Speed test applications programs and websites give you a snapshot of the speed and quality of your connection. However, if you perform different tests with different services, you may begin to notice different results. There are a plethora of “me too” speed test services with dubious accuracy.
With that in mind, we are outlining only the most reliable ways to check your broadband speed.
This is one of the more popular speed test services. There is no need to waste time entering information about your connection, just click to begin the test and off you go.
The services uses Ookla technology. This is commonly used by Internet Service Providers, Governments and business around the world as a measure of broadband performance. With such endorsement, you can rest assured that this is a legitimate and accurate test of broadband performance.
Speedtest has partnered with hundreds of Internet Service Provider companies across the globe. With so many global test sites, Speedtest is actually able to partner you with a dedicated server nearby, no matter where you live. This will help minimize external factors that might interfere with the accuracy of your results.
Speedtest even has test sites on most islands. This means your test does not have to be transmitted along slower submarine cables or satellite connections.
Speedtest also offers a handy app for iOS and Aandroid, which is very useful when you want to check the download and upload speeds on your mobile network.
As you can see from the screenshot of the site above, speedtest includes a lovely visual interface. This illustrates the process of the test, showing you which server is being selected and then giving a real time illustration of both the download and upload capacity.
The website itself is quite heavy on advertisements, however that is an inevitable part of the free business model.
I have found this to be quite useful and certainly reliable when I needed quick and accurate information on my broadband speed.
In May of 2016, Netflix created Fast.com. Netflix, the entertainment streaming giant, wanted to provide a fast and simple way for any user to test their connection, whether they are a member of Netflix at all. Undoubtedly they have succeeded.
In terms of one-off, online speed test services, I much rather prefer fast.com to Speedtest.net.
Just one look at the screenshot for Fast.com should let you know why. It has a beautiful, clean interface which is ad-free. Now go visit speedtest. I can count 6 large adverts, including a “fake” begin test button that takes me off to some third party site I didn’t want to go to.
Both websites do the same job, and one is as reliable as the other. The difference is that Fast.com takes the pain out of testing your internet connection.
As soon as you load the page, the test begins, and before you know it you have your result in large letters on screen. Simple. Want to test again? Just refresh the page or hit the rewind button. No awkward adverts getting in the way.
They even give you a link to Speedtest that allows you to compare answers which is positively magnanimous.
Speed Test Software
This open source and entirely free program allows you to automatically set up download speed tests throughout the day.
In order to get an accurate picture of the reliability of your set up, you need more than one measurement, which is what this excellent tool allows you to set up.
With the information you gather, you can trouble shoot the problems you are facing with your intermittent connection.
Speed Test logger can test the performance of your ISP connection, Wifi connection or mobile network.
The set interval tests are neatly logged in to a CSV text file for you to look at.
The logger can also be kept on in the background in order to monitor and log interruptions to service and IP address changes.
Another cool thing about collecting all this data throughout the day, is that it allows you to visualize how your broadband speed is varying throughout the day. It gives you info on how your bandwidth gets choked at different times. This is hard to do on a website like Speedrun.net, which only conducts one time tests.
This program may be indispensable if you suffer from a dodgy connection and want to document what is going on. After all, the more you know, and the more evidence you have, the better placed an engineer or support technician will be to help you.
Glasswire is a multi-purpose program that allows you to monitor your network and visualize all current and past activity on the network by traffic type, application and location. All this is presented on a beautiful and elegant graph interface.
Again, this dedicated program is much more powerful than the simple speed test sites.
To test your internet speed, open the software and click on the graph tab.
The graph tab shows the network usage on a timeline. You can choose to view the graph at different timelines. This can range from a 5 minute interval to the usage over the course of the month. You can place the pointer at any point on the graph to check the download and upload speed at various times.
As the program runs in the background, collecting information all the time, you get an excellent overview of your connection over a long period of time.
The program is free and also has many other important and useful features, such a robust firewall that can detect threats that your antivirus software might have missed.
There is of course, an option to upgrade to a premium version, but this should not be necessary for simple connection speed monitoring.
There you have it. Four excellent and reliable ways to do an internet speed test. For casual users looking for some quick information about their broadband speed, without the need to download any software, I would recommend Fast.com.
For more professional users, or for people with continual internet troubles, do yourself a favor and download one of the programs above. They really can give you a great insight in to what is going on with your network over a period of time.