Feeds

Broadband speed testers fail the test

Virgin Media dishes out solitary gold star

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.