[Hidden-tech] Reliable, accurate, meaningful Internet speed test?

Chris Hart chris at chrishart.net
Sun Oct 18 03:28:18 EDT 2015

It's normal to see that kind of variation due to internet traffic issues.... Plus.... Some nodes are going to see more traffic than others and some are simply capable of handling more than others. 

And a key factor is, where does your ISP's network connect to the internet backbone?  That could be several states away and would be the reason for the Texas server being better. 

For example, Cox Communications has a lot of their infrastructure based in Rhode Island and that's where I connect thru.  And when I've been visiting clients at the NY/CT border, I've seen that some of them connect to the backbone in Pennsylvania. Look at a traceroute if you're curious where your connection is routed. 

But the bottom line is, look at the speed from a few servers and a few speed test services. Whatever the fastest speed you see from any of the tests is the fastest that your connection can go.  But keep in mind that many of the ISP's incorporate a temporary speed boost that bumps up the throughput for about 30 seconds and then tapers it off, back to "normal."  My Cox service does this and they call it something like turbo boost. 

Chris Hart
     Computer Support & Technology Consulting
        for Connecticut and Western Massachusetts
            Tel: 860-291-9393

> On Oct 17, 2015, at 4:54 PM, Robert Heller <heller at deepsoft.com> wrote:
> Is there such a thing as a reliable, accurate, or meaningful Internet speed 
> test? 
> We are having some weirdness with trying to figure out just what speed our 
> Internet connection *really* is.  Our provider is supposed to be giving us 
> 20Mbits down and 20Mbits up.  It does not seem to be that and when we run 
> speed tests we get 'weird' results.
> Speakeasy using the *Dallas, TX* server says we are getting 12.37 down, and
> 18.93 up, but their *New York, NY* server says something completely different,
> 4.70 down and 18.93 up. What does that mean, really? Why is it faster using
> the rather distant Dallas server vs. the fairly close NYC server? Is
> Speakeasy's NYC server a '486? Or what? Or is there something randomly screwy
> with Speakeasy Flash code?
> DSLReports speed test is much better, reporting 16.16/17.7 megabit/second -- 
> not too bad.  
> Speedof.me's HTML5 speed test reports somewhere about 5MBits down / 20Mbits 
> up.  As does speedtest_cli's Python program.  Speedof.me gives no choice of 
> server.  Choosing different servers with speedtest_cli makes little or no 
> difference.
> Note: all of the above are from the same *hardwired* machine at about the same 
> time on a generally quiet network.
> Is there anything like a truely reliable and generally accurate Internet speed 
> test out there?  (No I am not looking for a dead accurate speed test, just 
> something with reasonable, repeatable *reliable* and *consistent* results.  
> Results that make some kind of sense.
> -- 
> Robert Heller             -- 978-544-6933
> Deepwoods Software        -- Custom Software Services
> http://www.deepsoft.com/  -- Linux Administration Services
> heller at deepsoft.com       -- Webhosting Services
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