I’m not sure why, but I’m always testing my Internet connection at home to see how fast it is and if it’s working properly. I never did this before, but after finding some really useful Internet speed test sites and apps for my phone and iPad, I’m always using it!
At first it may not seem very useful to most people, but it turns out that knowing how fast your connection is at any given time can help you track down a lot of problems on your network or with your ISP. For example, the Internet was running very slow on my network for a few weeks and I kept calling the ISP, but they said everything was working fine from their end.
Eventually, after turning off all devices connected to my wireless network, the speed went back to normal. I then turned on each device one at a time and did a speed check after each device connected to the network. Sure enough, when I turned on an old XP desktop, the wireless network came to a crawl. Whether it was a virus or something wrong with the network card on that machine, the speed test helped me figure out what was causing the problem.
In this article, I’m going to list out some of the best sites and apps for testing your Internet speed. With the latest smartphones, it actually is more useful a lot of times to test your Internet speed from your iPhone or Android device rather than a computer.
Best Sites for Speed Tests
Probably the most popular Internet speed test site out there. It’s super simple to use and it has some really nice visual effects to show you the download and upload speed. It’s always been very accurate and consistent
It automatically determines your location and finds the server that is closest to you. You can also manually select a sever (green triangle) if you like, though you’ll get a more accurate result if the server is closer to your location. You can also share the result quickly via email or social networking, which is nice. And if you enter your data into the form after the test runs, you can see how your speed compares to that of other real users.
Speakeasy.net doesn’t have as nice graphics as Speedtest.net, but it still works just as well. The only thing I don’t like is that you have to choose a location to conduct the test. It’s not a big deal, but Speedtest does a great job of making it super quick to use their service.
Also, they don’t provide a map with your current location and the locations from where you can test. Visually seeing the test locations makes it easier to choose the closest one to you. Instead they just have a list, which is ok, but not great. In terms of accuracy, Speakeasy was also correct in reporting the download and upload speeds.
BandiwthPlace is also a good choice because you just click Start Test and it does the rest for you. No need to choose a location or anything. The downside is that you can’t really select a different location even if you wanted to. What’s also nice about BandwidthPlace is that it gives you a little table telling you what is considered decent speed and what’s not. This is helpful if you have no idea what 10 Mbps (megabits per second) means!
The only other downside to the site is that it really doesn’t tell you the exact download speed if it’s over 10 Mbps. With Verizon FIOS and other fiber optic networks, speeds in residential areas can easily surpass that number.
The last choice is DSLReports, which is definitely not as easy to use as the other ones mentioned. You have to choose from a Flash-based test or a Java one, the flash one for lower speeds and the Java one for fiber network speeds. You then have to choose a server location and they don’t have that many options.
However, it still gives an accurate report of the download and upload speed, so that is good. Those are the four main sites for speed tests and you’ll really never need to use anything more than the first two.
Best Apps for Speed Tests
Again, the best app out there for testing your Internet speed is Speedtest.net. They have an awesome iPhone app and it works on the iPad as well. You can run it while connected to Wifi or while connected to 3G to see how fast your cellular data connection is. You can change the server on the iPhone app too by clicking on Settings and you can click on Results to see the last 10 times you ran the test, which is nice.
The best thing is that Speedtest.net is also available for Android devices, so that is awesome. For Android, that is really the only one you want to use. On the iPhone, you do have some other choices, but most of them suck. The only one that was half-decent was the Cisco Global Internet Speed Test app.
So those are your sites and apps for testing Internet speed on your computer or your mobile device. If you use something else, post it in the comments and let us know. Enjoy!