Think your ISP is cheating you? The best internet speed tests help you find out

Internet service providers like to make a lot of claims about upload and download speeds when you sign up, but do you ever wonder how those numbers compare to the speeds you’re actually getting once your connection is set up? These alternative browser-based speed tests will help you determine your upload and download speeds, as well as identify other issues with your network, such as packet loss, latency issues, or physical connection problems. Here are several of our favorite internet speed tests, each of which is dependent on the kind of data and interface you’re looking for.

Speedof.me

Speedofme SpeedTest

Speedof.me is an HTML5-based speed test that’s lightweight and designed to replicate real-world browsing and downloading conditions by requesting a series of files of increasing sizes and recording the speed at which they’re downloaded. Not only does the site display a graph of speeds achieved in real-time, but also allows you to track your results against previous tests. Rather than selecting a location, the website calculates the quickest and most reliable server from 88 available servers, and all files are downloaded and uploaded in sequence — rather than simultaneously — to imitate real internet browsing conditions.

Test your bandwidth at:

Speedof.me

TestMy.net

Testmy.net

If you’re looking for a test that offers more data than the average speed, TestMy.net runs a series of tests and provides a lot of useful comparison data. There are separate options for both download and upload tests, so be sure to try them both.

When it’s done, the results rate your speed compared to other recent users, so that you can get a good idea of where you stand. TestMy.net also displays a graph with your connection over time, so that you can see if you had trouble sustaining a good connection the whole time. If these numbers are a little unfamiliar to you, there’s also plenty of documentation and easy-to-understand guides that can help you better identify what the problem is with your internet connection.

Test your connection at:

TestMy.net

Speedtest.net

Speedtest Net

Ookla’s bandwidth diagnostic software shows up on a number of the other speed test sites listed here, but the most full-featured iteration of the test is on Speedtest.net, which is owned by Ookla. The tech used here is both intelligent and speedy. It picks five nearby servers (out of a list of more than 1,000), runs a full test, and returns upload and download speed, latency, and packet loss.

You can fill out a survey after the test, answering questions about the claimed speed of your ISP and monthly connection costs, which allows Ookla to amass an impressive database of consumer connection information, which can be viewed and broken down by region — in the U.S., this is a major variable in Internet speed — on their NetIndex site. The site uses a flash-based applet, but it’s lightweight and didn’t seem to have a noticeable impact on testing speeds.

Test your connection at:

Speedtest.net

Bandwidth Place

Bandwidth Place

Another HTML5-based speed test, Bandwidth Place, pushes aside anything that might get in the way of accurate results and is lightweight enough to run on a large number of devices. The site has been around since 2002, but it adopted the new HTML protocol in early 2013 to expand its compatibility, and allow easy access from mobile devices.

Server selection is either done by lowest available ping, or by using specific locations and servers that allow you to see how distance alters your latency and speeds. In addition to offering internet speed information, Bandwidth Place also provides news about broadband services, and offers regarding more comprehensive connectivity options.

Test your connection at:

Bandwidth Place

Fast.com

Fast

Fast.com is a simple site run by Netflix — and we mean really, really simple. The site automatically launches a speed test and brings up a giant number to show you just what your MBps look like. Of course, Netflix largely intends this to be used for people who want to test if their current speed can handle Netflix content, especially high-def and 4K (even on your PC) content, which may benefit more from higher download speeds. That said, you can use the test nearly anywhere, and for anything. If you’re not interested in any of the charts or latency data — you just want a simple speed number — then Fast is made for you.

Test your connection at:

Fast.com

FCC Speed Test for Android

FCC Speed Test

Have an Android device but still want to see how good your connection is? Check out this simple Android app, which allows you to conduct multiple speed tests using both your mobile data and Wi-Fi network. It measures download speed, upload speed, latency, packet loss, and a host of other metrics. This sort of app is particularly useful for when you need to find a strong Wi-Fi connection within a large area — which, in turn, makes it even more useful when traveling. Although the app is intended Android phones, you can download it for multiple platforms.

Download it now from:

Google Play

ISP Speed Tests

Xfinity

If you want an accurate and somewhat more “personal” speed test, instead of the general tests available across the internet, we advise you to check out your internet service provider. Many ISPs offer their own speed tests, typically to their customers but sometimes to everyone (Verizon Xfinity has its own speed test, for example). There are dozens of these ISP tests out there, making them a worthwhile alternative for most people. The easiest way to find them is to just visit your ISP’s official website and look for them — or to Google “[insert your ISP] speed test” and see what comes up.

Search Engine Tests

Finally, one of the quickest ways to get a simple speed test conducted is to go to Bing.com or Google.com, type in “speed test,” and then select the first search result that pops up. Neither tools offer much detail, but they have the advantage of being fast and easy.

best internet speed tests google test

In Google’s case, that means the tool provided by Measurement Lab (M-Lab), which is a collaboration between New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, Princeton University’s PlanetLab, and other organizations. M-Lab’s tool can be kicked off just by clicking on “Run Speed Test” and a small window will open providing simple download and upload scores.

best internet speed tests bing test

Bing has its own tool, which runs in line when you click “Start.” It will tell you your current IP address (which can be helpful if your ISP regularly changes yours), your ping time, and then download and upload speeds.

Updated with the addition of Bing and Google speed test options.