This article about ‘The 7 Best Internet Speed Test Sites’ has been written and brought to you by BroadbandSearch.
1. The importance of Internet Connection Speed
A fast internet connection is a necessity of modern life. The UN declared a connection a human right. Schools expect students to have a fast connection. They are the ones to enjoy most of the technological benefits of the last two decades. Yet how fast of a connection do you have?
Your internet speed can determine how much time it takes you to perform vital tasks online, such as how connected you can remain to the outside world. Your choice of internet plan and the provider is perhaps one of the most important ones you’ll make for your household. You need to have at least a reasonably fast connection.
Here are a few facts on modern internet usage to showcase the importance of having a solid connection in 2019:
- According to Pew Research, 89 percent of U.S. Adults use the internet in some capacity. All but 2 to 3 % of adults aged 18-49 use the internet. The senior (65+) population is the only outlying group, with only 66 percent of them using the internet in 2018.
- Home broadband is common. While the number of broadband users has just about evened out over the past five years (it trends from 65-73 %, with 65 % in 2018), it remains a staple of the US household. We noticed that there is an increasing number of adults who do not have broadband, but do use smartphones (20 % in 2018).
- According to Speedtest.net, fixed broadband download speeds throughout the world on average increased 26.5 % from 2017-2018. The average download speed is now 46.12 Mbps, and the upload speed is 22.44 Mbps. Companies are basing their services on these metrics. Even if optimization is important, you don’t want to be left behind. The quick update files of today would have taken days to download 15 years ago.
You do not need to settle for a slow connection. You do not need to be left behind. Performing a test can help you see if you are above or below bar when it comes to your connection. This is where the speed test site comes in, which does exactly as you might expect. It performs a test to see what your downloads and upload speeds are, so you can use this info as needed.
Below, you will find some information on how to test your internet speed as well as our top picks for the fastest websites’ speed.
2. How You Should Test Your Internet CONNECTION Speed
You should not be splitting up your connection. Your connection shouldn’t be under heavy use when performing a test. This can apply to anything else in the household as well. This might cause interference in one way or another.
You should be testing under normal working conditions. What we mean by this is that you shouldn’t be deviating from the norm in terms of equipment or activities (downloading a movie in the next room, for example) when determining your internet speed. Unless you’re experimenting to see if a new setup provides a faster connection.
Perform a few tests. A single test shouldn’t take long, so we encourage you to perform a few tests to ensure accuracy.
Test over the course of the day. Your current ISP might work great now, but it might very well throttle your connection during peak hours of the day. Counter-act this potential blind spot by:
- testing over the course of the day a few times
- seeing how the results stack up.
3. What You Should Look for in a Testing Site
Ease-of-Use. You don’t want to spend 15 minutes learning how to test your internet speed.
Accuracy. If a site isn’t accurate, there’s no point in using it.
Commitment to real-world testing conditions. The better a site can accurately simulate common situations (such as streaming or downloading a movie), the more useful the site is. Testing under optimised conditions can be helpful for some people. However, most users will want a site that’s true to life.
A Simple Design. A complicated design with any additional tools or ads running in the background can affect your results, especially if your connection is slow. You want to work with a site that is simple and focused.
A Wide Server Range. If a site only has servers in one region, the results will be skewed by region. Choose a site that has servers across the country to provide you with an accurate reading.
Freedom from Bias. This doesn’t mean a company can’t create a test (someone has to make them), but interference is naturally unacceptable to any test. As such, we wanted to make sure that any selection of ours had no noticeable bias.
4. Our Top List of The 7 Best Internet Speed Test Sites
We find Speedtest.net (owned by Ookla), one of the most popular and one of the oldest. It is still a fantastic option for people looking to test their connection, regardless of the platform they’re on.
The service has a massive list of servers based throughout the country. This allows you to perform more accurate tests, regardless of the distance you are looking for. It will also recommend the closest ones to you when you switch, making the user experience just a bit easier.
We were impressed in particular with the:
- the ability for users to keep records and previous data for comparison
- use a database to learn about stats regarding connections from across the world.
This makes it a great option for professionals or home users looking to notice trends and patterns. The results are also easily sharable if that is an important factor for you.
We are a bit concerned, however, with some of the ads that show up on the site and some of the graphics. They might interfere with getting a precise result, especially for users with an extremely slow connection to start with.
At first glance, Speedof.me does not look like other internet speed test sites, which we find to be a good thing. The test displays itself in a chart over time. This allows you to see not only your total speeds but also the consistency of your connection. This makes it a great choice for online gaming.
That being said, the downside to this is, that it’s a bit harder to immediately see and interpret your results than other speed testing apps and sites. We noticed that the mobile version was very different in this regard, with more immediately accessible information.
But, it works on most devices without the need for an app (making it great for a quick check). It utilises HTML5 to perform the test, a standout feature when compared to many other test sites.
There aren’t as many servers when compared to some other sites on this list, and you can’t keep a record (which would be excellent considering how they display information). Though, many users will find this to be their speed test of choice.
Testmy.net is one of the most comprehensive options we found when reviewing internet speed testing sites. Unarguably, they have fine-tuned their processes to perfection. It is an independent, trustworthy provider, which runs on HTML5. It does exactly what it was created to do without any unnecessary flair or distraction.
