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Web Sites Test Internet Speed

The Internet isn’t always fast.

Let’s take a break from talking about politics. It gets everyone upset and we don’t seem to have much control over it anyway.

Let’s talk about something else that we all have: Internet connections.

The New York Times has an article today about several Web sites that let you test your Internet connection speed.

A lot of people who pay for Internet access don’t really trust what their cable companies tell them about connection speed. Our access at school is usually good, and visitors are impressed by our speedy wireless connections. But we do have occasional problems.

I tried out the speed tests at all the Web sites to see how they worked. Here’s what I found.

ISPGeeks.com

This site groups its tests into basic speed tests, advanced broadband tests, and satellite diagnostics for people who get their Internet with a satellite dish.

You can run the basic speed test from eight different sites. Six sites are in the United States, one is in Canada, and one is in Germany. I guess that you’re supposed to pick the site closest to you. The test shows a speedometer as it runs. When it’s finished, it shows your download and upload speeds. I think that the speeds I got were pretty fast.

I looked at the advanced broadband tests, but I didn’t know what some of them were. I love my Mac but I’m not much of a computer genius. The tests are speed and capacity, QoS and speed, VoIP quality, IPTV quality, stream video, route quality, and reporting. The satellite diagnostics were pretty much the same.

http://toast.net

Toast.net is mainly an Internet company, not a speed test site. But it does have one simple Internet speed test. For me, simple is good. 🙂

Toast.net tests your site by downloading a photo. You can choose one of several different photos to download. I picked one that I thought would be beautiful but it didn’t stay on the screen long enough for me to look at it. As soon as it finished downloading, the site showed a bar graph of my connection speed. One interesting thing, especially if you have a commercial Internet connection, is that the graph compares your connection speed with the speeds of major Internet companies such as Verizon and Comcast.

Visualware.com

This site offers three free tests: speed test, network route test, and VoIP quality test. If you’re a real techno-person, the company will also be happy to sell you software that does more tests and different kinds of tests.

When you run the speed test, the site shows a map of the world with little dots marking locations in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. You click the dot that is closest to where you are, then you click another button and it runs the test. The speed result is about the same as the other sites.

http://pingtest.net

Pingtest.net is probably the simplest site. You just click a button and it sends a signal over the Internet. It then measures both the speed of the signal and the “packet loss,” which measures the quality of the connection. Yes, I did look it up. 🙂

Which is the best?

So I guess it’s like this. All the sites seem to have basic speed tests that give pretty much the same answer for your speed. ISPGeeks has the most tests. Pingtest is the simplest and also measures connection quality. The others are fine. They all seem to work.

Internet speed usually isn’t a problem for me because our connection is so good and I don’t do a lot of downloading anyway. But if it’s a problem for you, maybe those sites can help.


Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

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