By Dan Oliver
Discover the top mobile and web applications for 5G speed tests, and find out if your mobile network is delivering on its promise.
There are a number of 5G speed tests out there, which can be used to check exactly what kind of performance you’re getting, as well as presenting other information, such as how strong your signal might be.
In this post, we’ve selected a range of 5G, 4G and WiFi speed tests that show the most basic of information, up to the more complex settings and frequencies.
There are four significant types of 5G ranging from so-called standard 5G to industrial 5G.We've outlined the key categories in the table below. Read more about these on our 5G technology page.
The speeds achieved on each flavour vary based on the technology and how the data and signals are being used. The deployment of each also varies between networks and, mmWave networks - sometimes referred to as 5G Plus - aren't yet available in most parts of the UK and Europe, for example.
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|5G Minus or 5GE||Also known by many other names including 4G+, 5GE, 4G LTE Plus, 4G LTE Advanced, 4G LTE-A and even 4.5G, refers to data speeds that are faster than those offered by Gigabit LTE but don’t yet technically reach the minimum requirements to be officially classified as 5G.|
|Standard 5G||This is often referred to as “sub-6GHz” 5G or “everyday 5G” and, as the name suggests, will be the standard, everyday networks consumers will typically use on a daily basis.|
|5G Plus||Also known as Total 5G or 5G+, this describes the speeds quoted by manufacturers when talking about 5G. These are the maximum achievable in real-world scenarios, rather than in lab tests.|
|Industrial 5G||This refers to the speeds expected to be seen in factories and manufacturing spaces that will power IoT devices by combining standards to boost the maximum.|
Now that you have a basic idea of what the different flavours of 5G look like, it's time to look at the best ways to test your connection, and ensure you're getting the kind of speeds your mobile network operator has advertized.
1. Speedtest by Ookla (opens in new tab)
Available online, as well as via apps for Android, iOS, Apple TV, Google Chrome, macOS and Windows, Ookla’s Speedtest is an easy way to check your web speeds.
It shows your average download and upload speeds as well as your ping and jitter readings, the number of connections, the server name and location and network details.These results can be stored, or shared. And the site also boasts a 5G Map, which you can find here.
Ookla, possibly more than any other speed testing company, is regularly pushing updates to its apps and services. And following the addition of video testing to its iOS app recently, it has now rolled out that functionality to its Android application as well.
By selecting the 'Video' option at the bottom of the app, a series of video tests begin, by playing a short video using adaptive bitrate streaming, to ascertain the typical video experience on your connection. Once this is complete, a series of short videos are played at increasing video resolutions, until the test fails to complete in a reasonable amount of time, or reaches a resolution of 4K. You will then be presented with the maximum video capability of your network.
2. OpenSignal (opens in new tab)
OpenSignal is an independent analytics firm that specialises in measuring and monitoring mobile network speeds and experience and Koffers two apps.
Its original OpenSignal app helps you “accurately measure the everyday experience you receive on your mobile network”. Instead of giving estimates, predictions or the maximum speeds possible over any given connection, the OpenSignal results are closer to what speeds you’ll likely experience when using your phone normally. The app additionally helps you find the strongest signal in your area, by following an onscreen arrow, shows coverage maps, for all UK networks, and reveals your recent data usage.
Alternatively, its Meteor app breaks down what these speed readings mean in real-world scenarios, and while using real-world apps. The latter is particularly useful for telling you whether your connection is strong enough to stream an online video, or use a navigation app. Elsewhere, it helps you monitor where your fastest connections have been on a map.
3. 5G Comms Speed Test (opens in new tab)
Despite being called a broadband speed checker, 5G Comms’ speed test powered by NetMeter.uk can be used to test web speeds on data plans, as well as over wired and wireless Wi-Fi connections. The results reveal the connection’s median ping, download speeds and upload speeds.
The 5G Comms version of the test is more user-friendly than NetMeter’s original, showing only the most relevant information.
And if you want to learn more about your minimum and maximum ping times as well as how quickly your specific speeds could download an MP3, CD or DVD, you can use NetMeter.uk’s test.
4. SpeedSmart (opens in new tab)
Available online and as an Android and iOS app, SpeedSmart offers the same ping, download and upload speed readings as others in this list but additionally features an ISP map that reveals the readings of both Wi-Fi and mobile data speeds across the globe.
You can filter by connection type and view your test history.
5. Pedroc (opens in new tab)
Built to reveal details about LTE connections, this speed test is the most complicated of the lot. It’s a theoretical throughput calculator that gives you highly specific readings based on your EARFCN, or band number. This stands for E-UTRA Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Number and is the unique frequency band being used by your particular connection, as assigned to your device by the network operator.
