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Internet Speed Test 101: is your internet super fast or slow?

Check how fast your connect is with an internet speed test

An internet speed test is used to check the quality of your broadband connection. In order to ensure that you get the most accurate result, it is always best to check that you have stopped all downloads and closed all other applications that might be using bandwidth, and that there are no other active computers or other devices on your local network.

South Africa’s broadband speed doubled in the last three years, and is much faster than the world average, although it remains much slower than in countries like Brazil, Sri Lanka and Kosovo and is ranked 97th in the world, out of 211 countries and territories, according to a new study which analysed more than 557 million broadband speed tests worldwide. As recently as 2018, SA was in the 76th position.

The study found that the average download speed globally is 24.84 megabits per second (Mbps), while the average time it would take to download a 5GB movie is more than two hours and 12 minutes.

In South Africa, the mean download speed is 14.1Mbps which is up  from 6.38Mbps  back in 2018. In 2020, it will take on average around 48 minutes to download a 5GB movie. This is massive improvement from three years ago which took an hour longer.

While broadband speeds in South Africa beat India (13.46Mbps), Vietnam (13.41Mbps) and Saudi Arabia (12.67Mbps), local internet is slower than South American countries like Uruguay (22.16Mbps), Brazil (17.89Mbps) and Chile (16.10Mbps).

Check out our YouTube video for an easy to use tutorial on testing your speed

Want to understand how to read your internet speed test results?

  • The ping is the reaction time of your connection–how fast you get a response after you’ve sent out a request. A fast ping means a more responsive connection, especially in applications where timing is everything (like video games). Ping is measured in milliseconds (ms).
On your internet speed test, The download speed is how fast you can pull data from the server to you.
  • Most connections are designed to download much faster than they upload, since the majority of online activity, like loading web pages or streaming videos, consists of downloads. Download speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
On your internet speed test, the upload speed is how fast you send data.
  • Uploading is necessary for sending requests to the internet, sending files via email, or in using video-chat to talk to someone else online. Upload speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

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