So your Internet service provider conveniently says you get “up to” a certain amount of speed with your Internet connection. But how do you know your real speed? Do you trust your ISP? And what about peak usage times? Does your provider slow or throttle your service when you’re using your connection for things like movie streaming and online gaming?
While there are speed tests to check your connection speed, they won’t give you any insight into the exact speed of the data coming from steaming services like Netflix. That’s because many ISPs throttle the connection when it’s been used for streaming services, especially during peak use hours. Typical speed tests calculate speed using a data block to measure point to point speed from a server and can give insights into things like browsing and downloads. But to get a truly accurate reading on how your connection is performing while streaming content, you’ll need to utilize a more specific speed test.
If you are one of the 44 million Netflix subscribers worldwide, you should to perform the Example Short 23.976 test to see exactly how fast your Internet connection brings you data from Netflix and at what resolution.
What the test does
The test, designed by Netflix, shows you how quickly you are receiving data from the streaming service and at what resolution. The 11-minute short film uses a series of non-sequitur video clips to test the bit rate of your connection. Bit rate is the rate at which bits (binary 1’s and 0’s) are being transmitted on a digital network. A display in the top left corner will show you how fast information is being exchanged and also keeps track of resolution.
How to administer the test
Using the Netflix search function, search for Example Short 23.976, and click PLAY. When you first start the video, resolution and bit rate will be low, as Netflix works to figure out your bandwidth. Play the video for at least 5 minutes to get an accurate reading of your bandwidth.
Why is this test important?
If you experience lag time or buffering when you watch Netflix, it can be hard to tell if the issues are due to your Internet connection or an overloaded Netflix system. This test allows you to see if your Internet provider is slowing down or throttling your connection when you use Netflix, or if the issues are on Netflix’s end.
What can I do with this information?
Armed with a more accurate idea of your usable bandwidth, you are now able to accurately discern whether the speed your provider says you are getting is actually what you are getting. No one wants to pay for speeds they aren’t able to access.
• For a more accurate picture of your speed, run the test at different times throughout the day.
• Check your ISP speeds against other leading providers on the Netflix ISP Speed Index
To upgrade your high-speed Internet, or to find a provider that can live up to your speed expectations, click here.