To discover your EARFCN on iOS, run a field test by typing *3001#12345#* into your phone’s keypad and pressing dial.
On Android, you can download apps to reveal your field test information depending on your handset, or the Android version you are running. Certain handsets will also enter field test mode using a similar code to the one used by iPhone. On a Samsung, for example, you can use *#0011# to see this information. The process is more complicated on Android due to the vast number of variables with Android devices. You can go to Settings | About Phone to see your signal strength.
Once you know your EARFCN, enter it in the Pedroc tool and it will automatically select the band and reveal the theoretical speeds achievable on that frequency network.
6. 5GMARK (opens in new tab)
Mozark is an AI-based platform that helps businesses monitor their networks and products, providing real-time intelligence, and delivering the best experience to employees and customers.
Mozark’s customers include the likes of Sony and Carrefour, and it also provides a free testing app for mobile devices, 5GMARK, which does a fantastic job of showcasing the company’s technology.
Once you’ve installed the app, all you need to do is provide it with access to your location and select where you are connecting from, after which a series of tests will be carried out. These include tests on latency, download/upload speeds, streaming speeds, and web performance. And instead of tests happening in the background, you actually get to see results in real-time.
7. nPerf Speed Test (opens in new tab)
There’s a lot to like about nPerf’s Speed Test app, which is currently available on Android, iOS, and Windows. Once installed, you simply click ‘Start’, and the app will test the bitrate speed (download & upload speed test), latency, browsing speed and video streaming quality on your mobile device.
At the end of the process, you will get a points score, which can then be compared with others that have taken the test in your area, with the option to view the best performing 5G networks that are available in your locale.
All results are saved in your history, and can be easily shared on social networks, with nPerf sharing pictures which present a useful summary of your test, should you wish to boast about your connection.
And a nice touch in the app is the ability to always have your data rate displayed on your Android device, either at the top of the interface, or on the lock screen. This is a great way to get an instant view of connection speed, and also monitor whether your device is using too much background bandwidth.
8. M-Lab Speed Test (opens in new tab)
If you’ve ever used the speed test that appears at the top of Google search results, then you’ll have used M-Lab Speed Test (opens in new tab), because this is the open source tool that Google uses for its own testing.
And as a consortium of research, industry, and public-interest partners, M-Lab provides an ecosystem for the open, verifiable measurement of global network performance. All of the data collected by M-Lab’s global measurement platform are made openly available, and all of the measurement tools hosted by M-Lab are also open source.
As well as the web-based M-Lab Speed Test, you can also access a number of other tools (opens in new tab), which provide you with the ability to mimic streaming video performance, diagnose network issues, and exchange internet traffic with popular sites such as YouTube, Spotify, Netflix and more.
This web-based tool is relatively sparse when it comes to the details it displays, but it’s a great choice for those that don’t want to be overwhelmed with data. Once you have run a 5G speed test, you’ll get an overview of what services your connection supports, including browsing, gaming, video calling, and 4K video streaming.
Another tab in the results interface enables you to view more details, including download speed, upload speed, and data delay (or ping/latency).
We found one of the biggest strengths for the Ofcom app is the supporting FAQs and explainers, which enable you to read more about what the different results mean, and how you could potentially improve them.
10. Cellular-Z (opens in new tab)
Cellular-Z is an Android app that delivers more than just speed-testing. In fact, to measure connection speed, the app actually uses the Ookla API, but it's the information that sits alongside speed data that makes Cellular-Z worth considering. As well as speed, you can access data on your device, location, and the kit that your phone is connecting to, such as information on the serving and neighbouring cell.
One of the most interesting pieces of info the app displays is the 'RXLEV' value of your current connection. RXLEV is a number that corresponds to a dBm value range between -47dBm and -110dBm. Why is this number important? Well, the closer it gets to -110dBm, the lower the received power of your connection will be, which will require your device to use more power to stay connected.
11. Speedcheck (opens in new tab)
Speedcheck is a simple Android app for checking the speed of your cellular or wifi speeds. The app is ad-supported, unless you’re happy to pay a little to remove them, and provides information on your carrier, download speeds, upload speeds, and ping.
The Speedcheck app then makes this information available through a ‘History’ tab, so you can monitor your performance over time, and also provides an ‘Analytics’ section, where you can see how your connection measures up for online activities such as browsing, gaming, video, conferencing, and email. There’s even a scheduler, so you don’t have to run tests manually, which is a really neat feature.
