November 14, 2013

Speed Test Overview


Internet bandwidth is, in simple terms, the transmission speed or throughput of your connection to the Internet. However, measuring bandwidth can be tricky, since the lowest bandwidth point between your computer and the site you’re looking at determines the effective transmission speed at any moment.

Three factors outside of your computer control how quickly you can view Web pages or download information:

  • The Internet bandwidth between your computer and the site you’re viewing.
  • The round-trip time between your computer and the site you’re viewing.
  • The response time of the site you’re viewing.

The Internet changes from one moment to the next in ways that are impossible to predict. You cannot expect to see the same bandwidth value every time you measure it. Furthermore, you cannot expect to see the full nominal speed of your connection for your bandwidth measurement because there are always delays somewhere.

To get the best picture of your Internet bandwidth, test several times. Also test at different times of the day: Your bandwidth measurement at 7 AM may be much better than your bandwidth measurement at 10 PM.


It is impossible to send “pure” information over a digital line. This is due to the fact that the transmitted data is encapsulated in shells(frames) to ensure the integrity of the information, as well the additional protocols necessary to route the data over Ethernet, TCP/IP, and other networking protocols.

What does this mean?

This means about 8-10% of bandwidth is taken up by routing overhead.This must be factored in when determining your actual throughput speeds.