Automatic Speed Tests
Perhaps the easiest way to test Internet speed is to run a speed test at a website designed to test connection bandwidth. Since many people want to know how fast their Internet connections are working, several websites offer free Internet connection testers. For example, McAfee, a popular antivirus software producer, and CNET, a popular online media company, offer free Internet speed testers. To use a speed test, begin by entering any necessary information into the fields provided, such as your Internet type, what you think the speed is and your location. If you are given a choice of servers to choose from, pick a server that is as close to your physical location as possible. When you start the tester, it will begin to download data to your computer and keep track of the speed, possibly displaying download speed in a graphical display like a speedometer. Some testers will also test upload speed.
Manual Download Test
Using an automatic download speed tester is an easy way to gauge the likely maximum bandwidth of your computer, but actually downloading a full file and checking the download speed may provide more accurate and meaningful results. To manually test download speed, go to a website that hosts large free files for download, such as download.com. Choose a program to download that is fairly large (greater than 500mb if possible). Begin downloading the file; then look on the download information box of your browser and observe the download speed for a minute or two. It may take a few minutes for the download speed to average out. Unless you want the file you are downloading, cancel the download.
Another way to test your Internet connection speed is to monitor your network bandwidth utilization using the Task Manager on Windows-based computers. To do this, hold “Control,” “Alt” and “Delete” at the same time to bring up the Task Manager, and click on the “Networking” tab. A readout of our current network utilization should appear next to a number labeled “Link Speed.” As you use the Internet, you can check your network utilization and multiply the percentage by your network device’s link speed to estimate how fast your Internet connection is working.