12. Internet speed test Meter- SpeedTest Master (opens in new tab)
SpeedTest Master is a relatively basic app for Android, that enables you to test your internet speed and network performance for mobile 4G, 5G and Wi-Fi connections.
Like the majority of apps we have tested, results are presented using a speedometer display, which provides speed and latency data as the test is taking place. Results are then logged in a history section, where you can view previous tests.
What we liked about this app was the ability to mix mobile and Wi-Fi tests, as well as the signal strength tools, that enable you to find connectivity blackspots in your home or premises.
And despite this app coming with a number of ads that need to be viewed before you can access your results, once you’ve completed 15 tests, you will get a month of free access to the VIP features within the app, which removes ads completely, and makes using the tool a far more intuitive experience.
Speed test glossary
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|Ping||This refers to the reaction time of your connection and is often referred to as latency. Put simply, it describes how long it takes for you to get a response from the network after sending out a request. Some apps will also show a “jitter” value, which is how much the ping varied during the test. The higher the numbers, the higher the reaction times and variations, and this can be critical for playing games, for example. Ping and jitter are both measured in milliseconds (ms).|
|Download speed||Download speed describes how fast you can “pull” data from the server to your device and is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to download the data for offline use on your device. Whenever you load an image on a website or open a link, as well as when you’re streaming films, your device is downloading packets of data from a central server to the relevant browser or app.|
|Upload speed||Upload speed refers to the speed at which you can send data to others. During a video call, for instance, you’re “downloading” the data from the caller’s video – meaning you can see them – but you’re also sending, or uploading your own video images, so they can see you. Upload speed is also measured in megabits per second (Mbps).|
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Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq (opens in new tab). Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.
How do I test my 5G connection? ›
Measure Signal Strength
Click the 5G Home Router mobile number. Allow several seconds for the test to complete. Only devices connected via Wi-Fi to the 5G Home router are tested (not devices connected via Ethernet or through Wi-Fi extenders). Attempt to move device closer to the router if signal is weak.
Contact your carrier if you're not sure. Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options or Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options. If you see this screen, your device has 5G activated. If you don't see this screen, contact your carrier to confirm that your plan supports 5G.How do I test my Android 5G? ›
- Open the Settings application on your phone,
- Tap on the Network and Internet,
- Then it will display Mobile Network and tap it to display a list of network technology under the “Preferred Network Type” option.
To check the 5G availability of Jio, Airtel, and Vi, you need to download the respective telecom operator's MyJio, Airtel Thanks, and Vi App. Once you have downloaded and installed the app, open it and sign in with your account. After signing in, you should be able to see if 5G is available in your area.How do I fix my 5G internet connection? ›
- Your phone may be too old. ...
- Verify that there is 5G coverage where you are. ...
- Confirm with your carrier that 5G is included in your plan. ...
- It might be time to replace the SIM card. ...
- Update your phone's operating system to the latest version. ...
- Turn airplane mode on.
In the Android settings app, the user can search for 'Preferred Network Type' to see which kind of cellular connections are supported. If 5G is on the list, that means the phone can connect to the network.Is LTE same as 5G? ›
5G has lower latency than LTE. The 5G standard is intended to substantially reduce downloading latency down to 4 milliseconds for phone devices and one millisecond for devices such as self-driving vehicles that depend on ultra-reliable low latency connectivity (about ten times quicker than LTE's ten milliseconds).How can I check my 4G network? ›
On Android smartphones, go to settings > Network settings > mobile network. It should give you a dropdown menu of mobile standards such as 2G, 3G or LTE (4G). If you don't see 4G or LTE, then your smartphone doesn't support the standard.Why is 5G not working on my Android phone? ›
Restart your phone or enable and disable Airplane mode: Some network settings may cause your phone to fail to connect to the 5G network within a short period of time. Restart your phone or enable and disable Airplane mode to resolve the issue.How to activate 5G on Android? ›
- Go to “Settings”
- Select “Mobile network”
- Select “SIM 1/2”
- Select “Network mode” under “SIM settings”
- Tap “5G (preferred) / 4G / 3G / 2G”
Why is my Android not connecting to 5G? ›
If you are using a 5G device but cannot connect to 5G, please check with your carrier to see whether you are subscribed to a 5G plan, and that there aren't any issues with your account. You can also check if you are currently in a region that supports 5G.How do I check my signal strength in my area? ›
A typical navigation sequence is:
Settings –> About Phone –> Status (or Network) On this screen, view Signal Strength (or Network Type and Strength).
