Netflix launches Fast.com, a speed test with no frills

19 May 201615 Shares

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Netflix is very much into knowing how fast your broadband is, and now the streaming service is getting into the speed-test game with a new website, Fast.com.

Netflix can safely say that its entire existence depends on everyone having a decent standard of broadband speed as, understandably, the more people with access to faster broadband, the more people likely to be customers.

Previously, the company has released monthly reports detailing the average download speeds experienced on different internet service providers (ISPs) in the countries it sells to, such as the one Siliconrepublic.com covered last month.

Now, Netflix has revealed it wants to move in on Ookla’s turf with a speed test accessed through the URL Fast.com.

Once you log onto the site on desktop or mobile, it will automatically begin telling you what your speed is, but it’s worth noting something before taking this metric as something to beat your ISP over the head with if the speed is low.

Compared with other speed tests out there, Fast.com strips down all the other metrics that tend to come with them – such as upload speed, ping etc – and focuses solely on download speed.

fast.com

Don’t take it as gospel

Not only that, but the measurement is based solely on the speed at which your device connects with Netflix’s servers, which isn’t as complete a picture as other speed tests out there, but it’ll certainly confirm that there’s a reason for your pixelated streaming.

While Fast.com’s FAQ section says “If results from Fast.com and other speed tests often show less speed than you have paid for, you can ask your ISP about the results”, it begs the question as to how much ground you have to stand on when using this as evidence to take to an ISP.

After all, Netflix’s speed test includes a link to Ookla’s Speedtest.net to let you compare its result with that of its more detailed competitor.

Given that it is free and available worldwide, regardless of whether you’re a customer or not, it’s still a pretty handy and ‘fast’ tool to get a rough idea of your broadband speed.

This news follows the announcement earlier this month that Netflix was tinkering around with its data usage settings on mobile to offer controls to make it easier for users to control how much data they use when they are streaming on mobile networks.

Netflix on mobile image via dennizn/Shutterstock

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Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com