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All that said, it really helps to have someone express what service (e-mail, news, web surfing speed)is affected and how. Saying something like, "My e-mail is slow," doesn't give us a lot to work with. It would be best expressed if you said something like, "My e-mail keeps timing out," or "I can't get to my personal web space, it keeps giving me error x." That's sufficient substance to know where to start trouble shooting, and it's a universal language most tech support professionals understand.
On speed tests, that's an imperfect science as well. Since the packet(s) being measured leave the Cox network(at some point), traverse the Internet and then return, your results are likely to be scewed if you only test once. In my humblest of opinions, the best measure comes from running the test at the same site at different times over a number of days(making sure you clear your cache after each test). This establishes a trend of peaks and valleys, and can give you a better indication of your particular connection's performance. Yet, even this method has it's down side. Once you leave the Cox network you'll likely pick up those Internet dust bunnies (external latency, slow or congested servers, etc.) that can return slower speed results that what you're actually getting through the Cox network. Again, multiple tests over a period of days can minimize the impact of this.
Back to the gospel thing, there are some really good tools here at this site. On occasion, we have been able to help customers just by interpretting the results they've posted here. There are just some obvious things that jump right out. However, what we've found is that a blend of tests work best. In most cases we revert to following up on ping tests and the findings of tools here with our own internal diagnostic tools. That way, we have as much data as possible and can better determine what things to look at and solutions to try.