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How To Figure Out How Fast Your Internet Connection Is


Anyone with a broadband Internet connection has wondered at some point if they’re getting what they’re paying for. The quickest way to find out is to run a speed test to measure the following:

By measuring the downstream and upstream speed, you can accurately gauge your overall connection speed.

For this purpose, I recommend as it not only measures the above figures, but it measures the ping time between your computer and the test server. That can aid you in determining how fast your connection is (or isn’t) as lower times generally mean faster connections.

Let’s apply a real world example to this. Let’s say that you are paying for a connection to the Internet that is advertised at a maximum of 5 Megabits per second downstream, and 800 kilobits per second upstream. You run this test and you find out that you get 4.3 Megabits per second downstream and 670 kilobits per second upstream with a ping time of 40 milliseconds. That’s pretty good as in the real world, you will never get the full speed that is advertised because of a number of factors:

So lets say that you’re getting way less than what you’re paying for. You can try calling your ISP to see if they can do anything about it. But in general your ISP will use their “escape clause” to get out of dealing with it. By “escape clause” I mean that ISPs generally don’t guarantee a given speed. They instead say “up to” a given speed. This allows them to get away with giving their customers sub-optimal performance for extended periods of time. If you fall into this category, your only hope may be to switch providers.

As a rule, I encourage people to test their connection and if they’re not getting what they pay for they should hold their ISP to account. If they don’t do anything about it, vote with your dollars and go elsewhere.

Tip: You should try this test at different times of the day as you might get different results at different times of the day.

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