How Do Internet Speed Tests Work

How Do Internet Speed Tests Work

Here we can see, “How Do Internet Speed Tests Work”

A speed test is a simple way to see how fast your internet is. In ideal conditions, ISPs offer “up to” a specific speed, but a speed test will determine how fast—or slow—your connection is.

What is a Speed Test?

An internet speed test is the most accurate way to determine how fast your connection is currently. Your download and upload speeds are frequently limited by the service you connect to, depending on the plan you picked, local congestion, any throttling regulations it has, and so on.

The hitch is that almost all of your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) guarantees include the word “up to.”

This allows an ISP wriggle room: if it promised you “up to 30 Mbps,” but you only get 28 Mbps regularly, the company can claim it kept its word. If you see 10 Mbps, though, you’re not getting what you paid for, and you should contact your ISP.

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A speed test evaluates your download and upload speeds, as well as your ping. Because most ISPs make separate guarantees for download and upload speeds, measuring the latter two is critical. The download speed is usually highlighted, but if you dig deeper, you’ll find that the ISP often specifies a lesser upload speed for each level. For example, our local ISP provides a plan with a download speed of 500 Mbps but an upload speed of 125 Mbps.

How a Speed Test Works

  • When you begin a speed test, several things happen. The client first calculates your location and the nearest test server to you—this is a crucial step. Some versions, such as Ookla’s, allow you to switch servers. The Speed Test sends a simple signal (a ping) to the test server when set up, and the server responds. The roundtrip time is measured in milliseconds in this test.
  • The download test begins after the ping is completed. The client connects to the server numerous times and tries to download a small amount of data. Two factors are measured at this point: how long it took to grab the data fragment and how much of your network resources it consumed.
  • If the client detects that you have free space on your hard drive, it opens additional connections to the server and downloads additional material. The overall idea is to strain your internet connection to discover how much it can handle at once.
  • Consider your internet service to be a high-speed motorway. Adding more connections is like adding lanes to a freeway. The speed limit hasn’t increased, but more automobiles can fit into the same space at a faster rate; as a result, the 50th car will arrive sooner on a four-lane highway than on a two-lane.
  • After determining that it has the proper connections to test your internet service, the client downloads more chunks of data, calculates the quantity downloaded in the time permitted, and displays the download speed.
  • The upload test comes next. It’s effectively the same procedure as the download test, but it’s done backwards. The client uploads data from your PC to the server instead of pulling data from the server.
  • Check out’s description of how it works for more technical details.

Are Speed Tests Accurate?

This router test reflects the genuine speeds provided by the ISP, whereas the other wifi tests are slowed by their connection.

  • Speed tests are straightforward, but precisely measuring how fast your connection is is far more difficult than it appears.
  • Consider the process’s initial step: selecting a test server. Frequently, the closest server is close—possibly even in the same city. Because of the close closeness, the data does not have to travel as far. Businesses recognise the importance of proximity, which is why some, such as Netflix, utilise a content delivery network to send data closer to you.
  • However, the entire internet is not within your reach. Much of the data is stored on computers located in other countries or across the country.
  • So, while your speed test may show astonishingly quick streams, downloading a programme may be quite slow if the server storing the data is located far away. Your findings may suggest a faster performance than your actual usage in that case.
  • Because of the differences in server locations, different speed tests, such as Ookla’s, Netflix’s, and Google’s, may yield different results. Your ISP, such as Comcast, Spectrum, or AT&T, may also provide a speed test. However, it would help if you didn’t rely on a speed test issued by your ISP. Their tests are designed to run in ideal conditions, with servers located close to you and frequently connected to the same ISP network as the one you’re testing from.
  • That means you’ll obtain a speedier result than if you run a speed test on Netflix or Google. It’s wonderful if you want to brag about how great your ISP is (which is the point), but it’s terrible for determining your actual speeds.
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The client attempts to open extra connections and maximise network consumption in phase two of the testing procedure. If your network is currently overburdened, the speed test won’t fully utilise your resources. If you test while watching Netflix or downloading a major update, your results will almost certainly be lower than if you test without those things running.

The results are also influenced by how you’re connected and which devices you’re testing on.

Because wifi is normally slower than ethernet, an ethernet-connected PC should be faster than a Wi-Fi-connected tablet. Even if you’re using the same connection, you can notice that the results vary between devices.

How to Get the Most Accurate Results

What you want to measure determines how accurate your test results are. Do you want to see if your Internet service provider is delivering the stated speeds? Then aim for the best possible conditions. Use an ethernet-connected device, select the nearest test server, and turn off anything that could be demanding your internet connection (like a streaming service).

Before doing a speed test, you might wish to restart your router.

Instead of doing a browser test, see if your router has a built-in speed test. This eliminates some of the hurdles that the procedure must overcome.

Use a browser or app test instead if you want more realistic results. Bypassing the router test, you should be able to choose a server that is further away. Start before beginning the internet speed test if you have one or two video or audio streams running regularly.

No matter what steps you take or how you measure, you won’t receive an exact outcome. However, you can achieve a good enough result to either pique your interest or verify your ISP’s advertised speeds.


I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any queries or comments.

User Questions:

  1. Do internet speed tests deceive users?

HTML5-based speed tests, according to several experts, are more accurate than Java and Adobe Flash-based testing. Others argue that multithread tests, such as those employed by Ookla ( and branded by many ISPs), do not accurately reflect real-world network activity.

  1. How fast should wifi be?

A good internet speed is 25 Mbps or more. Fast internet rates, such as those of 100 megabits per second (Mbps), are often preferable, especially if you want your internet plan to handle several devices and users simultaneously.

  1. Are wifi speed tests reliable?

Because wifi connections are slower and less consistent than ethernet connections, your tests via wifi will not tell you the full speed. For example, my download speed on a desktop PC with a direct connection at midday yesterday was 74.4Mbps.

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  1. How can you speed test your network in a trustworthy manner?

What is a reliable way to speed test your network? from HomeNetworking

  1. What is THE standard for testing internet speed?

What is THE standard for testing internet speed? from HomeNetworking