Speed test calculates the speed of your internet connection and measures the response time based on communication between your device and a dedicated server in our global network.
When you click Run test, your browser sends a signal to the speed test server to initiate the procedure. The server then sends small packets of data to your device, measuring how much data it can receive in a certain amount of time and the time required to deliver responses. During this interval, the tool estimates the measurements and translates them into Mbps (megabits per second) and ms (milliseconds.)
A testing server is assigned automatically based on preliminary latency assessment, but you can select a different server from 25+ servers on six continents. Keep in mind that latency (ping and jitter metrics) is highly sensitive to distance and strongly correlates with server location.
Download speed is a main metric if you’re wondering how fast your internet is. It shows how much data you can retrieve in a certain amount of time from a server on the web. The higher the download speed, the faster a website will be opened or a file saved on your device.
A good download speed is at least 100 Mbps: it’s sufficient for watching Netflix and browsing the web on several devices simultaneously. If your internet speed test result is around 25 Mbps, you can stream HD video, have a Zoom meeting, and search the web without any issues—but only on a single device.
Upload speed shows how much data you can send in a certain amount of time to a server on the web. This metric is important when making video calls, uploading videos on YouTube, or saving backups to the cloud.
Because a typical user spends most of their time downloading data from the internet, many internet service providers (ISPs) offer an asymmetrical connection, whereby a good download rate comes together with a lower upload speed. The situation is changing, but in many cases, the upload speed can still be as much as 10-15 times lower than downloading. Therefore, 10 Mbps is considered a fast upload speed for a speed test result.
The ping or latency is the time needed for a signal to travel to a destination and return. It can also be called the “response time” of the network. This is a fundamental aspect of digital communication: determining how quickly you can establish a connection with a server and how fast its answer will be.
Ping strongly depends on the physical distance between the server and the user. In theory, every 96 km (60 miles) of distance adds about 1 ms to your latency. But in practice, there are many factors negatively affecting this value. For example, even communicating with a server on the other side of the globe, your latency wouldn’t be lower than 200–300 ms. There are several ways and services to mitigate this issue (like using a CDN), but in general, this fact is inevitable for networking.
Ping amounts of 50–100 ms are average for general internet tasks like web browsing. For latency-sensitive activities like video calls or online gaming, acceptable amounts of ping are in the range of 15–30 ms.
Jitter (also called packet delay variation, abbreviated to PDV) is a more profound latency metric. It shows the variation in response time results of your network connection within a certain period of time. Having high amounts of jitter means that transferred data packets will arrive at irregular intervals and could arrive in the wrong sequence. The jitter increases when your connection is experiencing network congestion or traveling through many outdated routers, to give two examples.
This metric is important for any kind of real-time communication, such as voice or video calls. With a high amount of jitter, your packets will be sent out of order, and it can cause connectivity problems such as echoing, distortion, pixelated video, or choppy audio.
The acceptable level of jitter for an internet connection is anywhere below 30 ms. Theoretically, the perfect jitter value is about 1% of the latency.