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What is the simplest way to check my actual broadband connection speed?

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Every such test I've ever tried is hopelessly optimistic. They report the peak speeds, even though that peak may have been achieved for a very brief fraction of the test. Average throughput (total data / test time) would be far more appropriate. But the providers want to make their numbers look good. Truth? Not so much. –  JRobert Sep 19 '10 at 15:28

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

www.speedtest.net

Or google broadband speed test.

rough idea may be ascertained to what your modem thinks your speed is if you poke around the interface. Some tell you the connected speed. Speed tests are inaccurate as it depends on what you're hopping through, but give a rough idea.

EDIT - To have a more complete answer, as others pointed out, there are other sites that will test your speed. I've used DSLReports for information before and they seem reliable as well. I can't speak to other sites, though.

I would point out that all these sites have other variables involved in measuring your speed and can only give an idea. Don't place complete faith in the results of any place...get averages from multiple sources and treat them as rough estimates, and go from there.

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perfect - thanks! –  NogginTheNog Dec 28 '09 at 22:12
    
Speedtest is not reliable. One time, I had superceded a cap on my data on my connection, so the ISP had cut the speed down to 128k. Speedtest.net consistently told me I had 18m! And when the ISP reinstated my normal speed, Speedtest.net's result didn't change. Either the ISP is gaming the results, or simply Speedtest.net is not accurate. –  TrojanName Sep 18 '12 at 10:23
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@BrianFenton I seriously think that some of the ISPs have some kind of anti-throttling going on with speedtest. I upgraded my connection and decided to run a test. I pay for 18 Mbps, but SpeedTest was reporting around 30 Mbps. Yet in day-to-day use I rarely see anything over 10 Mbit (perhaps various sites don't allocate much more than that to a single user). –  Kibbee Sep 18 '12 at 12:56

Speedtest is crap. Seriously. They consistently overrate my connection speed by 15Mbps.

As near as I can tell, many ISPs (I have Cox Cable internet) use modems that do compression. Speedtest.net appears to use test-data that is highly repetitive.

The end result is they often overestimate your connection's speed by as much as 100%!

DSLreports and TestMy.net both use largely incompressible data, and seem far more accurate. I still get a fair bit of variance between their results (and variance between the different types of test), but they're in a far more believable regime than speedtest.net.

(Copied from my answer here.)

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