Testing upload/download bandwidth speeds for verification

Chris Tyler chris at tylers.info
Fri Aug 14 16:42:23 UTC 2009

On Fri, 2009-08-14 at 08:29 -0700, Daniel B. Thurman wrote:
> I have been testing my residential ISP/DSL-Landline
> connections and wanted to make sure that I was getting
> what I am paying for. Supposedly, one can use the various
> website based "speed test" tools to determine their upload
> and download speeds.
> Are these "speed test" tools credible and can they
> be trusted?
> Of the several sites I have tried, they all more or less
> seemed to be in close agreement with one another in
> terms of the bandwidth speeds, i.e. my connection
> speed is quoted at 768KB/s up and 3MB/s down,
> and the farther away from central, the more reduced
> is the speeds are.
> The average speed tools says that I have measured
> speeds of 720-30 KB/s up and 2.0-5MB/s down.
> Why is it however, that when downloading software
> from the various Linux/M$ and other downloads sites
> I am seeing on average, speeds of 200-320(max) KB/s
> and never see anything much faster than that?

Yes. 3 megaBITs per second is just over 300 kiloBYTEs per second. There
are 8 bits per byte, plus there's packet and protocol overhead, so a
10:1 ratio between the numbers is normal.

> So, does that mean I am wasting money by going from
> 768KB/s Up / 768KB/s Down to 768KB/s Up / 3MB/s
> Down since I will never obtain download speeds faster
> than the Upload limit of 768KB/s ???

No, if you downgraded to 768 kilobit/sec service you would expect a
maximum download speed of around 75-80 kilobytes per second.


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