Speed testers explained


Which speed tester should I use?

There are lots of speed testers available on the Internet. You have to make sure that the tester you use is capable of testing/detecting the higher speeds associated with Fibre. We know that www.speedtest.net is compatible with Fibre, as is the BT Wholesale speed tester available at speedtest.btwholesale.com.

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What does a speed test tell me?

Different speed testers will give you different bits of information about your line. Most people are interested in:

  • The Downstream line rate - Also known as the IP profile. This is the maximum rate that your line can achieve to deliver data to your computer from the Internet and relates to the ‘up to 100Mb/s’ that we quote for BT Business Infinity.
  • The Throughput rate - This is the rate the data is actually flowing through from your computer to the point that the data leaves BT’s network and goes out to the Internet. We measure network performance based on this rate and we try to make sure this rate never goes below 16Mb/s for our Fibre customers.

    The throughput rate is affected by lots of things like:

    • the performance of your computer and any other activity on your network
    • other traffic on BTs network
    • the performance of the web sites or applications you're accessing when you are downloading traffic (and how many other people are trying to access the information from that server at the same time).
  • The Upstream line rate - This is the maximum rate that your line can achieve to send data from your computer up to the Internet. BT Business Broadband Fibre currently has a standard upstream rate of ‘up to 10Mb/s’.
  • The Ping rate - If you are into playing online games or running applications which require a fast response when you do something on your network, then this is a figure you'll be interested in. This is the amount of time it takes for a byte of data to go up to the Internet and get a response back to your computer.

    Note that on the BT Wholesale speed tester at speedtest.btwholesale.com, the Downstream line rate is represented as your IP profile

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How can I get an accurate result when I run my speed test?

There are lots of things that can affect the speed of your Fibre service. Make sure that you're getting an accurate result of the speed that your line supports by following these hints:

  • Only run from the line you're trying to test - You'll need to have a computer connected to the line you want to test in order to get a speed test for your line.
  • Use Ethernet - Remove the impact of any wireless performance issues by using a wired Ethernet connection between your computer and your Fibre Hub.
  • Minimise impact from your computer - Make sure that all applications on your computer are closed down before you start the speed test so that the computer processor speed can focus on the speed test, rather than running a bunch of other files and programmes.
  • Minimise impact from your network - If you have other computers or devices connected to your Fibre Hub, you should make sure that these are not currently accessing the Internet or downloading files or streaming content. If your network is busy with those activities, the results that you get won't give you an accurate picture of what your line is capable of.
  • Turn off VPN connections - If you happen to be connecting with a work computer that is running a VPN connection to your company’s network, be sure to turn this off before running the speed test.

    The VPN connection acts like a tunnel within your Broadband pipe. The traffic has to flow to the end of the VPN tunnel before it can go out to the Internet. Because most corporate networks use traffic shaping to manage the data flowing through the tunnels so that everyone accessing the network get an equal share of their bandwidth, you will not get an accurate result of your line speed if you try running the speed test through the VPN.
  • Don't run a test too often - Some speed testers limit the number of times you can run a test from the same line to make sure that their servers are able to cope with the volume of people wanting to run speed tests. If you want to run multiple tests to try different configurations to see how different things impact on your speed, be aware that you may have to wait up to three hours before being able to re-run a speed test from the same speed test website.
  • Run the test at different times of day - At busy times (4pm to 10pm) the throughput rate can momentarily drop as low as 2.4Mb per second. If you check your line speed and see a speed lower than 2.4Mb/s, then there may be a problem with our network. If you think you have slow speed, please see My connection is slow. What can I do?.

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What should I enter when asked for additional validation on speedtest.btwholesale.com?

The speed tester is requesting your unique Network ID when it asks for your normal login name. This was provided to you in your welcome email. If you've forgotten your Network ID see What are my network login details?

The following displays the validation page with an example of the Network ID entered:

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