If you’ve swapped ISPs, or you suspect your current one isn’t giving you the speeds they promised, you can use an Internet speed test to see how fast everything is running. But which websites are the best, and why should you use them?
Here are the best Internet speed tests and how to use them.
No – we don’t mean using Google to find speed tests! Google has its own speed test that you can find by searching for Internet speed test.
When you do this, the first search result will consist of a button that says “Run Speed Test.” If you click this, Google will launch a speed test using automatic settings.
The speed test is very bare-bones: you can’t choose a server, and there are no statistics past the up and download speed. This makes it a pretty poor choice for accuracy, as there’s no real way to control it.
However, if you just want to perform a quick test for a rough idea of how fast your Internet speeds are, the Google speed check is the best choice. Just search the term and press the button, and you’ll have a speed result in seconds!
One of the most popular speed test sites in the world, SpeedTest is an obvious recommendation.
If you’re not keen on messing around with details, you can click the “Go” button and the website will automatically pair you with the most recommended server. Alternatively, you can select a server near you for a more customizable experience.
While the automatic selection of servers is useful, some Reddit users reported that their SpeedTest results are higher than other test websites. This may suggest that ISPs boost their users’ connections to SpeedTest to give an inflated download speed.
If you’re looking for something more thorough than the above two options, try SpeedOf. For one, its speed test is actually a few little tests bundled together.
When you perform a speed test, the website will give you a sample file for your browser to download. You don’t see any pop-ups or need to actually save the file; your browser does all the work. If your Internet downloads the file faster than eight seconds, it repeats with a larger file. This continues until your browser takes longer than eight seconds.
When the upload test happens, the same thing happens but in reverse. When it takes longer than eight seconds for your computer to upload the sample file, the test ends.
This method is good because you’re downloading and uploading actual files, meaning the results will relate directly to your experience when you’re browsing the net.
The website even has a history tab where your past tests are stored. This makes SpeedOf a great pick for comparing speeds at different times, such as changing the router, computer/router placement, or ISP.
While these tests are very thorough, they’re only useful if there’s a server near you. SpeedOf doesn’t have great coverage worldwide, and there’s no way to choose your own server. As such, only use this website if the server it gives you is close enough for an accurate result.
Fancy comparing your speeds against other people, whether that would be other users of your ISP, your country’s average, or even the world? Try TestMy, a download and upload speed checker that’s been around for about 20 years.
The actual test process can be disorientating if you have a fast connection. Each stage of the test has its own webpage, so if your fast Internet blazes through the first steps, you’ll see a lot of pages appear and vanish again.
Once it’s done, it’ll show you a chart of your speed versus other people’s. This lets you see how your Internet is faring, especially against the speeds that other people using your ISP can manage.
Unfortunately, while you can select what server to test on, your range is very limited. For instance, Europeans can only pick between a server in London and one in Germany. As such, TestMy may not be ideal if the website doesn’t offer a server near you.
Checking If You’re Up to Speed
Regardless of whether you’re comparing ISPs, checking if the new router is faster than your old one, or are just curious to see how fast your Internet is, there are plenty of tools out there you can try. Now you know some very good tools, each of which fills their own niche.
Which is your favorite site? Did we miss a particularly good speed-testing site you want to share with us? Tell us below!
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