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Google may soon let you test your internet speed straight from search results

An internet speed test showing increasing speeds.
Alexandr Shirokov/123RF
As consumers become increasingly aware of the importance of a speedy internet connection for getting the most out of the web’s broad spectrum of services, so more and more users are conducting Google searches for tools that test their provider’s performance.

Finally waking up to the fact, the Mountain View company is reportedly trialing its own internet speed service, embedding it at the top of relevant search inquiries.

As things stand, most people hunting for a speed testing tool tend to end up on sites like Ookla that let you conduct tests for both download and upload performance.

Google’s speed test was spotted by Pete Meyers, who nabbed a screenshot of the tool and also discovered a support page outlining how it works.

Google’s new speed test tool appears at the top of search results for such a service, with a message that reads: “Test your internet speed in under 30 seconds with a test performed by Measurement Lab.” It’s then a case of hitting the “run speed test” link to find out how your service provider measures up.

google speed test

You might wonder why Google doesn’t simply run the speed test straight off the bat in the same way that it shows instant answers for, say, weather- or time-based searches. It’s because the speed test involves data transfer, a fact likely to be of interest to usage-conscious mobile users. The company makes this clear in its message, explaining that the test “typically transfers less than 40MB of data for most users, but may transfer more on fast connections,” adding that it depends not only on your service’s speed but also on where you are in the world. On its support page it says U.S.-based users are likely to use about 9.4MB.

Google’s not said anything official about the service, so we’ll jut have to wait and see if it rolls it out more widely. But considering the company’s understandable desire to keep users inside its suite of services instead of losing them to external sites, we won’t be surprised to see it land soon.

Responding to web users’ growing interest in internet performance and its obvious importance for streaming content, Netflix recently introduced a new tool for measuring speed, which initiates immediately upon landing on this page.

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