An internet speed test is a quick way to see just how fast your internet is. Internet Service providers (ISP’s) promise “up to” a certain speed in optimal conditions, but a speed test will confirm how fast—or slow—your connection is.
A speed test measures your ping download and upload speeds. Measuring the latter two is essential because most ISPs make separate promises for download and upload speeds.
Usually, the download speed features prominently, but if you dig into the details, the ISP typically specifies a slower upload speed for each level. For instance, some local ISPs, offer a plan with a 500 Mbps download speed, but 125 Mbps upload speed.
Sites To Use When Testing Your Internet Speed
An internet speed test is the best way to get an idea of how fast your connection is right now. The service you connect to often limits your download and upload speeds based on the plan you chose, local congestion, any throttling rules it has, and so on. There are different sites you can use to check your internet speed test:
- Broadband Checker: Start the Internet Speed Test by clicking the red Start speed test under the dials. The Broadband Speed Test will start measuring your Broadband’s download speed and then your upload speed. You will also see your Ping time in milliseconds – the smaller the better.
- Do Speed Test: The website and speed test will automatically identify the device that you are using and all that you would have to do is click the start option and the rest is taken care of.
- Test my net: This site attempts to download files in real-time and then it shows you the speeds at which it took to download the files/data. You have to manually conduct the download and upload speed tests.
Here Are Some of The Most Popular ISP’s in Kenya
- Safaricom Limited – 15.75 Mb/s
- Wananchi– 14.85 Mb/s
- Safaricom Business – 13.09 Mb/s
- Jamii Telecommunications Limited – 11.21 Mb/s
- Wananchi Online Limited – 8.76 Mb/s
- Wananchi Group (Kenya) Limited – 8.38 Mb/s
- SEACOM Limited – 7.58 Mb/s
- Orange Cellular Kenya – 4.84 Mb/s
- Simbanet Com (K) Ltd – 4.46 Mb/s
- Airtel Kenya – 3.78 Mb/s
How They Work
When you start a speed test, multiple things occur. First, the client determines your location and the closest test server to you—this part is important. Some versions, like Ookla’s Speedtest.net, have an option to change the server. With the test server in place, the Speed Test sends a simple signal (a ping) to the server, and it responds. The test measures that round-trip in milliseconds.
After the ping is complete, the download test begins. The client opens multiple connections to the server and attempts to download a small piece of data. At this point, two things are measured: how long it took to grab the fragment of data, and how much of your network resources it used.
If the client detects you have room to spare, it opens more connections to the server and downloads more data. The general idea is to tax your internet connection and see how much it can do simultaneously.
Are They Reliable?
Getting accurate test results depends on what you intend to measure. Do you want to see if your ISP is genuinely providing the speeds it promised? Then, go for optimal conditions. Use an Ethernet-connected device, choose the test server closest to you, and stop anything that might be taxing the internet connection (like a streaming service).
You might even want to restart your router before running a speed test. If your router has a built-in speed test, use that instead of a browser test. Doing so removes some of the hoops the process has to jump through.
However, if you want results closer to real-world performance, use a browser or app test.