Netflix’s problems with ISP throttling are well-documented. A few years ago, Comcast let Netflix traffic get bogged down until the company agreed to pay for a direct interconnect to the Comcast network. Netflix lives and dies by the bandwidth available to its customers, but sometimes people don’t even realize the issue is their connection; they blame Netflix. Now, Netflix has a tool to keep everyone informed, a speed test site that uses its own servers.
Netflix is hosting the speed test on Fast.com, a domain that it somehow recently acquired. I’m sure it cost a lot of money, too. Just about any company would be happy to have that one. The URL used to belong to an internet services company, but it seems to have been abandoned a decade ago. Now that Netflix has Fast.com, you can open it in any browser to instantly run a speed test.
The results are very basic — there’s actually just the one result. Fast.com tells you what your download speed is from Netflix’s servers. There’s no upload, no ping, and no jitter listed. The test loads incredibly quickly, though. It does, however, include a link to Speedtest.net if you want more detailed metrics. The problem with Speedtest (other than it being rather slow) is that some ISPs give preferential treatment to those connections. You might even get a server that’s inside your ISP’s network, which makes your speeds look great.
The new Netflix speed-tester will be your best bet if you’re trying to figure out whether or not there’s something up with your video streaming. In most cases, the download speed should be very similar to what you get from Speedtest.net and others.