5 tools to test your Internet connection bandwidth speed

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Often times we tend to check the quality of network (QoS) services that our Internet Service Providers (ISP) promise. Maybe you had that all of sudden no Internet connectivity sign, or certain websites are too lazy to load, or perhaps your ISP is throttling your bandwidth while using data sensitive applications – or whatever be the reasons we all test our Internet connection speed time and again. In this article, we present 5 best and free browser based tools to test and verify your Internet connection or bandwidth speed.

Is my ISP delivering the promised Internet speed?

Hourly fibre graph from an enterprise Internet connection in Nepal
Hourly fibre graph from an enterprise Internet connection in Nepal

First step in determining the speed of your Internet bandwidth is checking what speed you have subscribed to, and what speed your ISP company is delivering you. Each ISP monitors and measures traffic loads along with the type of traffic plus other parameters to meet their QoS and connectivity standards apart from the national regulations.

Depending upon the connectivity type, your ISP is likely to provide you MRTG (Multi Router Traffic Grapher) tool to monitor the Internet traffic load on network links. Just ask them for the access to such graphs. The above graph is generated for Optical Fibre based enterprise Internet connection from WorldLink Enterprise Portal.

From MRTG, you can view Internet connection speed graph of any specific period apart from hourly, daily, weekly and monthly graphs in general.

With this knowledge of traffic grapher, now let’s proceed to explore tools to measure Internet/bandwidth speed test for free. To use most of these free tools, your web browser should support the most current version of Flash and have JavaScript enabled.

How to get the most accurate speed test results?

Since your Internet connection depends on a number of factors – a part from external ie from ISP to your CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) internal issues with cables or WiFi signals – it is important to get the most accurate Internet speed test results. You should keep in mind that the most accurate results is obtained when you are connected to the Internet via direct cable (router to your computer) ie avoid Wireless connection as much as possible when testing Internet speed. Xfinity suggests the following to get the best Internet speed connect test:

  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet directly via your cable modem
  • Make sure you are not downloading or uploading anything
  • Close any other programs that are using the internet
  • Turn off any other computers, tablets, gaming consoles that share your home network

Bandwidth speed test preparement:

In order to verify this Internet speed test, we have the following technicalities prepared:

  • Windows 10 Pro (OS Build 10565.0)
  • Latest version of Google Chrome (Version 46.0.2490.80 m)
  • Latest version of Flash installed & JavaScript enabled
  • No any browser tab/windows and applications that consume Internet opened
  • Windows update and other apps kept in offline mode
  • Subscribed Internet speed: 1:1 Mbps (uplink : download), Local link >1 Mbps
  • ISP & Connection type: WorldLink Nepal, Enterprise Fiber Link

 

1. SpeedTest.net by Ookla

Speed test result Ookla old interface
Speed test result Ookla old interface

SpeedTest.net is one of the most common Internet speed testing tool. Test your Internet connection bandwidth to locations around the world with this interactive broadband speed test from Ookla. They provide bandwidth speed test, latency, ping and throughput as well.

Result of our speed test: 93.56 : 94.44 Mbps

Surprisingly, SpeedTest.net’s old interface gave us speed test reading of much more speed than what we are subscribed to. Let’s try the newer interface available here with new host.

Speed test result Ookla new interface reading
Speed test result Ookla new interface reading
Result of our speed test: 91.41 : 94.79 Mbps

What we should learn from these massive numbers? Well, SpeedTest.net with the local hosts (we are conducting tests from inside Nepal with the hosts within) is unreliable. Our ISP displayed as SingNet suggests that WorldLink – the actual ISP’s upper tier connection is with the Singapore’s SingNet. Hence, the least PING time and maximum Download/Upload – this is the concept of keeping local traffic local, and this is our national connectivity speed – anyway doesn’t matter to us in this speed test.

2. Speed Test by Xfinity

Comcast Xfinity Speed Test Result
Comcast Xfinity Speed Test Result

Using the Speed Test from XFINITY® to measure our Internet connection or bandwidth speed with servers abroad – possibly the US – gave us a different result of download and upload speed. However, Xfinity also uses Ookla technologies to measure the Internet bandwidth – the only difference being the location of host.

Result of our speed test: 1.38 : 0.60 Mbps

3. TestMy Net Broadband Internet Speed Test

TestMy Net Comprehensive Internet Speed Test results
TestMy Net Comprehensive Internet Speed Test results

This Internet speed tool “TestMy.net” first loads random data to your browser (in our case it loaded 2.6 MB of data for speed test) and then presents you with a comprehensive Internet bandwidth speed test results in plain English. TestMy Net also gives an insight of how fast or slow your current Internet connection is in average to the rest of the connections from the same ISP.

There are other technical data presented by this tool after testing your Internet, also provides host graph, community graph, graphs related to the current ISP and logged results. Large tests, random data and no 3rd party applications ensure accurate connection testing. Check the upload bandwidth speed of your Internet connection using the same browser form submission upload that popular sites like YouTube utilize. Benchmark Internet connection bandwidth automatically. The automatic speed test is an easy way to make sure your provider is delivering what you’re paying for → claims TestMy.Net.

Result of our speed test: 0.3 : 03.1 Mbps

4. AT&T Internet Speed Test

AT&T Internet Speed Test Result for WorldLink
AT&T Internet Speed Test Result for WorldLink

Another Internet speed test tool from AT&T gave us slightly different speed result with latency of 363 ms and jitter of 226 ms. This is not the measure of speed between the Network Interface Device at our location and the AT&T network rather this is the speed between our computer and the Internet – noted well with AT&T’s disclaimer on Internet speed test.

Result of our speed test: 0.33 : 0.96 Mbps

5. Bandwidth Place

Bandwith Place: HTML5 Speed Test for Desktop, Laptop, Mobile and Tablets
Bandwith Place: HTML5 Speed Test for Desktop, Laptop, Mobile and Tablets

Another tool to test the Internet speed is BandwidthPlace.com, in favor of this tool is HTML 5 compatibility avoiding plugins (NPAPI plugins Silverlight, Java & Unity that browsers are slowly retiring.) Bandwithplace.com lets you HTML 5 speed test for desktop, laptop, mobile and tablets as it runs on HTML 5 based browsers, however, its simple funda is just like other speed test tools that uploads data packets and tests the ping and the download-upload rate in Mbps.

Result of our speed test: 0.32 : 0.32 Mbps

Other Internet Speed Test tools

  • Glasnost: Test if your ISP is shaping your traffic – You can check if your ISP is shaping your Internet traffic in anyway, very advanced tool used by researchers, governments and agencies for transparency, now incompatible with Google Chrome as it requires Java, can measure speed of P2P apps (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella), Standard apps (Email POP/IMAP4, HTTP transfer, SSH transfer, Usenet NNTP) and Video-on Demand (Flash video like YouTube).
    Internet speed test by DSLReports with grading
    Internet speed test by DSLReports with grading

     

  • DSLReports – they have newer version of speed test tool to test how fast your broadband or mobile Internet connection really is. If you switch tabs during the test, it will stop – so stay on the same tab during the entire test.
  • Internet Speed Test by CNet – fancy flash based Internet speed testing tool that ask you to opt your location type and possibly tracks your action. On our test, we didn’t find it quite useful as it showed random throughput results.
  • Visualware Internet Speed Test: helps you test Internet connection’s quality (QoS), speed, VoIP, route, IPTV, video and firewall. Scattered test locations around the world – everything visual. Requires plugin to work.
  • Comparitech: The broadband speed test that raises money for charity. Try them.

Do share how your Internet’s connection speed is as your end and how satisfied are you with ISP promised bandwidth.

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