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Assessing the Accuracy of Speed Tests

February 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 115

If you are wondering whether an internet speed test is always accurate, keep in mind that there are no speed tests that give completely reliable results. This is because there are various factors that affect the result of a test. The truth is that most tests do not have reliable procedures. Hence, results from these tests are inaccurate. Only tests that use advanced procedures give nearly accurate results. You must keep in mind, also, that results vary from time to time.

Internet users should remember that a speed test is nothing more than a simple browsing simulation. It tells you, somehow crudely, the speed of your internet connectivity under average conditions. It does not necessarily reflect the nature of your internet browsing, downloading, and uploading on a regular basis. The speed test results may sometimes contradict with your true browsing experience.

What is the reason behind such inconsistency between the actual experience and speed test result?

Geographical Location of the Test Server

One of the reasons is the location of the test server. If the location of the server is geographically far from the location of the actual user, the result of the test may be unreliable. It is recommended to choose a server near you. Internet speed test websites may allow you to choose a server from a list.

Simultaneous Internet Activity

Ongoing internet activity in your PC also affects the speed test's results. If you are streaming video or downloading files while the test is in progress, then the results will show lower figures. On the other hand, if your internet service provider is experiencing heavy usage, the results may also show lower than average numbers. This happens during peak hours, when a lot of people are connected to the internet.

Proxy Servers

Anonymous proxy servers also affect test results. For instance, if you are within a corporate network, you are most probably using a proxy server, where additional activity occurs. A proxy server is somewhat a buffer that acts like a bridge between your PC and the internet. Proxy servers are where most requested files on the internet are saved, particularly in caches. So, when you search for something, your request may be sent to the proxy first. If it has the files that you are looking for, then it will transmit them to you right away.

A cache of a proxy server holds files that thousands of internet users have asked for. Your requests are also contained in a cache. When you search the web, the information you are looking for may already be present in the cache. In that case, the cache can deliver the page right away. They significantly increase the speed of your browsing experience.

Concurrent Tests Running on the Same Server

If a lot of people are conducting speed tests on the same server as yours and at the same time you carried out the test, then the results will also be affected.

The factors mentioned above impose limitations on speed tests. Hence, it is important to conduct multiple tests during a considerable span of time to come up with more reliable results. The average results of speed tests determine the performance of your internet service.

For more information about an anonymous proxy and an internet speed test, visit our website

Source: EzineArticles
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