Feeds

Broadband speed testers fail the test

Virgin Media dishes out solitary gold star

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Web-based broadband speed testers are mostly rubbish, Virgin Media research has confirmed.

It revealed plans to test the testers last month. Virgin Media didn't believe many were capable of accurately measuring speeds on its top package, which is currently sold at 20Mbit/s downstream and will soon to be upgraded to 50Mbit/s.

The results are in, and it's gold star time for the chaps at Thinkbroadband.com. Virgin Media says they run the only one of the 10 speed testers it investigated capable of clocking 50Mbit/s with any accuracy.

Only two out of 10 (Thinkbroadband and Speedtest.net) are any use for measuring speeds on the current top of the range 20Mbit/s package, according to Virgin Media's testing. Under controlled conditions Virgin Media engineers judged that any speed tester that varied by more than 10 per cent from the headline speed was unacceptably inaccurate.

The cable company said the exercise was intended to highlight that comparison sites may not be giving consumers good information.

Richard Shaw of ISP industry analysts Samknows said: "Accurate information is essential for consumers looking to get a service that suits their needs - be it a casual surfer, a heavy user, or many people sharing a single home connection. SamKnows agrees with Virgin Media, that whilst web based speed-testers are a useful tool, there is still some way to go."

Samknows has recently been appointed by Ofcom to deploy a network of hardware based speed testers to volunteers nationwide. It's part of the regulator's plan to make broadband more transparent to subscribers. A parallel new code of practice to clamp down on "unlimited" marketing chicanery comes into force next year. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
No biggie: EMC's XtremIO firmware upgrade 'will wipe data'
But it'll have no impact and will be seamless, we're told
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.