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How to Test Your Internet Speed on Windows 10

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There are several ways to test your internet speed. It is important to use multiple methods, because the results can be different between them, sometimes by a lot.

Two of the methods shown here are very simple, the third is a bit more difficult, but gives a very good value for sustained download speed, so is something the first two won’t show.

The first and most simple method, is to test your speed at http://www.speedtest.net Simply load the web page, and hit test after it loads. The speed test will normally take a couple of minutes to run, but can take longer if your internet is unreliable or slow. The result from speedtest.net should look something like the image below:

Portland Maine Internet Speed Test

The three main values you see in the image are the ping, download speed, and upload speed.

A low ping is important (lower is better), because it is the amount of time it takes for data to be transmitted, so you can have a lot of bandwidth, but still be unable to play first person shooters well if the ping is too high, because the character will lag in the time it takes for the data to transmit. The max value you should have to be able to play first person shooter games online reliably would be less than 100 ms, but in some games it should even be lower, like under 50 milliseconds.

The download speed is the next most important for most people. This value indicates how fast you can download files, and is generally what your internet will be sold to you as. In the image, I have only 1.05 Mbps (Megabits per second), which is very slow. Generally for Netflix, you would want at least 3 Mbps per person using it, and with their newer 4K content coming out, you would want even more. And just for example, if I wanted to download a 1 Gigabyte file, then it would take about 2 hours. (1.05 Mbps / 8 = .13125 MegaBytes per second, 1000 Megabytes/.13125 = 7619 seconds = 2.11 hours)

The third value, upload speed, only matters to people in certain circumstances. FOr example, if you are using skype, the sending video will depend on your upload speed. Same for uploading videos to youtube, streaming surveillance cameras, uploading files to remote storage, or running a webserver.

Speedtest.net has been shown to not always be reliable, and there have been some things showing that your internet providers will try to cheat to make your internet look faster on speed test, such as giving you speed bursts that last just as long as the test, or setting up servers as close as possible.

Because of these shenanigans, Netflix came out with another speed testing service that only tests your download speed. To run the test, just head over to http://www.fast.com

The test should start automatically, and give you a screen like this when it’s finished:

Netflix Speed Test Fast.com

This number should be pretty close to the value from speedtest, but sometimes it can be very different. Basically this test works by communicating with Netflix’s servers, so it is showing you what your streaming speeds will be from the Netflix servers, so you know exactly what quality you will get. This test isn’t necessarily more or less reliable than speedtest.net, it’s just a good alternative to use to get a second opinion.

Lastly, is the most reliable way to find your download speed. The way to do this is download the Ubuntu operating system using P2P filesharing. This will saturate your internet connection over a long period of time, so you can see not only how fast it is, but if it is reliable or speeds up and slows down randomly.

First, go to http://www.ninite.com and choose the qbittorrent option, and then download and run the installer.

Downloading qbittorrent from Ninite

Then get the Ubuntu torrent file from Ubuntu’s website http://www.ubuntu.com/download/alternative-downloads Just choose the top left option shown in the image below.

Download Ubuntu Torrent

Open the torrent file once it’s downloaded, and it will open in qbittorrent. Give it a few minutes to get up to speed while keeping an eye on it, and you will be able to see your internet speed, as is highlighted in the image below. Just make sure to multiply that number by 8 to get you internet speed, because it is shown in bytes rather than bits.

http://i1.wp.com/www.allhow2s.com/wp-content/uploads/ubuntu-internet-download-speed.png?w=520

It’s important to download something that has a lot of uploaders for this test, so that is why we use the Ubuntu download.

When you are finished with the test, just right click on the file in qbittorent, and choose remove, then check the also delete files checkbox so the download won’t take up space on your computer.

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