Be sure to position the modem in a spot with little to no obstructions. Obstructions that may impact the strength of your 5G signal include: Physical obstructions outside the home such large buildings or trees. Dense in-building material such as window insulation, concrete, brick materials, or metal support structures.How do I know which network is best in my area? ›
The Mobile Signal Finder is a free app, providing users with the ability to track and find the best cell coverage in their area.How do I activate 5G on my phone? ›
Make sure that you're in an area with 5G coverage. Contact your carrier if you're not sure. Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options or Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options. If you see this screen, your device has 5G activated.Why can't I connect to my 5G WiFi? ›
Connected devices don't support 5Ghz
While most technologies these days won't have any problems connecting to the 5Ghz band of your WiFi router device, if you're using a device that came out pre-2009, it may be the case that it is only compatible with the 2.4Ghz band.
The introduction of 5G will continue to have little impact on WiFi – the two will likely coexist, as 4G and WiFi do now.Where is 5G activated? ›
|Characteristic||Number of cities in which 5G is available|
If you have a 5G compatible device, are with a 5G enabled network provider and are in a 5G area, you should connect to 5G automatically.What happens when 5G is activated? ›
5G will bring wider bandwidths by expanding the usage of spectrum resources, from sub-3 GHz used in 4G to 100 GHz and beyond. 5G can operate in both lower bands (e.g., sub-6 GHz) as well as mmWave (e.g., 24 GHz and up), which will bring extreme capacity, multi-Gbps throughput, and low latency.
Does 5G drain your battery? ›
Durga Malladi, head of 5G at Qualcomm, which makes modems for Apple and other phone makers, explained that when you use an application on 5G, data can flow at a faster rate than what you'd see with a 4G connection. That's a good thing, but it can drain your phone's battery more quickly.Should I use LTE or 5G on? ›
If you're looking for fast speeds with the most population coverage, LTE is the way to go. However, if you're looking for the latest and greatest technology with the potential for faster speeds and more capacity, 5G is the way to go.Is there a 6G network? ›
6G networks are currently under research and development, yet to be released. 6G is the sixth-generation mobile system standard currently being developed for wireless communications over cellular data networks in telecommunications.Is LTE the same as 4G? ›
So what's the difference between 4G and LTE, and is 4G or LTE better? In short, 4G offers a much faster speed, more stability and access to a larger variety of online activities. LTE is a half-point between 3G and 4G, so its performance suffers compared to the fourth generation.Does LTE mean 4G? ›
LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and is sometimes referred to as 4G LTE. It's a standard for wireless data transmission that allows you to download your favorite music, websites, and video really fast—much faster than you could with the previous technology, 3G. Play video.Is LTE a 4G? ›
LTE is the technology behind 4G (the fourth generation of mobile communications - an architecture). All 4G phones utilize LTE technology in 2022. It brings high speed to mobile and broadband data.Which iPhones are 5G compatible? ›
- iPhone 14 Pro.
- Model A2650.
- iPhone 14 Pro Max.
- Model A2651.
Go to Settings > General > VPN & Device Management. If so, disable the VPN, Restart your iPhone and check to see if the 5GHz is showing up. If not, you will want to reach out to Apple Support Advisors, and they can be reached by going to Get Support.Is iPhone 11 is 5G or 4G? ›
Since the iPhone 11 series are limited to 4G, the current 5G compatible iPhones are only within the iPhone 12 series and the iPhone 13 series. To summarise, you'll never be able to use the 5G network on an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max.Do I need a new SIM card for 5G? ›
Changing your SIM card will help to ensure you get more 5G in more places when using a compatible device, such as indoors and in rural locations, and will make sure you're ready to take advantage of future network enhancement.
How do I connect my 5G SIM card? ›
- Open Settings.
- Select Cellular.
- Tap Cellular Data Options.
- Click Voice & Data.
- Choose the 5G network option.
|Phone Model||5G Compatible||Wireless Network Accssibility|
|Google Pixel 4a 5G||Yes||5G, 4G LTE, 4G|
|Google Pixel 7 Pro||Yes||5G, 4G LTE, 4G|
|Samsung Galaxy A23 5G||Yes||5G, 4G LTE, 4G|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4||Yes||5G, 4G LTE, 4G|
Click Properties. Click Advanced > Wireless Mode > Auto > OK. Note that Wireless Mode is only available for network cards that support 5 GHz. Still in the Advanced tab, move to Preferred Band, select Prefer 5GHz band, then click OK.How do I switch from 4G to 5G on Android? ›
- Swipe up.
