What is the most accurate internet speed test in 2022? The simple answer is non of them are particularly accurate. The real answer is it depends on a lot of factors, and depending on what you are looking to get out of the speed test. Many popular speed test websites including speedtest.net and fast.com will measure your speed in different ways and give very different results.
That does not mean that one is the more accurate internet speed test it just means that the testing procedure is different. They are focused on completely different information. Depending on what you are looking to measure, one test may be better than another.
It is also best to test over a wired ethernet connection. Testing over WiFi will usually result in accurate results for internet plans of less than 200 Mbps. Testing over WiFi on a 300+ Mbps internet connection will result in a test of your WiFi speed and not your internet speed. The speed shown when running an internet speed test is a function of you local area network speed and your internet speed.
Depending on your equipment, type of internet connection, and use of a wired vs wireless connection, your limiting factor could be either your local network speed or your internet speed. With internet plans of 100 Mbps or less you are generally going to be limited by your internet speed. With faster internet service you LAN speed becomes a critical piece of the puzzle. This is why for speed over 200 Mbps testing over WiFi will not give you an accurate result.
Ookla’s Speedtest.net is perhaps the most widely recognized name in the speed testing industry. Speedtest.net is ideal for testing your internet connection under ideal conditions to a server that is close to you geographically. This will usually result in a higher result than seen on other speed tests. This does not make it more or less accurate of a speed test. When you use speedtest.net it is best to use the preselected server in most cases.
If your results are lower than expected, try the next server down on the list. It is possible that the initial server that was automatically selected was over crowded during the test. By testing using a couple of servers you will get a better overall picture of the speed of your internet connection.
The most useful way of using Speedtest.net is to determine if you are getting the internet speeds you are subscribed to. You should be getting at least 80% of the speed you are subscribed to if you are testing over a wired connection.
If you are getting significantly less than 80% of the bandwidth you are subscribed to something is wrong. It could be with your internet service provider or it could be with your device. Reach out to your internet service provider (ISP) for assistance. Speedtest.net is one of the leading websites for measuring internet bandwidth. It is one of the most accurate internet speed tests.
- It has been around since 2006 and has a good track record for accuracy.
- Users can test from a variety of server locations around the world.
- Some internet service providers have been know to prioritize traffic to the site.
- The site is bloated with a large number of ads and uses tracking cookies.
2) Xfinity Speed Test
The Comcast Xfinity speed test is another popular internet speed testing tool. You do not need to be an Xfinity customer to use the test. The test works similarly to Speedtest.net but may give a slightly different result due to the way the test is run. It is no more or less accurate it is just a different testing methodology.
The Xfinity Speed Test uses larger data packets and a slightly different algorithm. This often times results in a slightly higher result than with speedtest.net.
If you are an Xfinity customer you may also get a slightly higher result due to the speed test residing within the Comcast (Xfinity) network infrastructure. An internet speed test measures your speed between your device and the testing server. The less hops between your device and the testing server, the less chance for data congestion that could result in slower speeds.
Comcast’s Xfinity speed test is a great tool even if you do not use Xfinity internet service. It is a great test to run in tandem with Speedtest.net. Generally your results will be within 10% of each other.
- The results are similar to Speedtest.net
- Test is easy to use and require no technical knowledge.
- The test is operated by an ISP which could choose to prioritize its own traffic.
- The information it provides includes less technical details than some other tests.
Fast.com is a unique speed test. It is hosted by Netflix and tests your internet connection to Netflix’s servers. This is useful for troubleshooting Netflix streaming issues. If you are experiencing buffering when streaming Netflix this is the test for you.
Your results are often going to be lower than on the other speed testing websites. This is especially true if you have an internet connection of 100 Mbps or faster. A 4K Netflix stream uses a maximum of 25 Mbps. For this reason they have no interest in whether you are getting anything higher than that. The speed test does not accurately measure speeds over 100 Mbps. For this reason I would not recommend using Fast.com as a general speed test. I would however recommend Fast.com for troubleshooting Netflix streaming issues.
Fast.com is not the most accurate internet speed test in 2022 for general testing, but it is definitely helpful in troubleshooting Netflix streaming issues. If you are getting less than 5 Mbps you may have issues streaming in HD and if you are getting less than 25 Mbps you may have issues streaming in 4K.
Some internet service providers (ISPs) restrict your connection speed to services such as Netflix in an attempt to reduce your data usage. This is most common with cellular based internet connections. Generally it is clearly stated in the terms of service you agreed to when you signed up for service. This speed restriction is commonly referred to as throttling, deprioritization, traffic shaping, or network management.
In most cases this is undesirable, but in some cases this is actually a good thing. If you have a limited size data bucket for the month, automatically streaming at a lower resolution depending on the device type may not be a bad thing. You will be very hard pressed to tell an HD stream from a 4K stream on a smartphone display. You will however notice when your data lasts several times longer.
- It tests the speed of your internet connection to Netflix’s servers a common streaming platform.
- The service is advertisement free.
- It is not accurate as a general purpose speed test especially with a faster internet connection.
- Results are limited by the Netflix infrastructure.
A Much More Accurate Way to Test Your Internet Speed
It should also be noted that the most accurate way to measure your download speed is to download a large file from a server with known fast download speeds and to calculate your internet speed. The formula for calculating download speed is a follows.
File size in gigabytes, multiplied times one thousand, multiplied times eight, divided by time in seconds equals your download speed in megabits per second. This is the standard unit of internet bandwidth (speed). If you time is in minutes convert it to seconds prior to dividing by multiplying by sixty. For example if a 2.2 gigabit file downloaded in 2 minutes 11 seconds it would look like this.
2.2(1,000)(8) = 17,600
2 minutes 11 seconds = 131 seconds
17,600 / 131 = 134.35
Your internet speed would be 134.35 megabits per second. This is the most accurate way to test your internet speed. Just make sure the server you are downloading from is fast enough to not limit the test. Downloading a Linux ISO is a recommended method.
Overall speed testing websites give a good general overview of your internet connection speed but do not always give the most accurate results. If you want to get a more accurate real world result, downloading a large file from a fast server and calculating your speed is your best option by far.
Yes, Ookla is more accurate than fast.com as a general purpose speed test. Fast.com is useful for testing your throughput to Netflix and that is about it. If you have a faster internet connection fast.com will give you an artificially low result.
Ookla speed test is not always accurate nor is any internet speed test tool. There are many factors involved including the load on the server and the amount of traffic between you and the server. Ookla speed test is no less accurate than any other speed testing service.
Ookla is not owned by Comcast. Ookla does however have testing servers that are within the Comcast network. This can result in higher speed when testing using Comcast (Xfinity) internet. This doesn’t make the test inaccurate in any way.