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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.