An Accurate Broadband Speed Tester?

  suburban train 10:33 07 Dec 2008

Hi All

I have completed 3 broadband speed tests in the last 10 mins using different websites which have given me a wide range of results.

click here 8mbps

click here 2mbps

click here 5mbps.

I can confirm that i am the only person using my broadband and I am not downloading or streaming any content which could affect results!

My ISP is Virgin

Any ideas on which of these sites are accurate or are there any other accurate ones?

  oldbeefer2 11:24 07 Dec 2008

Some comments further down the page click here

  cocteau48 11:31 07 Dec 2008

Check your sync speed (up/down)on your router setup page.... the download speed test which is in the range of 75% to 85% of your sync speed (for example a sync speed of 4.5 will probably give a d/l speed between 3.5 and 4.0)is probably going to be the most accurate of the ones you are trying.

  Batch 11:43 07 Dec 2008

As Pineman100 says at the end of the thread linked to above by oldbeefer2, the contention ratio (CR) can have amassive impact on the download speeds and can cause them to vary significantly from second to second.

When you sign up for broadband one of the things you should be told is the CR. For home broadband packages this is typically 50, which means that you are sharing the bandwidth with up to 50 other users. If you are the only one (of the 50) using braodband at a given instant, all of the badnwidth is available to you (subject to other things that might mean your service is less than the rated speed - distance from the exchange is an obvious example of this).

If many others of the 50 are downloading, checking email at the same time, your speeds will slow (possibly dramatically). That's just teh way it works.

In the other thread, someone complains that their broadband slows about 4pm. Well quelle surprise - that's when kids get home from school and people start arriving home from work and start surfing etc. and so the actual contention between users sharing bandwidth really takes off.

  suburban train 11:55 07 Dec 2008

Hi All

Thank you for your quick responses!

Ive taken all your comments on board!

Thanks for your time to reply to my question!

Well looks like i'll do a broadband test 3am Christmas Day when i hope everyone well be in bed!

That will be the true test!


  Batch 12:01 07 Dec 2008

BTW, I'm with UKOnline who primarily provide business broadband (under the brand Easynet). I think the UKOnline brand was a foray into home broadband that they no longer market (but support existing users).

Anyhow, no matter what time of day I do a speed test I always get my rated speed (as near as dammit) no matter which speed test I use. I can only put that down to not contending with many (any?) others.

  Stuartli 15:09 07 Dec 2008

UKOnline was originally around from at least the mid-1990s, whilst in turn, IIRC, EasyNet was acquired by Sky to provide its own broadband service.

  John _N 11:12 06 Oct 2009

I must confess that I am not very computer literate. The nominal broadband speed of my ISP ( is 8mbps but I understand that this can be achieved only in certain parts of the country and can vary according to demand at different times. I have the feeling that mine is rather slow but before changing to another ISP I would like to know what my actual speed is. I believe that it is possible to discover this. I should be grateful if someone could take me in words of one syllable step by step through the procedure.

  birdface 11:46 06 Oct 2009

If you use Virgin this is the one that their engineers use.

click here

  Stuartli 13:57 06 Oct 2009

..the country>>

No, it depends on how far you are from your telephone exchange.

The further away the slower the speed available.

Allowing for overheads etc and being close to the exchange, a speed in the 7Mb+ range would be excellent; a mile or so away it will probably be around 5Mb (this is in the case of my exchange).

  Stuartli 14:01 06 Oct 2009

the BBMax speed test is, IIRC, the source for the Maidenhead link, which I use to ensure consistent results (it's around 200 miles from where I live).

I've just got a figure of 7.3Mb at BBMax, which is about the best I can achieve; as the crow flies I'm 580 yards from my exchange, but the telephone lines route is much more than that figure.

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