How Fast Is Your Internet Connection ?
Determining the speed of your Internet connection just to make sure it is equivalent to your ISP’s claims should be as easy as downloading a file using your favorite browser and monitoring the speeds. However, that method may not always be an accurate measurement because you could be downloading from a slow or very busy server.
Even if your high speed internet service is very fast, some downloads have slower transfer speeds because the server has a slower transfer rate. The location of that server can also affect performance.
To properly measure your Internet speeds, it is best to run an Internet speed test service like at Speedtest.net or speakeasy.net, or CNET.com. These services work by utilizing a number of servers situated around the world. The idea is to let users perform an Internet speed test using a server that is closest to their current location.
These servers are equipped to handle heavy loads to allow multiple users to perform Internet speed tests all at once. If you look at the Speedtest website right now, you will notice that there are hundreds of Internet speeds tests being performed every minute.
A standard broadband online speed test works by letting the server ping the machine initiating the speed test so the reply can be displayed in milliseconds. Then the real speed test begins by transferring some data from the server to the host. The download speed is recorded throughout the process and the average speed is then calculated. Then, the host will send packets of data back to the server so the upload speed can be calculated in a similar fashion. Overall, an Internet speed test should take a few seconds unless the internet connection is very sluggish.
Nowadays, 1 Mbps should be a pretty normal speed for an ISP as long as you are paying for what is really advertised. For instance, if you are promised a 2 Mbps connection and frequent Internet speed tests report half the speeds, you should complain to your Internet Service Provider. 1 Mbps is a good enough speed to download documents and images in seconds and audio files in minutes.
These sites happen to be some of the most popular test services because you do not have to install any third-party software aside from Adobe Flash to get the service up and running from your browser. The home page allows you to perform the test immediately since it automatically picks the best server based on the ping time. It also serves as a useful utility for determining your IP address.
Speedtest.net also comes with a feature that lets you share your download and upload speeds with other people. A unique link is generated so people can see a snapshot of the statistics along with the ISP information so it is impossible to fake the data. If necessary, you can also choose any server around the world so you can see how the location of the server affects your overall web speeds.
Mobile network providers are also providing wireless Internet services to smartphone and tablet owners so they can access the Internet without depending on Wi-Fi hotspots. 3G speeds are a bit slower and LTE is just getting started so checking the Internet speed can also help you compare wireless speeds with standard ISP speeds.
Some sites also offer a special mobile app for iOS and Android platforms so they can test their broadband speeds without going to the particular website.
As more testing servers are set up around the world, more users can have access to accurate network connection kilobits per second (kbps) results.