Many computer users wonder how to check download speed. Download speed affects everything users do on the Internet: how fast pages load; how long it t
Many computer users wonder how to check download speed. Download speed affects everything users do on the Internet: how fast pages load; how long it takes YouTube videos to buffer; the time it takes to download images, programs, and other files. A slow Internet download speed can frustrate many users. If your internet connection seems unusually slow, checking your download speed is one way to determine if there’s a problem. There are a variety of ways to check download speed, some better than others.
Check Download Speed Online
Websites designed specifically to check download speed will yield the most accurate results (compared to desktop widgets that give a constant measurement). Most sites will compare your results to other people who use your Internet Service Provider (ISP), which gives you a good comparison. Websites have the benefit of working regardless of a user’s OS.
Some popular download speed test sites are Speedtest, the Bandwidth Meter Test hosted on CNET, DSL Extreme, and DSL Reports.
Widgets and Utilities that Check Download Speed
Unlike speed test websites, widgets are specific to a user’s operating system. They vary greatly in accuracy and ability; some widgets check download speed and also provide RAM and CPU usage.
A popular widget for Windows Vista Sidebar is Speed Test.
DownTester is a utility that checks download speeds from specific URLs. It is compatible with Windows 98, 2000, 2010, XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
For Mac OS X, MenuMeters monitors download speed and a host of other things.
Considerations When You Check Download Speed
When using websites that check download speed, it’s important to remember that the conncetion will vary depending on the location of the server you’re connecting to. The farther away the server is, the slower the download speed will be. To get the most accurate results, it may be useful to check your download speed on a variety of sites and connections and average the results.
Why Check Download Speed?
Some people like to compare actual speeds with speeds guaranteed by ISPs. Who knows, if there’s a significant difference, customers who complain might see some benefit. If the ISP is experiencing significant slowdowns, it may be helpful to know how much speed you’ve lost.
Users interested in certain speed dependent services, such as VoIP or any other service that requires a minimum, will want to check their connection before committing.
Check Download Speed Multiple Times and Ways
Connections vary greatly. Services that check download speed range in effectiveness. It’s best to use a few services and check at different times and days to get a true idea of your download speed.