Assessing the Accuracy of Broadband Speed Tests

There are no speed tests which give 100% accurate speed results. The reason is that there are a lot of factors which affect the results such as connection type, the number of users in that area, and the length of the connection. Only the most advanced test services can produce accurate results. Also, keep in mind that the results are not always the same and they may vary from time to time.

The speed test tells broadband users their connection (download and upload) speed based on average conditions. So, why is there so much variation in the speed test? What is the reason for such inconsistency? Here is the answer to these questions.

Geographical Location of the Test Server

If the connection is far from the test server, the test results are mostly unreliable and inaccurate. Speed tests try to choose the nearest server possible to get accurate results, which is why most speed test services such as PTCL speed test do not allow users to choose the server location.

Internet Activity on Your PC

The speed test will also show inaccurate results if you are browsing the web or downloading a file in the background. The test in progress will show a small figure if you have ongoing internet activity in the background. Therefore, to get accurate results, you should stop using the internet and then carry out the speed test online.

Proxy Servers

If you are using a proxy network to access the web, the speed test results will not be accurate. Stop any VPN running in the background and then start the speed test. The proxy server will never give you accurate results as the file will not be downloaded directly from the server to the speed test; it will first have to go through the proxy server which takes time.

Concurrent Tests

You may also get inaccurate speed test results if a lot of users are conducting a speed test at the same time using the same server. Therefore, run the test at a time when you know there are not many users online.

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