Netflix launched fast.com just over two years ago – it’s a simple way of testing how quick your broadband connection is, so you can see if you can stream video from a service like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Now TV. And now it’s gained some new features.
It now measures your connection latency and upload speed. Upload speed refers to the speed of the connection for uploading data from your device to the internet. Latency, meanwhile, is a bit more complicated.
Latency refers to the time it takes for data to travel from your device to the server and back. fast.com measures it on both loaded and unloaded connections – unloaded is when there’s no other traffic on your network, while loaded refers to when other data-heavy applications – like video streaming, online gaming or backing up photos – are being used on the network.
Ideally, the unloaded and loaded latency measurements should be quite close together. If they’re not, that might be why your video streaming isn’t performing as well as it should be.
You can ask your internet service provider for advice on this.
fast.com has now generated over half a billion speed tests from around the world. If you want to stream video, Netflix recommends 3Mbps for standard definition, 5Mbps for high definition, and 25Mbps for ultra HD (aka 4K).