Speedtest Your Internet Connection
It's Easy to Run a Speed Test
It is easy to run a speed test to determine the actual internet speed you're receiving from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). A few definitions are helpful before you begin:
1,000 kpbs = 1 Mbps
Download is a measure of how fast your connection delivers content to your computer or local area network.
Upload is the measure of how fast content is delivered from your computer or local area network to others on the Internet.
bps is for "bits per second" The letters bps are short for bits per second. A byte (described earlier) is actually 8 bits. But that's not important. What's important is that unlike a byte, which is a measure of size, bps is a measure of speed. Simply stated, the higher the bps, the less time it takes. It's a lot like Miles Per Hour (MPH) in that sense. Think how long it would take to get from New York to California in a car going 55MPH. Now think how long that same trip would take in a jet going 700MPH. Simply stated, the higher the MPH (or bps), the less time it takes.
As a rule, we use bps as a measure of the speed of getting data from one computer to another across a network (including the Internet). And we use "K" for a thousand, "M" for a million, and "G" for a billion, as usual. Table 5 sums it all up. The fourth column shows some alternative abbreviations. The rule-of-thumb is that an uppercase B always stands for "bytes" while a lowercase "b" always stands for "bits per second".
Abbreviation Spoken Bits per Second (English) Alternative Abbreviations Kbps Kilobits 1,000 Thousand Kb or Kbits Mbps Megabits 1,000,000 Million Mb or Mbits Gbps Gigabits 1,000,000,000 Billion Gb or Gbits Table 5
The most common use for the bps measurements is in types of Internet accounts. To give you a sense of how the speeds relate to one another in terms of "wait time", the table below compares the amount of time it would take to download (copy) a 1MB file from a computer on the Internet to your own computer. (Since a byte is equal to 8 bits, a 1 MB file is roughly 8,000,000 bits.) Also, I'm using "Broadband" as a general term for Cable and DSL accounts, which are actually available in speeds ranging from about 256 Kbps to 1,000 Kbps. Note, too, that 1,000 Kbps is the same as 1 Mbps.
Account type Speed Bits per Second Time to download 1MB Dial-up 56 Kbps 56,000 143 seconds ISDN 128 Kbps 128,000 63 seconds Broadband 1 Mbps 1,000,000 8 seconds T1 1.5 Mbps 1,500,000 5 seconds
OK. Now . . . Run a few Speed Tests!!
You won't receive the exact same result from each test nor from each server. Throw out the highest and lowest results and average the rest for a better estimate of your personal internet speed.
Speed Test Sites on the Web:
No need to enter any personal information, just choose a server (city locations listed) and click for internet speed test. Choose the city closest to your physical location and then check a few other servers as well.
Click the spinning orange pyramid to use the recommend server for your broadband speed test.
I like the visual speed test graph and the 'quality of service' calculation at InternetFrog.
This site has a graph that plots your broadband speed test results with other's past results. The results can be filtered by ISP and zipcode.