A bandwidth test is used to determine the maximum bandwidth of a network or internet connection. It is typically undertaken by attempting to download or upload the maximum amount of data in a certain period of time, or a certain amount of data in the minimum amount of time. For this reason, Bandwidth tests can delay internet transmissions through the internet connection as they are undertaken, and can cause inflated data charges.
However, what you're actually testing is not just the speed into the computer, but the speed of the slowest link between you and the networked test server.
A number of techniques exist for Speed Test and bandwidth measurement. Most of them can be categorized into two groups. One group is a variant of path char based on the one-packet model. The disadvantage of this group is heavy overhead in bandwidth consumption. The other is a variant of packet-pair based on the packet-pair model. This group imposes lower overhead compared to the first group.
In theory, one-or two-packet techniques and the tailgating technique in internet speed tests and can get good estimation of xDSL link bandwidth. However, the existing tools do not regulate the probe packets so that ATM traffic shaper will regulate the probe packets for them by packet delay or packet drop.
One possible solution is that to explicitly regulate the probe traffic, but then it is difficult to specify the source rate for speed tests. That is why a stepwise scheme is proposed (second group): in the first step of the bandwidth test, a rough estimate of the bandwidth is obtained and the subsequent probe traffic is regulated according to the estimation. Multi-packet technique is used to avoid explicit packet filtering to help accuractly measure internet speed.
Usualy a bandwidth test measures the time it takes to download a block of data. When you start on a bandwidth test, a file is downloaded from the bandwidth test servers, and thus your bandwidth speed can be calculated. Your bandwidth speed may be affected by the following factors: your location, performing other downloads and a bandwidth test simultaneously, or executing programs that use your bandwidth to monitor other resources.
Meaning of bandwidth
In website hosting, bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred to or from the website, measured in bytes transfered over a prescribed period of time. Web hosting companies often quote a monthly bandwidth limit for a website, for example 100 gigabytes per month. If visitors to the website download a total greater than 100 gigabytes in one month, the bandwidth limit will have been exceeded.