What is a speed test?
A simple search for the phrase “speed test” will return a plethora of sites freely offering to test the speed of your Internet connection. I’ll discuss one of my favorite Internet speed testing sites and a few time saving tricks & tips to help you get the most accurate results.
Am I getting the speed I’m paying for?
This is a very common question among many Broadband DSL and High-Speed Cable Internet subscribers. I pay for (insert any number) Mbps, how do I know if I’m getting all the Internet connection speed that I’m paying for?
What’s your favorite speed testing site?
I prefer speedtest.net for the following reasons:
* It’s Easy To Use
* Allows Global Speed Testing
* Allows Saving and Sharing Your Results
How do I test my Internet speed?
When you go to speedtest.net, they attempt to determine your location by comparing the IP address assigned by your Internet provider with a geographic database. The resulting city will appear as a big yellow spinning star on a world map with many smaller blue stars and pyramids. Each one of these is a Internet server location that you can use to test your speed.
Which one should I pick?
The speedtest.net site recommends trying several servers to find the best one. This method will work, but to save time, I suggest you try this trick. The fastest and most accurate speed test results will almost always be to the location with the lowest “ping” time. A ping is just a simple test that measures the round-trip time for packets sent from the local host computer to a remote location computer.
How do I determine the fastest ping location?
In the upper right hand corner of the http://speedtest.net page you’ll see a link to http://pingtest.net, their sister site. This site provides the ability to automatically determine the lowest ping time location when you do a test. This free test will produce a letter grade from A to F determined by the overall quality of your Internet connection. Make sure you make note of the server location it chooses, so you can hop back and do a speed test to that city.
How can I use these results?
1. You can compare and contrast your results with others in your geographical area, or that are using a particular DSL, cable, or wireless provider.
2. Whenever you make a hardware change, such as a new cable modem or wireless interface, you can check and see if your Internet connection speed has been adversely affected.
3. I recommend frequently re-testing your Internet connection speed, to the server location that produces the fastest and most consistent results, and using the “Your Summary” feature to help identify trends in your speed test results.