How Can You Test the Speed of Your Computer's Internet Access?

How Can You Test the Speed of Your Computer's Internet Access? offers a global speed test for determining how quickly a computer can both upload and download files on the Internet. SpeedTest operates by sending a small file to a computer and measuring how long it takes, and then having the computer send the file back out to the Internet and measuring that time as well.

A fast Internet connection is critical for online games, streaming movies and simply browsing the web. If the connection on a computer feels slow, using is a great way to determine if it's the Internet that's slow or if it's some other problem.

After performing a speed test, which usually takes just a minute or two, the site displays a few numbers. The first is the ping, which is a measurement of how long a packet of information takes to travel from a computer out to the Internet and then back again. The ping is usually measured in milliseconds, and the lower the ping, the better the connection.

The next two numbers measure the download speed and upload speed of the connection. These are usually measured in megabits per second, which measures how much data can be transmitted over a connection in a second. A good connection to the Internet is indicated by high upload and download speeds.