrum says they offer service to your neighborhood that usually means they have already rented space in the existing utility conduits in the streets. When multiple companies are offering broadband in an area, sometimes there is only a very small charge or even no charge to connect to another network. With underground cables to the building at least there wouldn’t be an objection of extra overhead wires being unsightly.