Internet Speed Tools and Apps Ranked Best to Worst
In a world dominated by site surfing, speed is everything. And unfortunately, there are times when you just don’t get what you pay for.
That’s why there is a variety of browser- and app-based tool to check your internet speed. By using these tools, you can see just how fast your internet connection speed is -- or isn’t. It’ll also provide some insight into the kind of content you can access (video requires much faster speed, especially 4K), and tell you if you need to upgrade your internet access plan.
Here are the best (and worst) tools for online and mobile speed tests you can put in your arsenal.
SpeedSmart Speed Test
SpeedSmart offers an HTML5 option for you to test your speed, so you don’t need Flash. Once you get to the site, it’ll immediately determine your IP address and location, and decide where to ping a server. From there, SpeedSmart analyzes your latency, download and upload speeds. And it does it all without forcing you to wait too long to get your results. The site’s design is simple, making it easy for novices to understand what’s going on with their internet connections.Credit: SpeedSmart
Internet Health Test
Internet Health Test is a simple tool that gets the job done. When you head to the site, a pop-up will ask you to begin testing your connection. Once you click it, Internet Health Test will start a five-step process to analyze your connection. While it takes longer than most, those five steps will tell you how fast your average connection speed is over five different tests. Best of all, there are no ads that detract from the experience.Credit: Internet Health Test
Speed Check & WiFi Finder (App)
If you’d rather try out your internet connection on the go, there are apps for that. One of them is the Speed Check & WiFi Finder from SpeedSpot. The well-designed app will give you the basic information you want to know, like download and upload speeds, but also lets you save it, so you can see how your internet connection is changing throughout the day as you move from place to place. Best of all, it’s a free download.Credit: Speedspot
Xfinity Speed Test
Editor's Note: Xfinity Speed Test is a product of the Comcast corporation, an internet service provider.
The Xfinity Speed Test is a handy tool for quickly determining your internet speed. The browser-based service takes just a few seconds to quickly determine your download and upload speeds, and will even tell you what your latency is across the network. Like the others, it’ll automatically choose a server to ping in order to measure your speeds. The service isn’t bogged down by ads, which is refreshing.Credit: Xfinity
SourceForge Internet Speed Test
The folks over at SourceForge have a handy internet speed test that you can try out from within the browser. It’s not the simplest or best-looking tool, but it gives you download, update and latency information, as well as another important data point: packet loss. With that information, you can determine how reliable your connection really is. The SourceForge test is generally fast and easy to understand. Best of all, it doesn’t require Flash like some others.
Netflix’s Fast.com’s internet speed test is, well, fast. It doesn’t waste any time by asking you to click buttons or display ads. Instead, it loads quickly and -- as soon as you see it -- the analysis starts. Netflix provides the information so you can determine what video-quality settings you should have in its account. It also could be used to badger your ISP to ensure you’re getting fast-enough speeds. Fast.com is quick, but it won’t give you information on upload and latency speeds, if you’re looking for that.Credit: Fast.com
Verizon Speed Test
Verizon’s Speed Test is one of the simpler options available. There are no ads or annoying text boxes to contend with, and you simply need to hit a play button to get it going. And once it gets going, the tool performs its tests in about a minute. That’s not the best in this roundup, but it is quite good. Best of all, Verizon provides a bit more context on your findings. In my case, it said I should be able to download a 5GB HD movie in 10 minutes with my connection.
Ookla’s Speedtest is one of the more popular tools for internet speed tests out there. The app, which is available in your browser or in a mobile app, has a simple “Go!” button that lets you determine how fast your speeds really are. The service takes about a minute to complete its download and upload speed tests and will tell you what your IP address is. Unfortunately, it’s overrun with ads.Credit: Ookla
Network Analyzer (App)
The Network Analyzer test for your iPhone includes many more features than a standard internet speed test, including the ability to scan VPNs, wake-on-LAN for corporate use, and much more. But it also includes an internet speed test tool that will provide insight into your download and upload speeds over time. The app is a bit more sophisticated than other speed-test apps, but it’s ideal for corporate or power users who want more information. It costs $3.99 in the App Store.Credit: Network Analyzer
DSLReports offers its own speed test tool for those who want a bit more information than download and upload speeds. For one, you’ll need to choose which kind of connection type you have (fiber, cable or others), and then you can choose to test it with HTTP or HTTPs connections. The service will test your speeds in areas around you and deliver some solid and actionable information when it’s done, including what download and upload measures mean, and how they might impact your connection.Credit: DSLReports
SpeedOf.Me gets high marks for working with HTML5 instead of Flash, but it’s not the most attractive tool in this roundup. But what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in actionable information, providing you with a graph to see how reliable your internet connection is, in addition to its speed. SpeedOf.Me takes a bit longer to get to a conclusion, but it also has a handy timeline, so you can see how your internet speeds have changed over time.Credit: SpeedOfMe
Cox Internet Speed Test
The Cox Internet Speed Test might at first blush look like it’s designed only for Cox users, but it will work for those who are on other networks, as well. The Cox tool comes with the standard features you’d expect, including upload and download speed tallies, but it is a little slow to determine those speeds. Its speed-test page is also filled with all kinds of content, which detracts from the experience. But at least it’s not based on Flash.Credit: Cox
AT&T High Speed Internet Speed Test
AT&T offers its own internet speed test. Unlike Xfinity, which has a streamlined and more intuitive design, AT&T bogs its app down with far too much text around a speedometer tool. It’s also worth noting that AT&T relies on DSLReports to power its tool, and doesn’t actually conduct its test on its own. The tool measures your Internet latency, download and upload speeds, but it’s a bit slower than many of the other options in this roundup.Credit: AT&T
Spectrum’s internet speed test is a disappointment on many levels. For one, its design leaves much to be desired, and it’s flanked by far too much information that proves far less useful than the ISP would have you believe. More important, it requires Adobe’s Flash to run, which many browsers don’t support any longer because of the service’s inherent security concerns. Once you do get it up and running, the Spectrum test is slow. Yuck.
Speakeasy Internet Speed Test
Speakeasy Internet Speed Test is another disappointing option. For one, the MegaPath service has a poor design, but worse yet, it requires Adobe Flash to run, making it unusable for those who don’t have Flash installed. Once you decide to turn Flash on, Speakeasy takes too long to deliver results. Credit: Speakeasy