When you are starting a business that relies heavily on the Internet, you obviously need to sign up with the best Internet service provider (ISP.) Of course, high-speed broadband is the way to go.
Now, when it comes to choosing broadband provider, your main considerations should be speed and reliability. Of course, you want your broadband to be high speed and ultra reliable. With so many pitches out there, how to know which broadband provider is better than the others?
The basic rule of thumb in choosing broadband is that you need to think local; regardless of what your broadband provider claims, you need to check (and whenever possible, compare) broadband speed in your local area. To do so, you need a tool that can give you some ideas regarding your Internet connection’s quality.
Recommended broadband speed test tools
Here are my top picks to help you get started…
SpeedTest.net does one and only thing so well: It measures your broadband’s upload and download speed regardless of your location (SpeedTest.net has servers on over 600 cities in more than 130 countries.) They also have the Promise Index, comparing speed test results to the ISP’s promised speed – a good benchmarking system that can help you decide which broadband provider tops the others.
2. uSwitch’s broadband speed test
If you are residing in the UK, there’s a very useful, more informational tool by uSwitch.com, one of UK’s leading comparison site. You can use the broadband speed test tool to test how fast your broadband is. What’s so great about the tool is the fact that you can see your neighbour’s broadband speeds so that you can compare them with yours; you can then switch provider if you want.
As broadband speeds vary over time, you can also uSwitch’s broadband speed tracker to track broadband providers’ speed over time.
Pretty similar to SpeedTest.com, Speed.io measures your broadband Internet access’s upload and download speed, as well as the number of connections and ping response time. It’s also working with broadband provider worldwide.
DownTester is not an online tool; you need to install the software locally to be able to use it. However, it’s worth downloading and installing; with DownTester, you can test your Internet download speed automatically from the list of URLs you specify.
5. M-Lab’s NDT (Network Diagnostic Tool)
If you are a techie, this tool might interest you more, simply because it offers more information for expert user. Not only the upload and download speeds, the tool also help you determine any possible issues that can limit your broadband speeds and provide you with useful diagnostic report. Of course, if you are not as techie, you can always note the report and send it over to your office’s network admin.
You can find the tool here: http://www.measurementlab.net/measurement-lab-tools#tool1 (and, oh, NDT also comes as an Android app, too!)
So, there you go; a list of 5 broadband speed test tools you can make use of in helping you decide which broadband provider to sign up with. What’s your favourite speed test tool? Are you using a tool not listed above? Please share your tool and do let us know why it rocks!
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