The best speed test apps can help you make sure that you really are getting all of the data you pay your internet service provider (ISP) for each month. However, they can also be used to help you decide if it’s time to upgrade to a new internet plan or to replace an old router.
With one of the best speed test apps, you can test the internet connection in each part of your home to determine if you have any Wi-Fi dead zones. If so, you might want to think about investing in a Wi-Fi extender or even making the switch from a traditional router to a mesh Wi-Fi system for better coverage.
It’s worth noting that all speed test apps aren’t created equally though. Based on the way they’re coded, you might find your results could be slower in one app than in another. Likewise, many ISPs offer their own bespoke speed test services to try and upsell their customers on faster plans. This is why none of the speed tests apps on this list are tied to ISPs.
These are the best speed test apps you can use to begin testing your internet connection at home or on your smartphone while out and about. However, we recommend running a speed test at least three times with any app to get an average but it doesn’t hurt to run speed tests with multiple apps.
The best speed test apps you can download today
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1. Meteor by OpenSignal
Meteor by OpenSignal is a fast independent speed-test app that offers reliable speed tests with a slick interface. Not only is it free and available on both iOS and Android, it lays out in simple, plain terms what your internet speed is like.
Apart from offering download, upload and ping response times, it doesn't give much deeper network information. It does, however, include information on cellular coverage, which could be handy when traveling.
You can also test performance on individual apps. For example, I was able to test network performance when trying to ping the servers for Pokémon Go.
Meteor by OpenSignal is one of those rare apps that looks and feels so high-quality, you're surprised it's being offered for free.
2. SpeedTest Master (iOS, Android)
SpeedTest Master is a powerful speed test app for both iOS and Android. It offers a bevy of tools outside of simple speed tests, such as being able to measure the ping response time for PlayStation Network, Steam, YouTube, TikTok and social-media networks.
It can also test Wi-Fi signal strength, letting you know where you need to position yourself for ideal connectivity. Another cool feature is being able to analyze various Wi-Fi signals, informing you of which ones offer the best connection. If you're in a busy area with many signals, this app will let you know which is the best to ping off of, assuming that Wi-Fi connection is open to the public.
The downside to SpeedTest Master is that it's not free. While you can use it a limited number of times with ads, to unlock unlimited testing, it will cost either $1.99/month, $7.99/year or $14.99/lifetime.
Apart from the cost, SpeedTest Master is robust and a must-have for anyone obsessed with connectivity.
3. Speed Test WiFi Analyzer by analiti
Speed Test WiFi Analyzer by analiti Experts Group might not be the prettiest speed test app, but it's definitely powerful. The program's utilitarian design gives you very detailed information without any fluff. Not only does Speed Test do standard speed tests well, but it also has a built-in Wi-Fi analyzer to help detail coverage in different parts of your home. This feature is especially handy for users who have multiple nodes. If you're a nerd for deep Wi-Fi metrics, this app will give you detailed RSSI stats, a signal analyzer, decoded IEEE 802.11 beacon information, a spectrum map, and TCP and UDP tests for iPerf3 servers. If none of that made sense to you, then maybe the other speed test apps on this list would be a better fit.
Either way, Speed Test WiFi Analyzer by analiti is available on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Unfortunately, there isn't a version for iOS. The app is available for free, but paying a one-time $1.99 fee will remove ads. For access to the expert features listed above, the app will cost $0.99 for 24 hours, $1.99 for the month, $9.99 for the year and $19.99 for life.
4. Speedtest by Ookla (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac)
Ookla's Speedtest app is one of the most popular around. Not only has it been around for years, it offers reliable tests for free. The information it gives is relatively bare-bones, but it gets the job done. Because the app is free, it does have ads. There is an option to remove ads for an additional .99 cents on both iOS and Android. The Windows and Mac versions don't have this option.
The app also tracks your results history, can show you the health of your cellular network map and has a built-in VPN. Tom's Guide has not independently tested the strength and effectiveness of Ookla's VPN though.
5. Fast by Netflix (iOS, Android)
We like Fast by Netflix for how easy it is to use. As soon as you turn on the app, it starts measuring your download speed. There isn't even a "go" button.
It's also a very light and basic app, meaning you can leave it on your phone without having to worry about space. It's actually so basic, we wonder if it's just a container for the fast.com website. It's currently available on both iOS and Android.
Luckily, there is an option to show more detailed information, such as unloaded and loaded latency, upload speed and your public IP address. Users can also save their results to keep as records.
6. Network Speed Test by Microsoft (Windows)
Microsoft's Network Speed Test app, available via the Microsoft Store, is a strong tool. It's light and bare-bones, but it gives you the information you need upfront.
It doesn't have more robust features, such as being able to test signal performance or check the range of your overall network, but should be sufficient for most people. At the moment, it's only available for Windows computers.
Either way, this clean speed-test app logs a handful of past tests so that you're able to compare. It also lists the type of connection used so you're not accidentally comparing Wi-Fi tests against Ethernet ones.
Quick tips before running a speed test
Before running a speed test, you should ensure that your network environment is clean. This means making sure that nobody else is using the internet at that particular moment since someone streaming video downstairs or browsing the web in the kitchen will affect that data pulled in by your speed test app.
If you’re using an app on your phone, you want to make sure that your Wi-Fi is set to use the 5Ghz frequency (if your router supports it) and that your device is as close to the router as possible. You also want to avoid having any obstructions like large appliances between you and the router.
For anyone testing their internet speed using a laptop or desktop, you’re going to want to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your router. Desktop users won’t have any problems with this but laptop users might need an adapter with an Ethernet port. However, if you notice that the speeds are slower via Ethernet than they usually are over Wi-Fi, you should swap out your old Ethernet cable for a new one. We recommend using a CAT6 or higher Ethernet cable and you should also take a look at reviews before you buy to make sure it isn't a fake. Besides Amazon Basics, UGreen, Mediabridge and Cable Matters also make high-quality Ethernet cables.
Before you run a speed test on either your phone or computer, you also want to make sure that all background applications are closed so that you can use all of the available bandwidth.