Best Internet Speed Tests for 2023


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A quick and simple test can tell you exactly what speeds you are getting right now.

1.Ookla

Best internet speed test overall

One of our favorites is the Ookla speed test, which has a strong reputation for consistency and for being one of the first speed tests on the web. We like Ookla for having everything you need from a speed test: accuracy, the ability to view your speed test history (when you create an account), a wide array of servers to connect to, and even a handy app for speed testing from your Android or iOS device. Ookla’s speed test is also the one we use when we’re testing Wi-Fi routers.

Ookla’s done a good job keeping up with the times by adding new features and capabilities over the years. The service released a video-specific speed test that measures your network’s ability to handle 4K video streams, and it also offers its own VPN service. In addition to the website and the smartphone apps, Ookla also has apps you can run on Windows or on Mac. You can even run the Ookla speed test on an Apple TV.

One minor downside: Ookla does display banner ads while you run basic speed tests. Not a huge deal, though it might make a slight impact on your results, depending on the strength of your connection at the time of the test.

2.Fast.com

Best internet speed test for streamers

Fast.com is another great broadband test, and the interface is about as simple and straightforward as it gets. Plus, one of its biggest advantages is that it’s owned by Netflix. That makes it a great pick for online streamers, because the test is structured to see if your connection is strong enough to stream Netflix in maximum resolution without buffering.

While Fast.com is a great tool for some, it won’t be the most helpful test for all users. The basic interface is easy to use, yes, but it also lacks some of the advanced settings and metrics you’ll find with other speed tests. Most notably, you can’t specify which server you’d like to connect with for your test.

3.M-Lab Internet Speed Test

Easiest internet speed test to use

All of these speed tests are simple to use, but the M-Lab Internet Speed Test is probably the easiest. Short for Measurement Lab, the open-source M-Lab test was developed by a collection of computer scientists and academic researchers with Google’s backing — and it’s the test that pops up whenever you type “internet speed test” into the Google search bar. Just click the blue “RUN SPEED TEST” button to see your download speed, upload speed and latency within a matter of seconds.

That’s about as simple as it gets, because you won’t need to bookmark it or remember exactly what it’s called. There are no ads while you run the test, and the only data that gets shared with M-Lab is your IP address. Just know that the M-Lab test doesn’t let you pick which server you’ll use during the test, and it’s designed for internet speeds of only up to 700 Mbps. If you’re trying to speed test a gigabit connection, you’ll need to turn elsewhere.

4.Speedof.me

Best internet speed test for consistency

If you’re looking for a test that offers a look at speed and consistency, Speedof.me is the way to go. Similar to Ookla, the test interface does a great job showing fluctuations in your upload and download speeds. Over time, that can make it easier to spot when something is amiss with your connection, especially since Speedof.me lets you compare your results with previous tests. Its mobile-friendly website is great for running tests on your phone too, allowing you to do a quick speed test on the go without downloading an app. 

Speedof.me isn’t a perfect option, though. For starters, there’s no option for manually selecting which server you connect with. And if home networking isn’t your forte, the visualized data might seem more confusing or overwhelming than something like Fast.com, which just gives you a number.

5.Testmy.net

Best internet speed test for your browser

Testmy.net is an internet speed test that runs entirely on HTML5 and PHP. That means it doesn’t require third-party software like Java or Flash to run your test, which can make for more accurate results. That also makes it a useful tool for comparing performance between different browsers. You can also create an account to track your internet speed for future reference or comparison. 

It’s not the most user-friendly tool, however. With a good deal of in-depth data, you’ll have quite a bit of information to look through, much of which might not be relevant to you. The design is also a little ugly by speed test standards, and it takes a few clicks before you actually begin a test, which isn’t as streamlined as other speed tests that feature big “Go” buttons as soon as you load the page.

Do you know how fast your internet speed is right now?

If the answer is no, there’s a simple way you can change that in the next 5 minutes. A quick internet speed test will tell you exactly how fast your connection is and how it compares to your internet service provider’s advertised speeds.

There are many speed tests out there that can do this simple job, so which one should you trust?

A good speed test, like the one from Ookla, our pick for the best speed test overall, will help you determine what speeds you’re getting at your household. You might be surprised to find they’re lower than the advertised speeds from your provider.

To help you decide which test is best for you, we evaluated multiple speed tests based on speed, consistency, accessibility and browser compatibility. Here are our top picks.

Running a speed test is typically as simple as finding the test and clicking the start prompt, but there are some extra measures you can take to get more accurate and informative results. Here are a few tips to consider when taking an internet speed test.

  • Test using both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections. Testing over an Ethernet connection will give you a better look at the actual speeds you’re getting from your provider. Often, you can run such tests straight through your router via the router’s accompanying app. Follow the Ethernet test with a test over Wi-Fi for an idea of the speed difference via Wi-Fi versus wired connection.
  • Test at varying distances from your router. Distance from the router can affect your Wi-Fi speeds. Try running a few speed tests at varying distances from the router and perhaps other rooms or floors of your home to gauge your router’s range and identify any dead zones. 
  • Test using different devices. Run a speed test on your computer, phone, smart TV, gaming console, etc. If speeds drastically differ between devices, you may need to adjust device or router settings to improve performance across all devices.
  • Test at different times of the day. Depending on your internet connection type, peak usage times (typically weeknight evenings when many stream their entertainment) can hinder your speeds. Try running a few speed tests throughout the day for an idea of when your connection is at its peak performance. Keep those times in mind — they are ideal for scheduling downloads of large files such as video games or movies.

There are many types of speed tests that can help you better understand your internet speed. 

  • Download and upload speed tests refer to how quickly you can receive and send data to the internet. Actions such as surfing the web or streaming videos fall under downloading speed, while sending emails or uploading photos and videos online fall under upload speed. 
  • A ping or latency speed test shows how long it takes for your device to receive a response after sending a signal to the server. Think of it this way: when a button on a video game controller is pressed, an action is triggered on the screen. A ping test measures the time between the command and the outcome, so a higher latency speed means a slower reaction time.
  • Jitter speed tests describe how the data flows between all the network devices. Data is transmitted between devices at a set interval, but the connection can turn laggy as a network becomes more congested — this is jitter.
  • Streaming speed tests check if your internet connection is strong enough to stream in maximum resolution with little to no buffering. Since streaming videos requires more bandwidth, the download speed must be high enough to support the action.

For over 20 years, we have used respectable sources, expert opinions and a hands-on approach to review data. We strive to personally test products and services to give insight to readers and offer them multiple options for what they’re looking for. Our team has approved these internet speed tests through several factors, including speed, consistency, accessibility and browser compatibility. In fact, Ookla’s speed test is the one we use when we’re testing Wi-Fi routers, so we know from firsthand experience that it’s reliable.

Adapted from: cnet.com


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