Saturday, 22 April 2017 03:56

How to see if your internet service provider is ripping you off


Anyone can quickly check their internet speeds by running a free test like this one at

Syracuse, N.Y. -- New York's attorney general says Spectrum-Time Warner Cable has been ripping off its customers by delivering far slower internet speeds than they are paying for.

If you suspect your internet service provider is ripping you off by not delivering the speeds it's charging you for, there's an easy way to find out for sure.

All you have to do is run a free broadband speed test. You can find a list of them easily by Googling "broadband speed test," or just click on any of the links below to run a test.

Some internet service companies provide speed tests on their websites. But you might want to avoid those to make sure you are getting the most accurate results.

The tests take less than a minute and will check both your download and upload speeds, giving you the results in megabits per second, or Mbps.

Check the bill you get from your internet service provider to see what level of service you are paying for. You may have to go to the provider's website to match up the name they give to your level of service with the internet speed associated with it.

For example, the website of Spectrum-Time Warner Cable, the biggest internet service provider in New York, says its "standard" internet plan delivers up to 15 Mbps, its "turbo" plan 20 Mbps, its "extreme" plan 30 Mbps and its "ultimate" plan 50 Mbps, with upload speeds of 1 Mbps, 1 Mbps, 5 Mbps and 5 Mbps, respectively. (In some parts of its service territory, the company tells customers they can get download speeds of up to 300 Mbps on certain plans.)


The website for Verizon Fios doesn't label its internet plans, but it offers speeds (both download and upload) on its fiber optic network of 50 Mbps, 100 Mbps and 150 Mbps.

If your speeds are significantly less than what you're paying for, you're getting ripped off and you might want to call your internet service provider's customer service number and complain. 

Keep in mind that the speeds you get on a Wi-Fi network will almost always be slower than those from a computer wired to your internet modem. So to be fair, try to run the test on a computer that is wired to your modem. If that's not possible, place your device as close to your Wi-Fi router as possible when you run the test.

The internet speeds provided by Spectrum-Time Warner Cable have become an issue. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications on Feb. 1 accusing the company of "ripping off" customers by delivering internet speeds for its highest-speed plans that are 80 percent slower than promised. Charter acquired Time Warner Cable in May 2016 and has been changing the name of its service to Spectrum.

Schneiderman alleges that the company has refused to upgrade its network and customer equipment, making it impossible for customers to get the speeds they are paying for. Charter said it is following through on a commitment it made to the state as part of its acquisition of Time Warner Cable to "invest in our business and deliver the highest quality services to our customers."

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