A ZNF reader posted a comment that I couldn’t resist sharing. Speed Matters is an activist site that advocates universal high-speed Internet access across the nation. The site’s authors argue, among other things, that the US definition of broadband is too slow and that policy makers should directly address speed and access issues.
The site also has a great speed test for determining how fast your broadband connection runs. The test isn’t perfect because, according to the FAQ, it only tests a finite number of servers and may not have access to the one closest to your location. However, it’s a fun application and hopefully at least roughly accurate. My results are above. Not too shabby. (Thanks, Laura!)
13 thoughts on “Speed Matters”
I like using Speedtest.net because of the pretty animations. They list me at 7680kbps down and 698 kbps up this AM. It’s Comcastic! ;)
I’ve also used the CNET and DSLReports bandwidth testing utilities.
Another good one is http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/. It had some neat annimation. What is really halarious is that the animation actually makes the “needle” shake when it is measuring your speed!
Speakeasy, and some other sites, actually license the Speedtest.net widget. I wanted it for ZNF, but it’s beyond our meager budget. ;) (starts at $400/yr, 3 year contract)
That speedtest at speedmatters isn’t accurate at all. I’m at our data center with a couple 100Mbps connections to the internet and it’s saying I have less than 1.5Mbps connection. I’ve always found speakeasy’s test to be more accurate than others. While I don’t expect speedtests to be able to reach near 100Mbps I do expect them to at least hit 5Mbps which most cable providers offer to consumers.
I’d be interested in troubleshooting this a bit. If you could take the test again and enter firstname.lastname@example.org as your e-mail address that would be great.
You can also reach me via http://www.speedmatters.org/contact.html .
We have had folks (from Canada!) clocking in a speeds over 100Mbps, so I would be interested to find out what accounts for the slow test result in your case.
speedmatters.org uses the speedtest.net technology too. Nick, I’d be interested in troubleshooting this. If you could take the test again using email@example.com as your e-mail address that would be terrific!
Beth A. I’ve done the test on a Windows 2003 server that is not behind NAT now using the email address you listed. The download was only 1047Kbps that time but the upload was instant.
Thanks Nick. I checked our data and you were routed to the Chicago server for testing, which, presumably, is the same server you would choose through the speakeasy site. But you are getting a much higher result at speakeasy?
I will definitely report the problem to our speed test host. The same testing technology should be producing very similar results.
I compared the Speed Matters widget to Speedtest.net and the reported download speed was about 30% less. Upload was very close.
Yes, speakeasy is showing 12428Kbps for download and 6185+ for upload. With the size of the files they transfer within these I wouldn’t expect to see much larger sizes.
Thanks Nick and Dave. Our tech contact for the speed test is looking into this. It is very important to us that our testing results are solid, so having reports of problems is a big help.
The thing that makes Speed Matters site different than other speed tests is that it compares your speed with your state, the nation and OTHER countries. It is not just to satisfy our curiousity — it is to motivate people to join a campaign to encourage public policy that will make sure there is really high speed access that is affordable to all Americans. Its short term and long term proposals are very specific and are already bearing fruit in some states.
I noticed in my comment above that the phrase “High speed access” created a link that I did not put in that is an advertisement for Optimum cable. Personally, I think Fiber to the Home is the way to go. I don’t like the way most cable companies treat their workers and keep out Unions.
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