March 14, 2011, 11:44 AM — So you've read about our 4G speed tests, and now you want to know how your smartphone or cellular-modem speeds stack up to our results. You have a few easy ways to conduct such tests yourself.
Testing network speeds is a messy business. To measure your Internet connection's throughput, these apps will test the transfer rates between your smartphone or PC and the closest test server available. However, the test data will make several stops between your device and the test server--which means network congestion or signal interference will have plenty of opportunity to slow down your overall connection. If you're trying to compare different devices on the same carrier, or speeds between different carriers, you'll get more accurate results if you try several tests in the same time and place, and keep track of the different speeds. Don't base your results on a single test--everyone has a bad network day every now and then.
Speedtest.net: Android, iOS, and Your PC
If you don't already use Speedtest.net, you should--it's an easy way to test your home or office's Internet connection for bandwidth and latency. Of course, you can also use this service to test your PC's cellular Internet connection (either via built-in cellular Internet or a separate modem, such as the MiFi). All you have to do is navigate over to Speedtest.net and click the Begin Test button, and the site will match you up to the nearest test server and put your Internet connection through its paces, which is handy for checking to see if your ISP's reported speeds match your actual speeds.