Top 10 sites to test your broadband connection speed

Are you getting the optimal bandwidth that you paid for? Test your internet connection for speed, latency and packet loss with 10 free online tools.
Follow these five steps first to get accurate broadband speed test results before you start testing:

  1. Why do you need ten different options to test your broadband connection? Well, we’d suggest you try all ten to get and average out the results. You can then more or less confirm the kind of bandwidth that your service provider is piping to you. If you have the patience, it is suggested that you try each tests at least twice to ensure that the occasional drop in bandwidth or any communication by the background apps don’t end up giving you the wrong picture.
  2. Ensure there are no downloads, browsing, updating or any other network activity that can clog the bandwidth. It is also recommended to close all other browser windows and tabs to avoid advertisements and scripts from refreshing (these will eat into your bandwidth).
  3. You should also test your connection at different time slots in a day. Do so at morning, afternoon, evening and night. This will help you find out about the variance in speeds that might be time dependent. In the process, you might just discover the sweet spot in terms of the time slot when you get maximum speeds, which sometimes even exceed the promised speed by the ISP (Internet Service Provider).
  4. If you are on a wireless connection (WiFi), speed results can be inaccurate by a long way. Wireless connections are prone to packet loss, interference and depend largely on the proximity of the computer/device from the wireless antenna. So we suggest you plug your fixed wired line directly to the Ethernet port of your PC, this ensures that the test results you get can be deemed to be “real”.
  5. Check the physical connection for any breakage or wire knots and ensure that the connector is plugged in securely. Loose connections and damaged wires will drastically affect Internet speeds. Test or no test, make sure this point is taken care of, you should not have to suffer because of loose ends.

Now that you are equipped with our mini primer on broadband testing, here is the real deal!

10 Online Free Broadband Testing Tools: Test Your Broadband Internet Connection

SpeedTest
Clearly the most impressive of the lot, SpeedTest tests bandwidth by allowing you to choose servers. It gives you a detailed picture of your download speed, upload speed and ping time.

PingTest
Great for gamers, and just about anyone who is particularly bothered about latency issues. Latency is the time taken for communication between your computer and the server. The latency factor influences video streaming, VOIP apps and online gaming. PingTest is a tailor made solution to conduct advanced tests like ping time, line jitter and packet loss.

Airtel Broadband Speedtest
Airtel India offers its own speed test page for anyone wanting to test their own broadband speed. It is a Java-based test, so you might have to download the Java Runtime Environment plug-in for your browser if it is not already installed.

Test Internet Speed
The most straightforward test, just click one button and you are done. After the test is finished, that is!

McAfee Speed-O-Meter
One of the first bandwidth meters on the internet, this one is uncomplicated and comes from McAfee, in case the brand name matters to you.

DSL Reports Speedtest
This comprehensive, geeky and detailed broadband testing destination has advanced tests, line tweaking guide and a lot more to keep bandwidth junkies busy with optimizing their connection.

PC World Australia Speedtest
Our colleagues in Australia have incorporated the Ookla speed test engine (Ookla is the global leader in broadband speed testing). This particular page has some additional information regarding the theoretical speed limits for various types of connections (wired and wireless).

Bandwidth Place
Another simple and foolproof test for a quick speed test solution. The large, in-your-face bandwidth rev meter shows you in the red if your results are below 256Kbps – and why not, 256Kbps is too low a speed by any standard!

Intel Broadband Speed Test
Intel’s broadband test page has a fancy interface, provides super fast results and throws in a handy download calculator.

IP-Details.com
Submitted by a reader of OWNTRIX, this has been placed here. Its also a good speed testing utility.

2 comments

  1. vishesh // May 27, 2010 at 12:07 PM  

    Well information!!!!
    For the speed test of broadband connection, i visit this site http://www.ip-details.com/
    It has the accurate results for the speed test!!!!

  2. Narender Singh // June 2, 2010 at 6:34 PM  

    @vishesh: Thanks for sharing your views here, i've checked their speed test utility and its now included in the list...