Is your Australian Internet Service Provider (ISP) supplying internet at appropriate speeds according to what you’re paying them for the service? Do you have NBN and want to know whether you’re hitting the internet speeds that were advertised to you during signup? Or are you just curious about how quick your internet speed is, or want to compare rates with others?
Conducting an internet speed test is surprisingly easy, thanks to a plethora of different online speed testers which can help determine your internet speed in a matter of clicks. It’s an interesting exercise, which can reveal insightful information about your connectivity, and may quickly explain why YouTube videos don’t load as fast as you expect them to, or why you’re getting lag during your online games in the evenings.
There are three main things that speed tests generally calculate for you:
1. Ping – this is the “reaction time” of your connection and is measured in milliseconds. After sending a request, how quickly do you get a response? Fast pings (indicated by a lower time) are preferable, particularly when timings are essential like when playing online video games.
2. Download speed – how quickly you can retrieve data from the server to your computer or device and is measured in megabits per second. The majority of internet activity involves downloads (of web pages, images, videos, media, etc.) so usually, connections are optimised for this.
3. Upload speed – how quickly you can send data from your computer or device to others and is measured in megabits per second. This is relevant when uploading or sending files to others, or when engaging in video or online audio chats (when audio and/or video content is being uploaded and transmitted to another party).
To determine your average ping, download speed and upload speed, try running an internet speed test which should be able to give you these statistics within seconds.
The Telstra speed test is a commonly used site for Australians measuring their internet speed, because it’s quick and easy to use, while still providing a right amount of relevant and interesting data. It’s also well known to be quite reliable and accurate, which is undoubtedly important when trying to gauge this kind of information.
However, there are a couple of caveats to note when doing this, either on the Telstra speed test or any other internet speed testers:
Speed tests over WiFi will produce a weaker result compared with if you’re connected directly to an ethernet cable
If multiple people are using your internet simultaneously, the individual speed you measure will probably be affected
Keeping these in mind, just click the big “Go” button and wait a couple of seconds while it measures and makes calculations. You’re then clearly shown your average ping, graphs of download and upload speeds, and a visualisation of how the data is travelling to and from a selected server (which picks one by default, but you can choose one manually if you prefer).
Visit https://speedtest.telstra.com/ now and check out your internet speed in less than a minute.
As NBN (National Broadband Network) is rolled out across Australia, increasingly homes and businesses are being connected to this new network. A great deal of scrutiny lies upon the speeds offered by different telcos, who are all trying to be competitive with their offerings and prices. Questions often arise about whether customers can legitimately reach the speeds indicated and advertised, and providers need to be held accountable to these as well.
Depending on what you subscribe for, you can access a range of NBN “tiers”, ranging from basic with a maximum download speed of 12Mbps up to premium which should be able to hit 100Mbps. However, individual telcos generally use their terminology and labelling for these tiers, so you need to make sure you choose one that’s appropriate for your needs.
If you’re currently on the NBN network, check out what your provider says your speeds should be, and then use an online measurement tool to see how close it is to reality.
Netflix recently updated its own free internet speed tester, which has actually been around for about two years but just hasn’t been as well known until more recently. Visit https://fast.com/ and you don’t even need to click a button, as it instantly starts measuring your internet speed and latency as soon as the page loads. After a couple of moments, view your average speed and click the “Show more info” button for extra details, including loaded and unloaded latency, and upload speed. Through fast.com speed tester you can also check internet speed for Optus, TPG, dodo and other providers.
With an ultra clean and ad-free interface, it’s a refreshing alternative to main other internet speed testers out there which are littered with advertisements and clutter. For the more advanced internet speed gurus, the fast.com speed tester also provides some additional settings for configuring the number of parallel connections and test duration, which can be useful if checking alternative setups.
In fact, there’s also a corresponding Fast.com speed test app for both iOS and Android, if you want to measure your internet speeds easily on those devices as well without having to go via the browser. It couldn’t be simpler!
After running any of these online speed tests, if you’re unhappy with the results you see, it’s best to retest a couple of times (on different days or times) to average out the measurements, in case you happened to check at a slower time. Further, if you still have concerns, it’s best to reach out to your ISP directly to confirm expected rates and they can also help you run more comprehensive, professional tests to ensure everything is up to scratch. And if things still aren’t looking good, it might be time to find a new provider.
Overall, running an internet speed test is quick, insightful and straightforward. With plenty of free online tools available for use, you can check out your internet speed within seconds and see the stats!