How to view internet connection speed?

  polymath 14:52 06 Nov 08
Locked

New to broadband and to Vista (straight from 98SE, so don't know XP);

In 98SE (using dialup), I could see what my internet connection speed was by right-clicking on the connection icon.
I have a new broadband connection, to use with a new desktop and laptop (both with Vista Home Premium). How do I see the internet connection speed in Vista? I've got as far as turning the connection animation on in Vista (to get the little computers lighting up), but can't find any Vista Help references to seeing the connection speed.

In case it makes any difference, I'm getting the broadband by transmission from a local mast. Thus far, I'm simply plugging the cable from the BB receiver into whichever computer I'm using (no router or networking installed yet).
I haven't tried finding the connection speed of the broadband using the 98SE computer, as few security apps support 98SE now, and it doesn't have a network port anyway (I'll ascertain later if the old computer can get malware protection by being networked).

  BurrWalnut 15:57 06 Nov 08

Scroll down to, then click ’Start Test’ click here

  polymath 18:45 06 Nov 08

Thanks BurrWalnut.
I already had links to some speed test sites, but thanks for yours. The page also has a useful overview of all the ZDNet resources.

Dumb question from a broadband first-timer; does this mean that the only way of knowing the connection speed is to go to an online speed test (or perhaps to get a desktop app that'll show the speed)?
(As opposed to Windows' simple popup from the connection icon, as with dialup)

  BurrWalnut 19:50 06 Nov 08

In reality you only need to know the connection speed when it's running slow, if you get my drift.

Also, your ISP will be able to tell you the maximum attainable speed. I used to have a link that showed this for telephone lines but I've lost it. Google for it.

If you are using a telephone line, here is a distance from telephone exchange link click here

  polymath 20:36 06 Nov 08

Yes, I know what you mean about only needing to know when it's slow. It's just that my broadband installer will be dropping by any time to check that it's working well, before doing the paperwork. I might not have had time to install any security software in the new computers, and would rather do that before starting to roam around the web (till then, I'm using dialup with the 98SE computer to use the forums. (I can see the speed of that all too well - 12kbps at most!)

Thanks for the phone line link, but my BB isn't through the phone line, but through the air from a mast (I'll see if the link works for dialup connections here in Ireland though, as I also a have a complaint thing going on re the bad phone line).

I think my type of BB is independant of any ISP, but anyway I know the scheme does up to 2k down and 512k up.

  polymath 20:40 06 Nov 08

Just looked at the 'distance from exchange' link, but it needs a post code so can't use it here - I'll see if there's an Irish equivalent.

  peter99co 23:14 06 Nov 08

Glad to see you are making some progress at last!

  Graham. 14:45 07 Nov 08

The speed you were seeing on 98 is the modem speed, not the actual speed of the connection.

  polymath 21:13 08 Nov 08

I've been calling it the wrong thing then, Graham - sorry about that. So is what I see in 98 the modem's speed adjusting to conditions (as I read somewhere that they do)?
What's the correct meaning of 'connection speed'?

Thanks Peter99co - the sudden progress is great after a year of frustration! The local BB transmission scheme has been an on-and-off possibility (and could still be off again if the mast has to be moved). I've had the new computers nearly a year, but they couldn't connect to the internet once the dialup speed dropped below 16kbps.
I updated Vista in 1 computer today (no SP1, but I guess Automatic Updates will offer it soon). The updates didn't take long, so the BB speed must be reasonable. They somehow stopped the BB working, but once that's sorted it's security apps next. So it'll soon be safer to get on the wider web for speed tests etc. And my BB installer keeps forgetting to come back anyway, despite wanting to give him some money!

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