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Windows 7: Broadband Speed Tests

25 May 2011   #1

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 
Broadband Speed Tests

Many of us (me included) are concerned about how "fast" our ISP (Internet Service Provider) is. Here are five different speed test sites in the US to help you answer that question. To get an accurate assesment of yours run tests several times at different times of the day and on different days.
If your ISP sold you a package with a download speed of, say, 25Mbs and your result is only 14Mbs, that's normal. ISP's advertise the maximum speed their network is capable of during a very light load. More users online and the speed drops far off the adveritsed rate.
In my experience with a wired router the available speed is divided by the number of connections to it which are active, I have no wireless so have no experience with that.
Tip   Tip
For best results clear your browser cache, cookies, temp files, etc. before a test.
The farther you are from the test server, the lower your results.


Speedtest.net This one has a map and lets you choose worldwide servers to test with.

Wide Open West

Audit My PC

c|NET Cnet may go wordwide I don't know, it has options to check where you are, work, home, etc. and I got widely varying results with each.

SpeakEasy This is what my ISP (Comcast) uses when they are here for a service call, I thought it was because it always gave the best result, but not true after I checked on the other sites.

Note   Note
This is an international forum, please add your own test sites for your area of the world.


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25 May 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate N 64-bit
 
 

browser speed tests arent that clear though. as "your only as fast as your slowest man"
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25 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
 
 

Most accurate information I got from Speed.io
Code:
http://www.speed.io/index_en.html
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26 May 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richyrichuk View Post
browser speed tests arent that clear though. as "your only as fast as your slowest man"
Hi richyrichuk, these are to test your bandwidth. To check your browser "speed" use this browser benchmark tool, Peacekeeper. You will need to install an activeX control to run it. Have a look at Post your internet browser benchmark.
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27 May 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate N 64-bit
 
 

thank you, but neither is of intreset. it is rare you can top your line in most cases anyway
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27 May 2011   #6

Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Australian Test Site = Optus Speed Test
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27 May 2011   #7
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The line speed is important for uploads and downloads (if there are not other bottlenecks from the server). But it does not really give you an idea regarding access to a website (e.g. this forum). For that you have to run the Tracert command in cmd. That will give you a clue of the number of hops you have to pass and the speed at which those hops work.

I have often noticed that the access to a website in the US is slower from Florida (ATT) than from Germany (German Telecom). There are apparently major routing differences which you see with Tracert.

The format of Tracert is : Tracert URL - e.g. Tracert CNN.com or Tracert 157.166.226.26

PS: This is the site I use for line speed tests. It has a lot of international and regional options: http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest?more=1
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27 May 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Excellent post, just a little extra info if I may

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30
If your ISP sold you a package with a download speed of, say, 25Mbs and your result is only 14Mbs, that's normal. ISP's advertise the maximum speed their network is capable of during a very light load. More users online and the speed drops far off the adveritsed rate.
This is a phenomenon known as Contention. I won't go into details, as I have already written an in depth article about it here: Contention - What it is, how it works. Or "Why is my Internet slow?"

Another thing to consider, certainly on DSL connections (copper wire/standard phone line) is that the max advertised headline rate is (normally) only attainable if you live near the exchange. As the signal travels further, it degrades, and in order to maintain a decent connection it is forced to slow down. (Line quality also plays a major part in this, for example I had a 4 mile long line that synced at the max rate, as it was brand new).

Ultimately, your sync speed dictates your headline (actual) speed. All routers will show you your sync speed on their configuration pages somewhere, (sometimes it's called "Downstream Speed" or simply "Connection speed)"

Also, you will NEVER get your sync speed as your headline speed. Even assuming your ISP doesn't enforce some kind of artificial cap (such as BT over here, although the max sync speed on DSLMax is 8Mb/s your "profile" means the max theoretical you can get is 7.15Mb/s ) you will lose approximately 10% of your speed to "overheads".

If you are in the UK and are not on LLU (Other ISP's other than BT's equipment in the exchange) then here is BT's speedtester: http://speedtester.bt.com/ This is the only speedtest that your ISP will count as "valid" when discussing speeds with them.
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29 May 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Thanks Martin, any addition and clarification is welcome.
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