Are Speed Test Apps Accurate? Speed Test

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Average Are Speed Test Apps Accurate? Internet Speed

Download Speed
Upload Speed
Ping Latency

Some people even make the bold claim that they actually get more accurate results measuring their own connection speed with a simple ping command in terminal. While I will try to explain the reasons why Speedtest, and all other online speed test applications are not 100% precise as I've mentioned it in previous articles, this article is about how accurate they actually are (that is if you do them right).

For starters: If you use Speedtest and get weird numbers (as in different from your ISPs advertised speed) then your problem is not Speedtest, but something else. You should consult with your ISP or internet provider to make sure everything is alright on their end.

Here's the thing: If you're only getting a 1mbps download rate and a 2mbps upload rate , then Speedtest will tell you (if your ISP hasn't contracted with a throttling service) that you are getting a 5mbps download and 2mbps upload. This is because when an internet connection transmits data, it never pushes out the same amount of data on both directions. For every 1Mb coming into your PC from the server , there are roughly 1.5Mb going out from your PC. So, if Speedtest measures the incoming data which is 2Mb/s, and because it assumes outgoing traffic is the same, Speedtest will incorrectly assume you are getting a download speed of 5mbps (620Kbps) [ 620Kbps = 2Mb/s * 2Mb/15Mb = 0.1Mbps ].

So, if you're getting 1mbps download and 2mbps upload from your ISP , then Speedtest will tell you that you are getting a 1.5mbps download and 4mbps upload. You can do the math to see how this is not accurate in this scenario.

So, the first thing we need to do is separate upload and download traffic when measuring speed. This means that we'll measure only download traffic with Speedtest or any other application, and then go on our ISP's website or visit their support site to find out what your upload speed is (because it will affect how accurate the results are).

Next, we need to make sure that the Speedtest server we connect to is at a similar distance from our computer as our ISP's servers. Speedtest runs on Amazon AWS , so there may be several locations you can choose from to test your Internet speed. If you're unsure of what location will give more accurate results.

Speed Test Apps Are Good

Speed test apps are not an exact science. They're a good approximation, a tool that can help you figure out what's wrong with your internet connection. We recommend running a speed test at least three times with any app to get an average.