Gauging Your Internet Connection Speed

When your Internet service provider tells you what your connection speed should be, that doesnit necessarily mean that you are getting the speed they say. If you are curious about what your actual Internet connection speed is, there are several Web sites ready to help you out. Here are a couple of my favorites:

CNET Bandwidth Meter Speed Test CNET offers its own Internet connection speed checker free of charge. You provide some basic information, including are code, type of connection, and ISP. Click the Go button, and let it do the rest.

CNETis simple and basic speed test. uses a cool graphic interface to let you choose from servers all around the world to test your upload and download speeds. It, too, is free.

Speakeasy Speed Test The Speakeasy Internet speed test lets you choose from several servers in the United States for its upload and download tests. Like my other favorite test sites, it is free.

Speedtest.netis graphic interface.

Make sure that the only Internet-based application you have running during your speed tests is your Web browser, otherwise you may see artificially low results. Applications like Mail and iTunes will cause you to see slower test performance if you are sending or checking for messages, or streaming music.

Also, be sure to run several tests to get a more realistic view of your connection speed. I like to run three of four tests back to back to get an average, and I also like to try more than one speed check site since that lets me test my speed against several different servers.

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