Here are some free ways to clock your progress from zero to 60 kilobytes a second.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983

T e c h n o f i l e
How fast is your connection? Find out with a free 'Internet speedometer'

April 6, 2008

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2008, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2008, The Post-Standard

   Knowing how fast your computer's going on that Internet superhighway can be a big help. If you know your typical average speed, for example, you can spot traffic jams times everybody seems to be grabbing e-mail and surfing the Web, slowing you down.
   And if you soup up the Internet "engine" on your computer using software tweaks, having an Internet speedometer will give you an instant readout of your progress.
   Here are some free ways to clock your progress from zero to 60 kilobytes a second. These install directly on your Windows PC or Mac:
   Bandwidth Vista, from www.bandwidthvista.com, for Windows XP and Vista. Shows traffic routing as well as speed.
   Speed Test, from www.speedtestpro.net, for Windows XP and Vista.
   iStat Pro, from http://islayer.com. For Macs. Shows dozens of other statistics, too. (Yes, it's free despite the "pro" name.)
   Traffic Meter, from www.shockwidgets.com, for Macs. Small and simple.
   Unlike the programs listed above, which have to be installed on your computer, here are Web sites that test your Internet speed. They work on Windows, Macs and Linux PCs.
   www.dslreports.com/speedtest. Choose the "Flash 8" test. Notice that the speed test also knows where you are. (So much for privacy!)
   http://us.mcafee.com/root/speedometer/default.asp. This test shows both the numbers and a dial.
   www.auditmypc.com/internet-speed-test.asp. Great graphics. The site has two other tests. Be sure to check them out, too.
   www.internetfrog.com/mypc/speedtest: Informative comparison chart. You'll also see a "QOS" result. That stands for "Quality of Service," a ranking that some ISP's don't want you to see.
   www.speedguide.net/speedtest. Excellent site that lets you choose a close or distant server to see the difference in speed.
   www.speakeasy.net/speedtest. Upload and download tests from a choice of servers.
   www.speedtest.net. A choice of servers and great graphics. In fact, this site looks like a Star Wars viewport. You've got to show this off to your friends.