How can I test my internet speed?

Do you want to know how fast your internet connection really is? Unfortunately there is no perfect speed test out there and getting a true measure of your internet speed can be difficult, as different tests measure your internet performance in different ways and your speed can also vary.

In our story, representatives selling Bell products encouraged the use of Google’s speed test. Just search “speed test” in Google and hit the blue “RUN SPEED TEST” button at the top of the screen.

Both the Google test and the test developed for the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) attempt to measure your internet speed in “real network conditions, closely representing the internet experience of Canadian users”. This kind of test is called a “Network Diagnostic Test” and tests the speed between your device and various internet exchange points located across the country according to international standards developed by the Measurement Lab consortium.

Fenwick McKelvey, an Assistant Professor and Internet Researcher at Concordia University recommends that users don’t just test their internet once, but multiple times and at different times of day to get a better picture of their internet speed.

In addition to running the CIRA’s test, he also recommends that Canadians who are interested in learning more about their speed can volunteer for a free “white box” internet measurement kit. The box connects to your router and will give you detailed data about your broadband connection, and also helps the CRTC to gather reliable and accurate data about internet performance across the country.

Bell -- and other internet service providers -- often recommend a different kind of speed test. This test simply looks at the speed between your home and their network.