How To Test Your Internet Speeds

This is not our office's Internet speed, but wish it were.

One common thing we will test when somebody calls us and tells us that their Internet is too slow, we’ll run a quick test and compare the results to what the client is actually supposed to be getting from their ISP. Here’s how you can do the same.

For most folks, Speedtest.net is the primary online service for running these types of tests . It will find the nearest server and run a basic speed test that will show your current upload and download speed. It’s been around the longest and is pretty darn reliable. Because it’s been around the longest, it’s also the target of more than a few conspiracy theories that ISPs are providing priority traffic to the site so their service looks like it’s running as advertised. So it’s always good to get a second opinion.

Fast.com (also available at Slow.com) has been around for a while as well. It used to be a test to just test your download speed, but it was recently updated to include more test (upload, download, latency, loaded latency). It also has no ads on it – probably because it’s owned by Netflix, who has oodles of money. The reason you’d want to use this as your second opinion check? Some ISPs have been known to intentionally slow down traffic to Netflix. If you are testing at full speed on Fast.com, you know they’re not throttling your Netflix traffic.

If you need a third or fourth opinion, just to make sure the ISP knows something isn’t right, you can use TestMy, SourceForge Speed Test, Measurement Lab Network Diagnostic Tool or SpeedOf.Me to get another opinion on things and some more testing data.

Do understand that your internet speeds may be slow entirely because of something on your network. Your firewall could be the choke point (older firewalls can’t always handle new, higher speed connections). Or you could have a user on your network that is saturating your connection. Or there could be a flaw somewhere else on your network. Give us a call, and we can help you work through some of those issues with our managed firewall services.

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