Netflix brings Fast.com broadband test tool to Android and iOS

11 Aug 201635 Shares

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The more you use the Fast.com app the more information Netflix gleans about the quality of broadband in your country

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Netflix has made its broadband speed-testing tool Fast.com available as a mobile app on Android and iOS.

Users can get the free app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

The app lets users measure how fast their internet connection is at any given moment.

‘In pursuit of the design goal of simplicity, we deliberately chose to measure only download speed’
– ELLEN LIVENGOOD, NETFLIX

The more users use the app the more information Netflix gets about the quality of service that ISPs provide around the country.

The secret sauce behind Fast.com

Netflix’s Sergey Federov and Ellen Livengood explained that the Fast.com service has been used by millions of users worldwide since it launched.

“We wanted to make sure that Fast.com could be easily used and understood by the majority of internet users, without requiring them to have any prior knowledge of computer networking, command line tools, and the like,” explained Fedorov.

Rather than using variables such as server location, loads on server, TCP connections and content types to measure speeds, Netflix checks its own production servers, which store and serve Netflix content and which represent as much as 35pc of last-mile internet peak traffic in most regions.

“In pursuit of the design goal of simplicity, we deliberately chose to measure only download speed, measuring how fast data travels from server to consumer when they are performing activities such as viewing web pages or streaming video. Downloads represent the majority of activity for most internet consumers,” Livengood said.

Netflix image Via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com