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Checking Internet Connection Speed

Do you want to cross check whether you are getting the download and upload speed that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) promises?

Browsing the web, checking emails, or using Facebook does not consume a large amount of bandwidth. However downloading movies, large files or watching YouTube videos one after another, can consume a very large amount of bandwidth. If you aren’t on an optimized and fast connection, file downloads and video streaming may take ages.

So if you’re a heavyweight internet user, and find that your connection speed has been reduced considerably, it would be advisable to run an internet speed check on your side. If you see that the upload or download speed is lower than promised, you can switch to a different Internet service provider who provide more speed and bandwidth than your current provider.

Checking The Speed Of Your Internet Connection

Go to Speedtest.net [1] and click the large Begin Test button. The tool requires Adobe Flash player to be preinstalled on your browser. If you don’t have the Flash player, you can download it here [2].

Once you click on Begin Test, the site will start “pinging” your ISP and try to guess the approximate download and upload speed of your internet connection.

When the tests are running, you will see the meter going up or down frequently. Do not close the browser window yet, it should take around 20 seconds to complete.

When the speed test is complete, you will be shown the results of the test, as shown below:

To arrive at a conclusion, it would be wise to perform the same checks multiple times and note the upload and download speeds on paper after each test. After 5-6 iterations, compute the average and determine the approximate speed that your Internet service provider is providing.


The speeds will vary for the same ISP if you are using a Wi-Fi connection, a router dongle or a broadband ADSL modem on LAN. It’s advised to stick to a wired connection (e.g Broadband ADSL) for best results.

If your download speed is lower than 0.2 MBPS, your connection can be termed as “Slow”. With this speed, watching YouTube videos or downloading large files (e.g torrents, movies) will take days to complete.

The connection speeds will vary during different times of the day. For example: running the tests during “peak hours” will show less speed when compared to running the same tests during night or “low traffic” hours. You should perform the tests multiple times a day and note down the results.

~Amit Banerjee