London software testing news UK

Are Broadband speed test misleading?

Posted in Load testing by testing in London on February 14, 2009

From Onestopclick

Broadband speed tests confuse consumers by neglecting to take account of a number of factors, it has been revealed. Earlier this month, internet connection comparison website Broadband Genie claimed it has developed an online test able to analyse speeds of up to 20Mb and 50Mb.

Commenting on this, technology research firm OneStopClick stated that such assessments are designed to deliver results that merely reinforce the service being sold and as such do not instigate a test that will reflect the consumers’ experience.

OneStopClick said tests such as this are capacity testing rather than true connection speed tests and do not take into account connection delays caused by transmission control protocol (TCP) flow control or inherent latency and quality, therefore reporting only the ‘capacity’ speed attainable not usable.

Julian Palmer of OneStopClick commented: “All they appear to have done is test different speed testing applications until they got tests that deliver the results they want the customer to see.”

One Response to 'Are Broadband speed test misleading?'

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  1. ADSLGeek said,

    Having looked into all the different ways that it is possible to measure speed, I agree that a lot of different methods can indeed be fairly misleading, but trying to explain the details of latency, packetloss, and quite a lot of TCP/IP settings eg MTU, MSS, TCP receive window etc, can be a bit of a mission to the standard internet customers.

    But these that (in my experience) often have a big impact on customers real time experience than a straight connection rate, or download rate, but the benefit is that this is that these are simple metrics that the end customer can easily understand.

    I think what is needed is a multi level test that manages to test all these types of metrics, but has a simple way of displaying it – I must admit the site is pretty good as a simple speed test. But more work is needed.


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