Testing and checking your broadband speed can be a useful thing to do. You can check whether you're getting the kind of speeds advertised by your provider, whether it's fast enough for video streaming or see if your ping (latency) is good enough for tasks like gaming.
Note that to get the best results, make sure your internet connection isn't being used for anything else while you test and, if possible, connect to your router via a wired ethernet connection. If you're having problems you can try resetting your router and testing again.
Minimum internet speeds for video streaming and gaming
If you're checking your broadband connection to see whether it's good enough for certain tasks, here are some recommended speeds.
Video streaming services such as Netflix recommend a speed of 1.5Mbps download and 5Mbps for HD quality. Even higher quality video streaming such as 4K Ultra HD requires 25Mbps. If you're a gamer, your ping needs to be ideally healthy amount below 100ms for a lag-free experience.
How to test your internet speed: Desktop
- Step one
You can take your pick as to which one you use or get test results from multiple for different opinions.
- Step two
Once you've loaded the page, there will be a 'begin test' button or similar. Click this to conduct a speed test and you will get a result including your latency (aka ping) measured in milliseconds, your download speed and upload speed.
The download and upload speeds will typically be measured in Mbps.
- Step three
Once the results are in you can choose to share them (if you want to boast about your awesome fibre optic speeds), test again or try a new server to test on.
How to test your internet speed: Mobile
- Step one
If you want to test your mobile broadband speed you can do so easily by first downloading an app from your app store, whether it's iOS, Android or Windows Phone. There are plenty available including Speedtest.
- Step two
Once you've downloaded the app and installed it to your smartphone or tablet, open it up and begin a test. You'll get the same details as you would with a desktop test.
See also: How to reduce ping