Where can I download a (big enough) file to test my download speed...

…and how do I measure it?

Just had an ATT tech here to attend to my slow-ish speed, and the outcome was not so hot.

I’m getting a download reading at speednet.net in the 2600 kilobit/sec range = ~ .32 MB/sec

At dslreports.com I get 2257 Kilobytes/Sec = 2.26 MB/sec

(I know, bits for bandwidth, bytes for storage, but dslreorts does bandwidth in KB’s.)

Anyway, the disparity between the two websites is so great, I need to time a download.

Is there a website that provides this service?

I just tried on DSLReports, and it reported it in Kb/sec (kilobits). So I think your readings were probably comparable.

If you did see a big difference, it could depend on where the test server is and how busy it was at the time.

As for services that do this, you just ran two of them. You can google “bandwidth speed test” if you want to try more. Just keep in mind that downloading a file is as much a test of their upload capacity as your download capacity.

Give this a try.

I think that’s what the OP meant when s/he typed “speednet.net

Try TestMy.net.

They have a Smart Test, which keeps downloading larger and larger files until they get an accurate reading. Or you can simply choose the file size yourself, up to 100MB.

Those online test sites are very unreliable. Try downloading a big file from a fast server, eg one of these:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/winvista_x86_181.22_whql.html
http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_catalyst.aspx?p=vista32/common-vista32

All that the “speed test” sites do is measure how long it takes you to download a large file. The discrepancy is caused by the different path from your computer to the servers sending the file (plus things like the amount of traffic your ISP is handling in your neighborhood at that specific time).

The most reliable way to test is to find a server very close to you, preferably in the same city.

DSLReport’s speed test (I like the Flash version) is pretty good, and lets you select what server in what city to transfer from.

Dog80: I agree, downloading a big file while measuring with a stopwatch is a good test, but its not materially different than what the test sites do.

Thank you all very much.

I’ve made notes of your recommendations, and will avila myself of them

Had a discussion with the AT&T tech here at my house.

I wonder who does the training there.

This man insisted the speed tests at speedtest.net is in bytes. Insisted.

Go to the main page and in the middle of the “speedometer” you’ll see in small type"
“Bits per second”.

Then if you go to their FAQs, at

and juat as it says on the speedomoter,

you find this will see this quote:

**Does kb/s and kbps mean kilobits or kilobytes, and can I change the speed measurement?

We use kb for kilobit and KB for kilobyte throughout the site. So unless you see it in upper case, then it means kilobits. While the measurement seen in the Flash test application itself is always in kbps, you can** change it to other measurements at the top right of the My Past Results page.

(Actually it’s plain old MY RESULTS)

Click on it. At the top of the page look right for Speed Measure and select whatever you want your results reported in - kilobits kilobutes, etc., and Save.

Finally consider this page I found after asking you folks about downloading files.

http://www.numion.com/Calculators/Units.html

I hope you won’t get mad with me about maybe wasting your time reporting the AT&T fiasco. I think I’m right.

This one, Speakeasy, allows you to select the server location.

Here’s another, PC Pitstop.

Here are 650MB ISO images of Debian Linux. Let that run for 10 or 15 minutes and you’ll have a good idea of your speed:

http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/4.0_r6/i386/iso-cd/