How to Check Current Internet Speed

By Jacqui Lane

The speed at which you connect to the Internet is primarily controlled by two factors. The first factor is your method of connection. Dial-up connections are limited to 56kbps., while broadband options such as cable, DSL or satellite Internet connections are capable of much faster speeds. Your Internet service provider is the second element that determines the speed at which you surf the web. Many broadband providers sell different Internet packages that offer you increased speed at a higher price. If you're not sure you're getting what you pay for, use a free online speed test to see how fast your connection really is.

Step 1

Use the free speed test provided by (see Resources) to test your connection. Choose the server location closest to you to begin the test. The test measures how long it takes you to download and upload a sample file.

Step 2

Test your speed with the CNET Bandwidth Meter Online Speed Test (see Resources). Enter your area code, provider type and ISP in the form and click "Go." Your download speed will be displayed on the next page and compared to typical speeds provided by other types of Internet connections.

Step 3

Measure the speed of your connection using the free speed test from (see Resources). Click "Start" to begin the test. Your download and upload speed will be displayed on the same page after the test has completed.