How do I tell what my download and upload speeds really are?

Posted on 2011-03-01
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
How do I tell what my download and upload speeds really are? Charter Communications is my ISP (not by choice, all that’s available here) where I’m paying for 18 Mbps service, Charter has two different test site and the results are not even close between them.

At (wired) I get a download speed of 8.2 Mbps and upload speed of 1.9 Mbps.

At (wireless) I get a download speed of 3.9 Mbps and upload speed of 1.9 Mbps.

At (wired)  I get a download speed of 20.8 Mbps and upload speed of 1.9 Mbps.

At (wireless)  I get a download speed of 9.4 Mbps and upload speed of 1.9 Mbps.

This one is totally bogus:
At (wired) I get a download speed of 40.12 Mbps and upload speed of 1.8 Mbps.

At (wireless) I get a download speed of 7.49 Mbps and upload speed of 1.8 Mbps.

Question by:philschwartz
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

William Fulks earned 134 total points
ID: 35008467
It greatly depends on what time of day you run the speed tests. It won't always be the same because other Charter customers may be running things. You'll find that peak times such as 7-9am or 4-7pm tend to be slower than later on at night because less people will be using it.

Rather than try a speed test, go to or and find a big file to download, like Windows XP SP3 and watch the download speed there. Also keep in mind that connection speed depends also on what site/server you are connecting to.
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

kadafitcd earned 133 total points
ID: 35008525 is a great site, not bogus at all.  The fact is you could have been hitting a bad server when you got the slow readings.

If you are still skeptical.  Try cleaning out your cache in your browser and starting over.  I suggest using ccleaner from piriform. You can download it for free.  Close all your browsers and open ccleaner then just click run cleaner and then yes and it will clean all your system temp files as well as many others.  It also cleans the recycle bin.  After running it go back to and check.

Getting a higher speed than you're paying for is common for places of low population.  Maybe that is your case.

Good Luck HTH.

Assisted Solution

dtocci earned 133 total points
ID: 35008868
I've always had the most accurate results using speakeasy:
Just choose a server near your home.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35013836
Thanks for the answers

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