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Best Internet Speed Tests of 2022: Here’s How Fast Your Internet Really Is

Your Internet speeds at home cannot be magically increased with a speed test. They depend on the specific internet plan you signed up for with yours ISP, but there are many reasons why your actual WiFi speed might be lower than expected. For example, the speed decreases as you get further away from yours routers, especially when there are many walls and obstacles in between. Speeds may also fluctuate during peak periods or with your ISP enforces data limits or throttles connections to maintain overall network performance.

If you’re curious to know your home’s true internet speeds, there’s an easy way to check. Running an internet speed test is quick and easy, and you have many free options to choose from. You might even be able to run one from the same app you used to set yours up routers. In most cases, running a test is as easy as pressing go and takes no more than a minute or so.

A good speed test makes it easy to compare your current download speeds, upload speeds, and latency (or latency). Ring) for whatever device you’re testing – but with so many options promising just that, which one should you trust?

Nice that you asked. Here are the ones we turn to first and why.

Also read: How we test wireless routers

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

One of our favorites is the Ookla speed test, which has a reputation for consistency and is one of the web’s premier speed tests. Popularity aside, we like Ookla because it has everything a basic user needs from a speed test: accuracy, the ability to view your speed test history (if you create an account), a wide range of servers to connect to , and even a handy speed test app of yours Android or iOS Device. By the way, we also use the Ookla speed test when we test wireless routers.

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

All in all, Ookla will display banner ads while you run basic speed tests. This isn’t surprising, but it may slightly affect your results depending on the strength of your connection at the time of testing.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

Fast.com is another great broadband test, and the user interface is as simple and straightforward as it gets. However, one of its biggest advantages is that it’s owned by Netflix. This might seem strange at first, but that’s what makes it a great choice for online streamers, as the test is designed to verify that your connection is strong enough to stream Netflix at maximum resolution without buffering .

While Fast.com is a great tool for some, it will not 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 in other speed tests. Most importantly, you can’t specify which server you want to connect to for your test.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

None of these speed tests are difficult to use, but M-Lab’s Internet Speed ​​Test is probably the easiest to find. The open-source M-Lab test, short for Measurement Lab, was developed by a collection of computer scientists and academic researchers supported by Google — and it’s the test that pops up when 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 in seconds.

This is as easy as it gets because you don’t have to bookmark it or remember exactly what it’s called. There is no advertising while you take the test and the only data shared with M-Lab is your IP address. Just note that the M-Lab test doesn’t let you choose which server you use during the test, and it’s only rated for internet speeds of up to 700Mbps. If you’re trying to test a gigabit connection, you should look elsewhere.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

If you are looking for a test that not only provides a look at speeds but also consistency, Speedof.me is the way to go. Similar to Ookla, the test interface does an excellent job of showing fluctuations in your upload and download speeds. Over time, this can make it easier to spot when something is wrong with your connection, especially since Speedof.me lets you compare your results to previous tests. The mobile-friendly site is also great for running tests on your phone, so you can run a quick speed test on the go without downloading an app.

However, Speedof.me is not a perfect option. For starters, there is no way to manually select which server you connect to. And if home networks aren’t your forte, the visualized data can seem more confusing or overwhelming than something like Fast.com, which just gives you a number.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

Testmy.net is an internet speed test that runs entirely on HTML5 and PHP. This means no third-party software like Java or Flash is required to run your test, which can lead to more accurate results. This also makes it a useful tool for comparing the performance of different browsers. You can also create an account to track your internet speed for future reference or comparison.

However, it’s not the most user-friendly tool. With a lot of detailed data, you have a fair amount of information to sift through, much of which may 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 start a test that’s obviously not as streamlined as other speed tests, which have big “go” buttons as soon as you load the page.

Frequently asked questions about the speed test

What is Good Internet Speed?

The Federal Communications Commission defines broadband speeds as downloads of at least 25 megabits per second and uploads of at least 3 Mbps, but through the FCC speed guidethat’s basically the bare minimum for things like streaming 4K video and sharing large files over the internet.

Internet plans with multigig speeds of up to 2, 3, or even 5 gigabits per second (that’s 5,000 Mbps) are being rolled out by a number of providers, including AT&T, Komcast, Border, Verizon Fios, Ziply fiber and others, but plans like this are overkill for most households, at least for now. A symmetrical internet connection is ideal Uploads that are just as fast as the downloads — Speeds of 100 Mbps would be perfectly fine for most households.

Most internet speed tests will not only show you the current upload and download speeds for the device you’re running the test on, but also a number called ping, which is a latency measurement measured in milliseconds. Simply put, the ping number is the time it took your device to send a signal to the remote server you connected to during the speed test and then get a response. Think of it like a round trip time for your internet connection.

The ping increases when you connect to a server that is very far away or when there is interference somewhere in the connection. Your ping may also spike slightly when connecting through something like a mesh router or a range extenderwhere your data has to make several wireless hops before reaching the modem.

In most cases, ping differences are pretty small, so you won’t notice them without running a speed test. However, you’ll notice high ping when attempting to make split-second decisions in an online multiplayer game, and there can also be annoying delays in conversations over video calls.

Like ping, jitter is measured in milliseconds, but instead of measuring the time it takes for your device to send data to a remote server and receive a response, jitter describes latency differences between the flow of data to different client devices on your network. If the jitter gets too high, it means data isn’t flowing to your device as efficiently as it probably should be, and that can cause issues like buffering during streaming and video calls.

Can speed tests help improve my internet speed?

Speed ​​tests don’t change the speed of your home Wi-Fi network, but they’re a great diagnostic tool – a quick way to check how your network is performing in different places in your home.

The best way to use speed tests is to run them on your phone or laptop in different rooms of your house. If you find a dead zone where speed drops, consider setting one range extender in the closest space to that dead zone where speeds are high – from there it will rebroadcast your Wi-Fi signal and potentially speed things up. If you’re finding multiple dead zones in places you want to connect, it might be time to do so update your router. For the best whole-home Wi-Fi coverage, go for a mesh router using multiple devices.

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