Best Internet Speed ​​Tests of 2023: Here’s Your Real Internet Speed

Best Internet Speed ​​Tests of 2023: Here’s Your Real Internet Speed

Best Internet Speed ​​Tests of 2023: Here's Your Real Internet Speed

Although your internet speeds mainly depend on your internet service provider, there are many other reasons why your actual speed home internet speeds might be slower than you think. For example, the further away you are from your router, the slower your connection speeds will be, and this is especially true if there are a lot of walls and obstacles in between. Your internet speed may also fluctuate and decrease during peak hours, when traffic is highest, or if your internet service provider enforce data caps or limit connections to help maintain overall network performance.

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If you’re curious about your actual home internet speeds, there’s an easy way to check. Running an internet speed test or connection test is quick and easy, and there are tons of free options to choose from. And even the best internet speed test options are easy to use. You might even be able to run one from the same app you used to set up your router. In most cases, running a test is as simple as pressing “Go” and won’t take more than about a minute. The speed test results will give you a lot of information about what is going on with your internet connection.

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A good speed test will allow you to easily see your current download speeds, upload speeds, and latency (or ping) no matter what device you’re running the test on – but with so many options promising to do just that, which one should you trust?

Glad you asked. Here are the ones we turn to first and why.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

One of our favorites is the Ookla Speed ​​Test, which has a strong reputation for consistency and being one of the premier speed tests on the web. Popularity aside, we like Ookla for having everything a basic user needs from a speed test: accuracy, the ability to view your speed test history (when you create an account), a wide array of servers to connect to and even a handy app. for speed testing from your Android or iOS device. Incidentally, Ookla’s speed test is also the one we use when testing Wi-Fi routers.

Ookla has done a good job of keeping up with adding new features and capabilities over the years. More recently, the service released a video-specific speed test that measures your network’s ability to handle 4K video streams. In addition to the website and smartphone apps, Ookla also offers apps that you can run on Windows or Mac. You can even run the Ookla speed test on an Apple TV.

That said, Ookla displays banner ads while you run basic speed tests. This isn’t surprising, but it could have a slight impact on your results depending on how strong your connection was at the time of testing.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET is another great broadband test, and the interface is about as simple and straightforward as it gets. However, one of its biggest advantages is that it is owned by Netflix. It might seem odd at first, but that’s actually what makes it a great choice for online streamers, as the test is structured around checking to see if your connection is strong enough to stream Netflix at full resolution without buffering.

Although is a great tool for some, it won’t be the most useful test for all users. The basic interface is easy to use, yes, but it also lacks some of the advanced settings and metrics you’ll find with other speed tests. Most notably, you cannot specify which server you want to connect with for your test.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

None of these speed tests are difficult to use, but the M-Lab Internet Speed ​​Test is probably the easiest to find. Short for Measurement Lab, the open-source M-Lab test was developed by a collection of computer scientists and academic researchers with support from Google – and it’s the test that pops up whenever you type “internet speed test ” in the Google search bar. Simply click the blue “RUN SPEED TEST” button to see your download speed, upload speed and latency in seconds.

It’s about as easy as it gets, as you won’t need to bookmark it or remember its name exactly. There are no ads while you run the test, and the only data shared with M-Lab is your IP address. Just be aware that the M-Lab test doesn’t let you choose which server you’ll use during the test, and it’s only designed for internet speeds of up to 700 Mbps. If you’re trying to quickly test a gigabit connection, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

If you’re looking for a test that offers insight into not just speeds, but consistency, is the way to go. Similar to Ookla, the test interface does a great job of showing fluctuations in your upload and download speeds. Over time, this can make it easier to spot when something is wrong with your connection, especially since lets you compare your results with previous tests. Its mobile-friendly website is also great for running tests on your phone, allowing you to perform a quick speed test on the go without downloading an app.

However, is not a perfect option. For starters, there’s no option to manually select the server you’re connecting with. And if the home network isn’t your forte, the data viewed may seem more confusing or overwhelming than something like, which just gives you a number.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET is an internet speed test that works entirely on HTML5 and PHP. This means it doesn’t require third-party software like Java or Flash to run your test, which can yield more accurate results. This also makes it a useful tool for comparing performance between different browsers. You can also create an account to track your internet speed for future reference or comparison.

It is however not the most user-friendly tool. With a good amount of detailed data, you’ll have quite a bit of information to sift through, most of which might not be relevant to you. The design is also a bit ugly by speed test standards, and it takes a few clicks before starting a test, which obviously isn’t as easy as other speed tests that feature big “Go” buttons. as soon as you load the page.

Speed ​​Test FAQs

What is good internet speed?

The Federal Communications Commission defines broadband speeds as having downloads of at least 25 megabits per second and uploads of at least 3 Mbps, but according to the FCC’s own speed guide, that’s basically the bare minimum. for things like 4K video streaming and sharing large files on the web. .

Internet packages with multigig speeds as high as 2, 3, or even 5 gigabits per second (or 5,000 Mbps) are beginning to emerge from a number of providers, including AT&T, Comcast, Frontier, Verizon Fios, Ziply Fiber, and d others, but packages like these are overkill for most homes, at least for now. The ideal is a symmetrical internet connection with downloads as fast as uploads – speeds of 100 Mbps would be fine for most homes.

In addition to showing you the current upload and download speeds for whatever device you’re running the test on, most internet speed tests will also give you a number called a ping, which is a measure of latency measured in milliseconds. . Simply put, the ping number is the time it took for your device to send a signal to the remote server you connected to during the speed test and then receive a response. Think of it as round-trip flight time for your internet connection.

The ping will increase if you are connecting to a very far away server or if there is some kind of interference somewhere in the connection. Your ping may also increase slightly if you’re connecting through something like a mesh router or range extender, where your data has to make several wireless hops before it reaches the modem.

In most cases, the ping differences are quite minor, enough that you wouldn’t notice them without running a speed test. That said, you’ll start to notice high ping if you’re trying to make split-second decisions in an online multiplayer game, and it can also lead to annoying lags during video call conversations.

Like ping, jitter is measured in milliseconds, but instead of measuring the time it takes for your device to send data to a remote server and receive a response, jitter describes the differences in latency between the data stream to various devices. customers on your network. If jitter gets too high, it means data isn’t being delivered to your device as efficiently as it probably should, which can lead to issues like buffering in streaming and video calls.

Can speed tests help improve my internet speeds?

Speed ​​tests won’t do anything to change the speed of your home’s Wi-Fi network, but they are a great diagnostic tool – a quick way to check your network’s performance at various locations in your home.

The best way to use speed tests is to run them on your phone or laptop in different rooms of your house. If you find a dead zone where speeds are crashing, you might want to consider placing a range extender in the room closest to that dead zone where speeds are strong – from there it will replay your Wi-Fi signal and potentially speed things up. If you find multiple dead spots in places you want to connect, it might be time to upgrade your router. For the best whole-home Wi-Fi coverage, consider opting for a mesh router that uses multiple devices.

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