Sometimes, some of the best and most useful apps are the ones that we take for granted but that are so essential that we use them everyday.
For me, this is the case of Speed Test, a simple, yet very powerful app that allows users to measure the speed of their internet connections. The app was released by Ookla, the team behind the extremely popular SpeedTest.net website, which performs for computers the very same function that their iOS app performs for the iPhone and other iOS devices.
Using Speed Test
Upon opening the app, it first finds the closest server and prompts you to start with the speed tests. Tapping the Begin Test button will start the speed test, showing you first the Ping, then the Download and lastly the Upload speeds.
As each phase of the test is completed, the top of the screen of the Speed Test app displays the maximum Download and Upload speeds that it is able to detect. Additionally, the app also shows you your connection host.
At the lower part of the screen, you will be able to see a set of two different and very useful graphics. These are real-time graphics that show you not only your connection speed levels, but also how consistent your connection is. For example, as you can see in the picture below, while the upload connection shows a very consistent speed throughout (right graph), the other graph (on the left) clearly demonstrates that the fast download speed is not stable.
On a side note, while the app is free, it would be nice to be able to remove the ads, since they take quite a significant portion of the lower screen, which could serve for displaying even more data.
Speed Test Settings and History
The settings within Speed Test allows you, among other things, to change servers from among all the ones near your area. Additionally, you can also choose the way the speed is displayed in and how your test history is sorted when viewing.
Taping the Results tab at the bottom of the screen will take you to your speed test history, showing all the information pertaining to each test performed in the past. This allows you to keep track of the performance of your connection throughout time both via Wi-Fi and cellular.
A very handy tool within the Speed Test app is the ability to export your historical data via email with a CSV file, allowing you to open it on every major spreadsheet editor.
Final Thoughts on Speed Test
There is really very little to complain about an app that performs so well and that is offered for free by the developers. Perhaps my only gripe with it is the complete lack of sync functionality between the app and the Speed Test website, which would allow me to view all my Mac and iPhone connection speed data on one device or the other without distinctions.
As for the app itself, if you ever wanted to know you connection speed just because, or if you are an internet connection speed freak like I am, then Speed Test is your best choice out there.
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