Netflix just rolled out a nicely done, simple-to-use way for consumers to estimate what speed their Internet service provider is providing.
Though not a network engineer’s analysis and diagnostic suite, the web-based application is minimal, fast and ad-free, unlike Ookla’s ubiquitous Speedtest.net website and the associated mobile app.
Here’s how you can quickly measure your download speed with Netflix’s new tool.
The web app can be accessed at fast.com on any mobile or desktop device with a browser. It performs a series of downloads from Netflix servers to measure your downlink speed.
Uplink is not tested because it’s the downlink that matters when streaming online video. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to get the measured download speed from leading Internet services, which use globally distributed servers.
“If results from fast.com and other speed tests often show less speed than you have paid for, you can ask your ISP about the results,” Netflix advises.
Just to be sure, this is a consumer speed test that measures your personal Internet connection so don’t confuse it with Netflix’s ISP Speed Index, which measures average monthly speeds of actual Netflix streams during prime time hours.
You don’t have to be a Netflix member to use Fast.com.
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“We all want a faster, better Internet, yet Internet speeds vary greatly and can be affected by other users on your network or congestion with your Internet service provider,” said Netflix.
“When you’re experiencing streaming issues, fast.com allows you to check the download speeds you’re getting from your Internet service provider”.
Fast.com works like other globally available tools, including Speedtest.net, so the results should be similar in most cases.
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Netflix recently added cellular video quality controls to the mobile app and the web and started rolling out limited support for HDR and Dolby Vision streaming.
This has got to be the simplest Internet speed test on the web, don’t you think so?