How to test the speed of your Internet connection

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Speedtest.net results of Internet speed test

There are several ways to test the speed of your Internet connection. The sections below describe tools for testing your Internet connection speed.

The picture shows an example of results from Speedtest.net, displaying download and upload speeds (network throughput) in Mbps. It also shows ping times (network latency) in ms.

Tip

Most Internet connections are optimized for download speeds, because that's the priority for most users. So it's not unusual to have faster download speeds than upload speeds on your connection.

Google speed test

Google offers a tool that tests your Internet connection speed directly from the browser.

  1. Open a web browser, type google.com in the address bar, and press Enter.
  2. In the Google search box, type speed test, and press Enter or click Google Search.

Google search for speed test

  1. In the top search result, click the run speed test button.

Google speed test

Other services to test Internet speed

Tip

If you want to test the speed of your cellular data connection on your smartphone, you can download the Speedtest.net app.

Tip

Another great way to test your Internet connection averages is to install a bandwidth monitor utility on your computer. These tools can give you a good average of what your speed is in reports that can be generated by day, month, or year. See: Monitoring network upload and download data transferred.

How fast should my connection be?

Many users wonder if their connection is fast enough to handle their day-to-day activities on the Web. The answer to this question depends on what you plan to do on the Internet. The following section gives examples of required speeds for different tasks.

  • Online Gaming - Between 15 and 20 Mbps.
  • Streaming standard definition video - Between 2 and 3 Mbps.
  • Streaming 720p high definition video - Between 3 and 5 Mbps.
  • Streaming 1080p high definition video - Between 4 and 8 Mbps.
  • Streaming 4K Ultra high definition video - Between 11 and 15 Mbps.
  • Streaming music - Between 1 and 2 Mbps.

What if I'm not getting the advertised connection speed?

If, after running a speed test you believe your Internet connection speed is not performing at the level it should be, see: Why is my Internet connection so slow? In many cases, other than probing your modem or network interface, an ISP can't do more than test their end to make sure nothing is wrong.