For people looking for a comparison, it provides statistics for your speed compared to the averages for your ISP, city, and more. It will tell you exactly where you stand. You won’t need to put in much extra effort to do so. Additionally, you can also create an account to:
- save records and check back to see if adjustments work
- check if the time of day matters for your connection.
The only downside is that much like Speedof.me, the results aren’t always pretty to look at (some would even say hard to read, but most certainly not hard to understand). Once you get used to it, you won’t mind! Still, it isn’t the fastest test to get a glance at what you’re working on within a given area. Professionals and enthusiasts certainly won’t mind in the long run, however.
d) Xfinity Speed Test
There isn’t much to complain about with Xfinity Speed Test. There are no distractions such as pop-ups or bits of unnecessary information littering the screen. The design is sleek and easy to read. It also has modern graphics in both the mobile and desktop versions of the programme. You’ll get quick download and upload speeds.
While it may be produced by Comcast, we didn’t detect any bias when using the tool. Besides, you don’t need to be a subscriber to use it. The readings were accurate and consistent.
There are also a few bonus features, such as being able to change the host location, if you know you’re working with something different on a normal basis. You can also change the protocol if needed. It provides a few tips if you want get accurate results. From all our estimations, it’s a great tool whether you’re looking to change your connection or want to optimise your current one.
It is missing a way to save tests. But for the average user, it’s one of our top choices.
e) Internet Health Test
Internet Health Test is a much more comprehensive test of all on this list. For anyone looking for as much information as possible from the multi-step testing process. Internet Health Test is your go-to option.
Indeed, it will effectively run your connection through an obstacle course of servers, situations, and locations, so that you get a set of data. It is much closer to real-world results than some other sites testing under ideal circumstances. Nonetheless, while it takes a bit more time than other sites to get results, you effectively get six tests at once.
Furthermore, it is also simplistic in design. It offers very few additional features. Besides, there aren’t too many settings you can change. That being noted, we find that it works best when paired with another service for comparison. It does, however, allow you to post your results on social media. You can also email them to yourself (or someone else) for future records. This might come in handy for IT professionals.
The HTML5-based speed test Speedsmart is an easy-to-use and universally accessible option for you, which provides accurate speed test results (they send more data through to create a more fine-tuned test). It also provides you with ping information, which is great for anyone who needs a low-latency connection, like video chat and gamers.
Speedsmart, like a few others on this list, allows you to create an account and check on your previous tests, even across devices. This allows you not only to easily check a single device’s connection but also a network connection across a home or office.
It has a healthy, but not comprehensive, list of servers to choose from (with a listing of how far each is away from you, as a nice touch). It doesn’t try to do too much with its homepage, either. It’s a great all-around speed testing site for the average user, who might want ping information on top of upload and download speeds.
Even more simple than Xfinity’s option is Netflix’s Fast.com, which is the reason why people are using it for. Netflix consumes 15 % of the world’s bandwidth, so they have a good reason to provide people with a speed-testing app. They also have a vested interest in letting you know, when you’re ISP might be throttling your connection. Since they have had a long conflict with ISPs regarding this issue. Fast.com uses Netflix servers, making it perfect for making this determination.
When you start it up, there isn’t even a start button. You get a mostly white screen and some real-time results, before it settles on the ultimate estimation of your speed. You also get your upload speed at the end of the test. Yet, don’t let the first impression fool you, there are still plenty of options such as being able to select several parallel connections. Furthermore, it always shows all relevant metrics, which makes up for the poor initial startup design.
We wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for an overall speed test, but for Netflix? It’s exactly what you’re looking for.
By no means is this list exhaustive? There are dozens if not more other sites that you can use in order to test your internet speed. Most of them will work just fine.
Yet after testing, we found that our above selections struck the right balance in terms of:
- design clarity
- freedom from bias.
We would also like to note that our top pick might not be the top pick for your needs. Perhaps you need extremely rigorous testing with more detail for professional IT reasons. In that case, the more minimalist options might not cut it for you. Consider your needs and make your choice from there.
5. What Can Cause Slow Speeds?
Once you test your connection, you might find that you aren’t getting the speeds you are looking for. After double-checking and re-running your tests, you will want to investigate further. One or more of the following reasons might be the culprit:
- Too much usage of the network at once.
- An outage in the area caused by maintenance or inclement weather.
- The router or cable is malfunctioning or overheating.
- Your WiFi signal is partially blocked.
- The ISP is throttling your connection.
Your computer might be infected by malware or viruses.
5. What to Do Next?
That depends entirely on what the source of the problem is. Sometimes new hardware is the answer. Sometimes, you just need to change the location of the router. A clean-up of your system might help as well. If it’s the ISP’s fault, then you will need to contact them. If this gets you nowhere, you will need to change providers. This can unfortunately be tiresome without the right resources.
You need to know if you are getting what you paid for when it comes to your internet connection. We do hope that the above 7 sites will help you get a handle on what you’re looking for. You may need to try a few options and you will want to control your environment as best as you can. But, we promise the information is worth it when making decisions for your office or household.
We expect to update this list in the future, should there be:
- better options
- unavailability of one or all the above sites.
Finally, we hope that the above information provides you with any information you may require.