A Reliable Broadband Speed Test

One of the first things that users do when they get a broadband Internet connection is to visit "speed test websites" on the Internet to measure the upload and download speed of a connection.  This is great for bragging rights but also a good way to check if the advertised speed matches the real speed or if you are getting less than what you are paying for. Most Internet providers tend to use phrases like "up to" to advertise their Internet connections and depending on your location, you may not be able to come close to those speeds.

One major problem is the reliability of those speed tests on the Internet. Some show lower speeds even if the Internet connection is able to handle faster speeds. This can be due to server capacities at the speed test host, the location of the test server in the world or general routing problems that affect the measured speed.

Speed.io is the first broadband speed test on the Internet that measures the speed of an Internet connection correctly. Every other speed test is usually missing a few thousand Kbits at the very least. The service measures the download and upload speed, the maximum number of connections and the response time of the Internet connection.

broadband speed test

The download speed test result was 14806 Kbit and the result of the upload speed test was 990 Kbit which comes close to the maximum capacities of the 16 Mbit / 1 Mbit advertised speed of the Internet provider.

The developers of Speed.io claim to utilize 50.000 servers world wide for their speed tests which seems an awful lot but would be an incredible infrastructure if this was the case. Still, it does not really matter if they have 1 or 50K servers as long as the speed tests are accurate.

Update: You may run into limits though when you run a speed test on a very fast connection. It measured my line's download speed at 45000 Kbit/s and the upload at 2000 Kbit/s. While the download speed is close to the 50 Mbit I get, the upload speed fell a bit short at 2 Mbit instead of the 10 Mbit that I have available at my disposal.

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Responses to A Reliable Broadband Speed Test

  1. Matt September 11, 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    I just get an error that tells me to update my Flash version. I though it was up-to-date, but followed the link and updated just in case. Returned to Speed.io and got the same error. Looks cool, but I cant get it to work.

  2. David Bradley September 11, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    Tells me I'm on 6 kb/s, paying for 10...so I want a deduction from my bill! Pah!

  3. Transcontinental September 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm #

    Started the test, waited, waited ... stopped, went to read FAQ, my security appeared in the list mentioning it should be deactivated for the test, I deactivated (I don't like that, feeling like naked on Broadway), restarted test, waited, waited ... stopped, retriggered security, and here I am.

    Anyhow, I know approximately where my speed stands. If I want to know for sure, I go to ftp://test-debit.free.fr/ and start downloading a 700MB file, wait at least three minutes, and the average download speed result is clean.

  4. Matthias September 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm #

    @Matt - Restart your browser! At me works great, just had to reopen the browser. i also updated to Flash 9 now

  5. Rarst September 11, 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    Seems to be accurate for download but upload failed once and gave wrong numbers other time.

  6. GRTerrero September 11, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    Pleasantly surprised.

    It surpassed my broadband package maximum of 758kb/s for uploads by 10kb/s. But 110kb/s for downloads is a bit off. Rated "Good".

    And just this morning I was bitching about poor service. Guess it's time to upgrade my plan.

  7. Master33 September 11, 2008 at 11:28 pm #

    cool! works excellent, thanks for the link!

  8. Mirsch September 12, 2008 at 10:30 pm #

    hm, nice test, but I don't think that the upload is correct

    http://speed.io/pics/1118/5197/speed.io.png

  9. unruled September 13, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    incredibly inaccurate, as 99.9% of these speedtests are, for users with more than 10mbit.

    There is only one, out of the many websites I've tested, which comes in anywhere close to reliable. It's this site:

    http://myspeed.visualware.com

    Im on 100/100 (and get full speeds), and it gives me the following results:
    http://amsterdam.mcs.streamguys.com/myspeed/db/report?id=10859

  10. Val September 17, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    Yeah this one sucked too...

    But it was quite fun to see the Upload-meter reach the end (13708 Kbit/s), and then reporting "Very Slow". I guess it did like a full lap internally and came back on the bad side.

  11. neptune September 17, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    Your download speed on a certain server will depend on a lot of factors before you can get a reliable information on your full speed. If you're in Japan, and you're using a speed test website located on Africa... you're doing it wrong. Find a speedtest(.net) that has servers all across the world and pick one close to you, tha one should be the most reliable.

  12. Hawker May 21, 2009 at 2:02 am #

    Not to brag or anything but I think I found a better test.... The above test gives basic speed information but no real info you quality or capability of your connection. My favorite Broadband Speed Test site is http://www.ispgeeks.com.

    You get data back like this (testing my connection)

    Speed test statistics
    ---------------------
    Download speed: 7437424 bps
    Upload speed: 1646448 bps
    Download quality of service: 97 %
    Upload quality of service: 95 %
    Download test type: socket
    Upload test type: socket
    Maximum TCP delay: 76 ms
    Average download pause: 3 ms
    Minimum round trip time to server: 60 ms
    Average round trip time to server: 61 ms
    Estimated download bandwidth: 35200000bps
    Route concurrency: 4.7328215
    Download TCP forced idle: 77 %
    Maximum route speed: 8738000bps

    Plus it even gives you graphical data such as this (based on the test above).

    http://174.34.146.20/myspeed/db/report?id=1986

  13. jun May 12, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    this is only site thats given accurate results based on 4 weeks testing

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