In today’s world having an Internet connection has become an expected aspect of our lives. Phones, tablets, laptops and IOT devices we need to be online. As the functions, features and quality of what we access increased our need for fast Internet connections is becoming just as important. Home networking can no longer get by with a ‘standard’ 10 mbps service from the local Internet Service Provider (ISP). With the amount of data downloaded to get HD quality movies you would need to have no other devices online to get consistent quality. If you add on a video game console, Apply TV, laptop VPN, smart TV and have two people trying to get HD quality movies or play online your Internet speed can prevent you from doing so.
The only way to see how your home network is functioning or whatever network you are connected to is performing you need to run tests. Before there were apps and sites you could go to do this but those are more directed to the technically inclined. Confusing to the rest of the world. Until now.
Netflix consumes almost 40% of all Internet traffic. Think about that, of the millions of websites out there, Netflix streaming is the top data consumer of them all. Over the years Netflix has been working toward more efficient streaming techniques and now offering tools to help used maximize their experience. They released an network speed measuring app called Fast.
Fast is as simple as you can get. You load the app or goto the website and it does the rest. Fast will measure your download speed and that’s it. No confusing data about geo locations, proxies, ISP and IP address packet flows, just one number.
Here’s the measurement from my desktop that’s hard wired to my router. I have a 100mbps service from Mediacom and at 5 in the morning hitting close to 90mbps is very good. Unless you hit it just right you will never hit your max service number from an ISP. It’s like a Miles Per Gallon (MPG) claim on a car. They say it gets 25mpg but you never seem to get over 23mpg.
You can use the Fast website here.
There is also an iOS app you can download here. The phone app you will use more often as you move around. I ran two tests with my phone and discovered something interesting with my home router and performance between 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ bands.
These are the results from two tests. I was sitting three feet from my router. I have two Wifi access points on the router, one a 2.4ghz band and the other on 5ghz. The one on the left is the 2.4ghz and you can see the significant difference in performance from the 5ghz.
This will take more investigation but I suspect the performance is from heavy over crowding from the other Wifi networks in the area and other homes.
With Fast, an the app is fast, I can tweak and test as fast as I make changes where other speed test options take much longer to setup a measurement. Netflix did a good job with this easy to use and understand utility.
Whether you think you need it or not I high recommend to go get the Fast app and bookmark the website. There will be a time that you will be somewhere, in a hotel traveling, at a friends house and at home where you will have problems with your devices and Internet service performance. With Fast you can do the first step in troubleshooting by checking the Internet speed. For anything HD, with one device, 10mbps is your magic number. Anything below that and you will have streaming quality issues.
From Fast.com FAQ
What is Fast.com measuring?
Fast.com estimates your current internet download speed. You will generally be able to get this speed from leading internet services, which use globally distributed servers.
Why does Fast.com only report on download speed?
Download speed is most relevant for people who are consuming content on the internet, and we want Fast.com to be a very simple and fast speed test.
Why does Fast.com not report on ping, latency, jitter and other things?
Fast.com is a simple-to-use way for consumers to test what speed their ISP is providing. It is not a network engineer’s analysis and diagnostic speed test suite.
How is the download speed calculated?
To calculate the download speed, Fast.com performs a series of downloads from Netflix servers.
Will the Fast.com speed test work everywhere in the world?
Fast.com will test internet speed globally on any device (phone, laptop, or smart TV with browser).
Why is Netflix offering the Fast.com speed test?
We want our members to have a simple, quick, commercial-free way to estimate the internet speed that their ISP is providing.
What can I do if I’m not getting the speed I pay for?
If results from Fast.com and other internet speed tests often show less speed than you have paid for, you can ask your ISP about the results.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.