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Thursday, July 24, 2008

test your internet connection speed

Want to see if you're really getting the download and upload speeds you should be? Well it's really simple and only takes a minute.

First you need to make sure no other software is using your connection. So wait for all file downloads to finish and shut down any peer to peer download programs. Also make sure that windows update isn't currently downloading updates. Also if you're using a router and sharing the connection with one or more other computers, make sure none of them are accessing the internet either. The best way is to do that is to just disconnect their ethernet cables from the router (or disconnect from the wireless connection if they're wireless).
Now open your web browser and go to either the speakeasy website or the cnet one. Both links are listed in the resources area below.
If you chose the cnet site, put in your US telephone area code and pick your connection type and pick your ISP from the list then hit go. It will download a small file and give you a result about how long it took. If you chose the slightly better and more accurate speakeasy link, choose a server in a city closest to where toy live. It will use a flash program to download and upload random data and give you a result about how long it took.
Either way you should have a download speed result in kilobits. Cnet has a pretty good comparison chart. Dialup at max speed results in 53.3 Kbps. Normal DSL maxes at 1500 kbps (or 1.5 mbps) and the cheap packages are usually 768 kbps. T1's are 1500 kbps also. Cable varies but at the time this article was written, Time Warner's Road Runner service is set at 8000 kbps. If you used speakeasy, it also gave you an upload speed. This is likely to be a lot slower unless you're using a T1 which is the same speed up and down. Road Runner connections currently max out at around 512 kbps. Most DSL packages end up around 256 or 384. If your speed result is significantly slower than what was stated when you signed up with your ISP, you might want to switch to a different one. DSL is famous for giving you about 50% the speed they say they will while most cable providers give you at least 75% speed even during peak usage hours.

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