Broadband Speed Test A Short Overview

As we progress from dialup modems to high speed ADSL connections, the obsession with internet speed is matched only by the seemingly endless real need for more speed. At some point or other, most everyone has suspected that their internet connection may not be performing as well as it should be, and generally the first port of call to address such suspicions would be taking one of the many broadband speed tests that are widely available online.

How does it work?

Essentially, the workings of most broadband speed tests are exceedingly simple. A file is downloaded from a server, and then, in some cases, uploaded, and the average speed for both downloading and uploading are measured individually. By such a calculation, both the download and upload speed at the time of the test can be reported.

Is every broadband speed test accurate?

Just as with most any tests, there are certain circumstances that can result in either incorrect, or misleading, results. Some tests based in a certain country would not report accurate speeds for any other country, for example, as the distances and rerouting involved would automatically affect the download and upload rates, making it generally slower.

Furthermore, some applications that use the internet while the test is taking place could also affect the results. Such applications may even be running unnoticed in the background, i.e. instant messaging programs, windows update, and internet radio. Having a firewall running could even stop the broadband speed test from working entirely.

Not all connections run at constant speeds, and sometimes go through 'slow' phases as well as 'fast' phases. For some reason it could simply be that at the time of the test, the connection was acting up and not performing as well as it normally would. Even bad network connections themselves can create the illusion of bad internet connections through erroneous results on the broadband speed test.

What to do about bad results?

Unfortunately, there isn't much that a person can do about bad results when taking a speed test. Possibly one option would be to call up the broadband internet provider that was being used, and enquire with them as to the reasons for bad results. In most cases, there would be nothing that they could do directly however.

Also, if the results really are bad on a continuous basis and it was felt that the broadband internet was not worthwhile, it might be time to consider changing service providers. Don't just jump blindly at the next service provider that you see , instead, carefully look up each one and talk to neighbours to find out more about what service provider is ideal for the area.

Despite not being entirely accurate, a broadband speed test is a good first indicator for problems with a person's internet broadband service. By giving at least some idea of the speed which a given broadband line is running on, it can help along with the process of solving the problem.