Internet Speed Test: 10 ways to test and boost your speed

Best internet speed test utilities

Just in case your internet speed test results didn't meet your impatient, always-needlessly-double-clicking expectations, we updated our list of the best utilities to boost your scores. Check out the hardware and software suggestions on the next page.

An internet speed test can give you the down-low on your download and upload speeds, detailing whether or not your internet service provider is living up to its end of the broadband contract.

Of course, there are a lot of options out there to test your internet bandwidth, and some sites and apps offer more statistics than others.

To help narrow the broad range of broadband testing services out there, we have put together a list of the five internet testing destinations to try in browsers and mobile apps.

Speakeasy / MegaPath Speed Test Plus

One of the most popular destinations for an internet speed test has been, which began analyzing 56K and broadband connections in the 1990s. Today, the site simply redirects to MegaPath Speed Test, which provides a similar function, but MegaPath still keeps the popular and much-cooler-sounding Speakeasy brand around.

But MegaPath now gives the millions of people who test their broadband connection new reason to hop on over to the new site: the MegaPath Speed Test Plus. This enhanced version features packet loss, latency and jitter tests in addition to download and upload speeds calculations.

Sure, MegaPath Speed Test Plus takes a few minutes longer and scares users with a couple of "needs to access your computer" warning messages. But it can determine if there's something wrong with your internet line besides the average download and upload speeds.

It's always good to get a second opinion, and that's why should be the very next website you visit to test your internet speed. More than 50 million people do just that on this flashier-looking broadband performance evaluator, which happens to be owned by Ookla, the very same company that licenses MegaPath's underlying engine.

However, Ookla's does a little more for frequent testers - it allows users to create an account, save their results and rate their ISP. It's then possible to flip to another page and compare the speed test results to other broadband owners in your area.

Official ISP speed tests

Ookla is also used as the underlying engine for ISP-branded speed tests, but it's still a smart idea to use them to sample your download and upload quality. After all, ISPs can't argue when you're using their own tests to determine the poor quality of your internet connection.

Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS are some of the ISPs that test your download and upload speeds. AT&T did have a speed test for its DSL and U-Verse fiber optic customers, but in perfect AT&T fashion, this is down and just points everyone to use

SpeedOf.Me, the HTML5 internet speed test

On the forefront of internet speed tests is SpeedOf.Me, which skips the Flash and the Java required by all of the aforementioned broadband testing services. Its use of HTML5 technology means that it works with iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone 8 mobile devices.

While it's claim of being "the smartest and most accurate online bandwidth test," remains up for debate, it can be considered the flashiest internet speed test without the flash. Big wavy lines that stretch the width of your computer screen make up this unique website.

Speed test apps for iPhone, iPad, Android

Apps dedicated to testing your mobile device's speed can be found in the Apple App Store as well as Google Play. Ookla cornered the market on iPhone and has a big following among Android devices with its Mobile Speed Test application.

However, this isn't available as a native app on the iPad. Owners of Apple's popular tablet can download Speedtest X HD for free instead. Another company looking to get in on the mobile internet speed testing craze is Speed A.I., which offers an alternative to Ookla's Android app with the app-ly named Internet Speed Test.