You can check your speed at speedtest.charter.com (or speedtest.net, but that site has many misleading places to click). The only speed most people care about is download speed, and that is the speed that Charter advertises (60 Mbps). My Internet speeds have been averaging 20 Mbps or so over the last year, and didn't change when Charter announced the free upgrade. So I called their support number. They checked a few things, then I heard the dreaded "Oh...". They made a change, rebooted my modem, and now I was at 35 Mbps. Not there yet. "Let me check another thing.... there, now try it again". 65 Mbps! I asked what the problem was, and they claimed my account had "fallen through the cracks". They had to manually upgrade my account. It's good to check!
The other piece of the speed equation is your total connection speed to the Internet. In the past, you didn't really have to worry about your wireless router if all you did was connect to the Internet (if you didn't have a Server at home, maybe for your pictures or other files). If you computer is wired to your modem or router with an Ethernet cable, you still have no worries, since that connection is ether at 100 Mbps or 1,000 Mbps. You won't see that type of throughput, but that's true of most numbers you see quoted - other than for Charter, apparently.
If you connect over a wireless connection, things get more interesting. A few years ago, when wireless was really starting to become popular at home, most people bought a Wireless-G router, usually a Linksys WRT54G (blue and black, with two antennas). The maximum speed of Wireless-G is 54 Mbps, which was faster than your ISP (Internet Service Provider, likely either Charter or CenturyLink) could provide. So the ISP connection was still the bottleneck. Well, at 60 Mbps from Charter, if you still have a Wireless-G router, that is now your bottleneck! Plus, you should understand that the wireless speed decreases as the distance from the router increases (and metal obstacles can causes issues, too).
Fortunately, wireless technology continues to get faster. Wireless-N technologies have been out for a while, and most newer cell phones, tablets, laptops, and gaming systems support Wireless-N. The theoretical maximum for Wireless-N is 300 Mbps, depending on a number of factors. When looking at your network speeds, it will use the slowest connection point - a Wireless-N cell phone can't go faster then 54 Mbps if connected to a Wireless-G router.
Confused yet? The latest technology that came out last year is Wireless-AC, which is double (or more) Wireless-N speeds. Devices that support Wireless-AC are starting to appear. You won't have to worry about this, for now, if all you do is connect to the Internet. But if you have newer devices, and a Server, maybe it's time to consider an upgrade.
Finally, when testing your wireless speeds with one of the speed test sites, test both next to your router, and where you would normally use the device. Depending on the distance, and obstacles, the speeds could be drastically lower where you use the device. Consider moving the router, or upgrading to newer technology that has better long-distance support.
Need help with this? Call My Techie Buddy!