Ever wonder just how fast that “high speed” broadband Internet connection you pay for each month really is? High speed Internet connection providers throw around a wide range of numbers when describing how “fast” their service is. How do you know if you are getting the connection speed that you are paying for? Luckily, there are some very helpful, free Internet connection speed test web site tools that can answer that question for you.

Internet Connection Speed Test Results

As a general rule most broadband Internet connections will show test results close to what the Internet Service Provider (ISP) stated. There are some situations where the test results may not match the ISP’s statedInternet connection speed including:

  1. If your DSL account is several years old you may have signed up for your service when rates were much higher and connection speeds were slower. DSL providers generally don’t proactively adjust your cost or the speed of your connection. You could be are paying more that you should for the connection speed you are receiving. So run some speed tests to determine your connection speed. Then check your DSL bill and check the stated speed for your connection. If it is not on the bill then call your ISP to ascertain what connection speed you are paying for and how it compares to your test results.
  2. The speed of your connection could be affected by a cabling or connection problems that can be easily fixed by your service provider. Once you test and document a speed that is slower than what you are paying for you can report the problem to your provider.
  3. Older cable modems and DSL modems cannot always deliver the higher speeds that ISP’s now offer. If you your modem is over three years old it may be causing your actual Internet connection speed to be slower than what your ISP is capable of providing.
  4. On occasion an ISP can erroneously deliver the wrong level of service through a simple account error when the account was set up. This would be more likely an issue with a DSL account as many DSL providers will have three to five different service levels. Most broadband cable providers have only one or two levels of service.

Having test results from a solid Internet connection speed test site are the only way to tell if your connection is performing at the level it should be. If you are paying for a given connection speed why not check it and make sure you are getting what you pay for?

Free Internet Connection Speed Test Web Sites

There is no Internet connection speed testing functionality built into computer operating systems or provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). However, there are a number of Internet connection speed test web sites scattered around the Internet. The two I like the best are DSLReports.com and Speakeasy.net. DSLReports is also known as Broadband Reports and both web addresses take you to the same location.

DSLReports.com Speed Test

Speakeasy.net Speed Test

One of the reasons these two speed test web sites are at the top of the list is that they allow you to choose the city to run your speed test from. Choosing the testing point closest to you provides the most accurate measurement of your Internet connection speed. Both of these sites also test the Download speed and the Upload speed separately.

Download Speed and Upload Speed Differ

Download speed is the rate data is transferred from the test server on the Internet “down” to your computer. Upload speed is the rate data is transferred from your computer “up” to the test server on the Internet.

These two speeds normally vary significantly, by design, so having specific speed test results for each instead of an average of the two provides much better insight into your connection speed. This is especially important as most people download much more data than they upload.

DSLReports also has a wealth of additional information on the finer details of the many factors that impact the speed of your Internet connection. They also provide some tools and suggestion for things you can do to improve the performance.

Run Internet connection speed tests from both web sites and compare the results. Also test your Internet connection at different times of the day or different days of the week. The Internet is dynamic and periodic testing will show how this affects your connection speed. Running periodic test will give you a better sense of your real connection speed.

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