- M-Lab's Speed Test provides advanced diagnostics of the performance of your broadband connection through quick measurements. I agree to the data policy, which includes retention and publication of.
- Measurement Lab (M-Lab) is a measurement platform that provides one of the largest collections of public data on Internet performance.
Google M-lab Speed Test
1. Differences in the location of testing servers
Every performance test has two parts:
- client: This is the software that runs on the user’s machine and shows the user their speed results.
- server: This is the computer on the Internet to which the client connects to complete the test.
A test generates data between the client and the server, and measures performance between these two points. The location of these two points is important in terms of understanding the results of a given test.
If the server is located within your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) own network (also known as the “last mile”), this is referred to as an “on-net” measurement. This approach lets you know about how your Internet connection is performing intra-network within your ISP, but it does not necessarily reflect the full experience of using the Internet, which almost always involves using inter-network connections (connections between networks) to access content and services that are hosted somewhere outside of your ISP. Results from on-net testing are often higher than those achieved by using other methods, since the “distance” traveled is generally shorter, and the network is entirely controlled by one provider (your ISP).
“Off-net” measurements occur between your computer and a server located outside of your ISP’s network. This means that traffic crosses inter-network borders and often travels longer distances. Off-net testing frequently produces results that are lower than those produced from on-net testing.
M-Lab’s measurements are always conducted off-net. This way, M-Lab is able to measure performance from testers’ computers to locations where popular Internet content is often hosted. By having inter-network connections included in the test, test users get a real sense of the performance they could expect when using the Internet.
2. Differences in testing methods
Different Internet performance tests measure different things in different ways. M-Lab’s NDT test tries to transfer as much data as it can in ten seconds (both up and down), using a single connection to an M-Lab server. Other popular tests try to transfer as much data as possible at once across multiple connections to their server. Neither method is “right” or “wrong,” but using a single stream is more likely to help diagnose problems in the network than multiple streams would. Learn more about M-Lab’s NDT methodology.
M-Lab hosts a number of measurement tests, allowing you to check for everything from network speed and latency to blocking and throttling. Explore them below, and run a test to learn more about your connection.
All tests hosted on M-Lab only perform active measurements. This means that tests only run when people decide to run them. They do not passively monitor your connection. M-Lab hosted tests do not download or upload files to or from your device. Instead tests measure the way in which the network responds to a synthetic stream of data that is generated by the individual test specifically for the purpose of measurement. The tests do not collect information about your other Internet traffic, such as your emails or web searches, or any personally identifiable information.
- All data collected will be made publicly available, including the IP addresses that users use to connect to the test.
- All data collected is stored and published indefinitely.
- M-Lab cannot delete the data associated with individual user tests once it has been collected.
- All tests are open source and created and maintained by researchers.
Using and Troubleshooting M-Lab Tests
M-lab Internet Speed Test
If you need help or have questions about using M-Lab tests, you can search our answers to commonly asked questions through our support website, or email us at [email protected] and our team will get back to you.