- Select Settings.
- Select Connections.
- Select Mobile networks.
- Select Network mode.
- Select your preferred option.
Restart your device.
If restarting doesn't work, switch between Wi-Fi and mobile data: Open your Settings app and tap Network & internet or Connections. Depending on your device, these options may be different. Turn Wi-Fi off and mobile data on, and check if there's a difference.
Alternate navigation sequence for some Android phones is Settings > More Options or More Settings > About Phone > Mobile Networks > Signal Strength. Some experimenting with the menus on your Android phone should get you a dBm reading that's reliable. Helpful tip: Android phones will read only one network at a time.Can I test my cell phone signal? ›
You can also find field test mode in the Dialer app of your device. First, go to settings and turn off the WiFi. Type in *3001#12345#* and press call to launch the field test mode menu. From the menu, select LTE, Serving Cell Meas, and then rsrp0 to get the signal strength from the nearest cell tower.How do I check my cellular signal strength? ›
- Tap Settings.
- Tap About Phone.
- Tap Status or Network.
- Tap SIM Status.
- Your dBm is under Signal strength.
- #1 in 4G LTE Coverage.
- #2 in Connectivity.
- #3 in 5G Coverage.
- #3 in Average Download Speeds.
Ookla got the ball rolling last week by naming AT&T for its 4G and 5G speeds. OpenSignal named T-Mobile as the fastest on Monday, the same day RootMetrics announced that Verizon remains top dog for its network prowess.
Which carrier has the most 5G towers? ›
T-Mobile blankets 53.79% of the country, dwarfing AT&T's and Verizon's combined 5G availability. Its 5G signals reach more than 9,000 zip codes in over 3,000 cities. Our research shows that, as of November 2021, T-Mobile's already exhaustive 5G foothold expanded from 41.35% nationwide coverage to over 53%.How can I tell which device on my network is using the most data? ›
- Open the Google Home app .
- Tap Wi-Fi .
- At the top, tap Devices.
- Tap a specific device and a tab to find additional details. Speed: Real time usage is how much data your device is currently using.
Although 4G is recommended, as stated above, it can use more of your data more quickly in a given time frame. Most apps and mobile services operate on both 4G and 3G without problems. You can also change the DNS settings on your Android.Which WIFI network should I use? ›
Ideally, you should use the 2.4GHz band to connect devices for low bandwidth activities like browsing the Internet. On the other hand, 5GHz is the best suited for high-bandwidth devices or activities like gaming and streaming HDTV.Why do I have 5G but no connection? ›
If a 5G network doesn't show up on your device even when you're in an area that's supposed to be supported, it could be because you're not paying for 5G access. Most companies include 5G in most of their plans but check with your carrier for specifics. Turn 5G on or off, depending on your situation.Why is my 5G signal so weak? ›
Some of these factors include distance from network nodes / cell sites, obstructions, interference from other electronic devices, building materials, construction, terrain / geography, and even significant growth of foliage can contribute to the blockage of signal, resulting in a slow or unstable connection.Is LTE the same as 5G? ›
5G has lower latency than LTE. The 5G standard is intended to substantially reduce downloading latency down to 4 milliseconds for phone devices and one millisecond for devices such as self-driving vehicles that depend on ultra-reliable low latency connectivity (about ten times quicker than LTE's ten milliseconds).Is LTE better than 5G? ›
If you're looking for fast speeds with the most population coverage, LTE is the way to go. However, if you're looking for the latest and greatest technology with the potential for faster speeds and more capacity, 5G is the way to go.How do I enable 5G on my phone? ›
- Go to Settings on your phone.
- Head to the 'Network & Internet' option. Tap on it.
- Now click on SIM option.
- Select Preferred Network type and under that, choose 5G.
- And that's it! 5G will be enabled on your phone.
In theory, Wi-Fi signals are capable of passing through walls and other obstacles relatively easily. However, in reality, some walls are thicker or use reinforced concrete and may block some of the signals. Materials such as drywall, plywood, other kinds of wood and glass can be easily penetrated by wireless signals.
What can interfere with 5G signal? ›
Blocking due to physical obstacles will be one of the biggest challenges for 5G affecting significantly indoor propagation. This is due to the materials used for building construction. Other physical objects that can reduce the propagation of 5G are tree leaves and human body parts.Is 5G signal affected by weather? ›
Most satellite, fixed-wireless, Wi-Fi, and 5G signals fall into these frequencies, which means that if there's rain or clouds between the transmitter and your receiver, some of the signal will be absorbed.