Why does the speed tests differ so much?

Posted on 2014-08-07
Last Modified: 2014-08-27
Our ISP is Earthlink. We have 10M fiber connection which includes a site-to-site MPLS. I'm so confused about the speed test results of Upload generated by between my ISP and others. (Download results by all tools are almost the same at about 9.7M.)

Look, If I use , or Verizon speed test, etc, the upload speed is only about 3M. It is quite awful, isn't it? But the problem is, if I use EarthLink's own tool provided at its website:
I will get the upload speed at about 9M. That is huge difference between 3M and 9M. Can you help me figure out which number is more real? And could my ISP be cheating?
Question by:Castlewood
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    The sites you mentioned are bottle necked  because millions of people are using the site to test there speeds.

    Your ISP test site is likely the most reliable.

    Can you post link to you plan? In general 3mb upload and 10mb down would be consistent with most plans.
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    Your upload speed to your provider is the most direct test. After your traffic leaves your provider it will compete with other traffic. Also, as joinaunion posted, they may be overused.
    The ISP test will show you your (mostly) pure upload speed almost. The other results will show you your actual and real "internet" speed.
    LVL 9

    Assisted Solution

    If you want to see the real speed of your internet do it at 3 or 4 am,  in the morning. During regular hours when everyone is on the internet, it will slow between 3-5 megs. And the test depends on if the test site its on DSl, ADSL, Dial up or broadband internet, and how far in internet terms how many hops you are away from your ISP.

    Author Closing Comment

    I was just using another speed test site

    and the result supports the one by our ISP.

    Featured Post

    PRTG Network Monitor: Intuitive Network Monitoring

    Network Monitoring is essential to ensure that computer systems and network devices are running. Use PRTG to monitor LANs, servers, websites, applications and devices, bandwidth, virtual environments, remote systems, IoT, and many more. PRTG is easy to set up & use.

    Join & Write a Comment

    Problem Description:   Couple of months ago we upgraded the ADSL line at our branch office from Home to Business line. The purpose of transforming the service to have static public IP’s. We were in need for public IP’s to publish our web resour…
    There are two basic ways to configure a static route for Cisco IOS devices. I've written this article to highlight a case study comparing the configuration of a static route using the next-hop IP and the configuration of a static route using an outg…
    Here's a very brief overview of the methods PRTG Network Monitor ( offers for monitoring bandwidth, to help you decide which methods you´d like to investigate in more detail.  The methods are covered in more detail in o…
    In this tutorial you'll learn about bandwidth monitoring with flows and packet sniffing with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're interested in additional methods for monitoring bandwidt…

    729 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    21 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now