With broadband, you are not simply measuring the speed of the cable modem itself but the amount of available bandwidth between you and the location of the file on a server or a speed test site in question.
This article defines measuring speed, and suggests methods to do so.
The definition provided by ntl is: "Bandwidth can be simply thought of as the size and space left in the Internet-Network pipe that the information is being sent down."
While true, this is slightly misleading. You will probably be speed testing because you are unhappy with the download speeds of your cable modem. If you are using a UK miror site to do a speedtest on, then the bottleneck of this connection will almost definitely be ntl's part of the pipe.
There are several ways that you can assess your cable modem speed. However, not all are completely accurate.
- You can assess download speed by retrieving a large file from a UK based FTP site using Internet Explorer. If you use an HTTP site, the speed test can be invalidated because due to caching. Remember to wait for the speed to level out. IE will begin downloading the file while you are still choosing a download directory and filename, so it often overestimates your download speed immediately after you click ok (known as "burst speed").
- Another way of assessing speed would be to visit web sites that have speed tests embedded within the web page, such as:
- There are also specially designed downloadable software speed tests. It may be considered more accurate to use such a specialised downloadable test as have been completely designed for UK broadband connections from ntl and other UK ISP?s.
Daniel Elwell's is the most recognised in the industry (ntl do not recognise it, surprise surprise, but Telewest Broadband do) and is available from broadbandspeedtest.net
It carries out the following tests:
- Tests ping response times to major servers
- Tests download speeds
- Tests Cache page-request time
- Produces Trace Routes
- Retrieves IPConfig settings
It is worth noting that many upload speed tests are invalidated by the presence of a transparent web proxy cache (used to speed up web browsing), so you should disregard the upload results. However, tests for measuring uploads speeds are available from:
Article originally posted by Simon M