Google to provide a broadband speed test in search results

Google has partnered with Measurement Lab (M-Lab) to measure one’s Internet connection speed in what is likely to be an upcoming search feature. Just recently, Netflix launched its own speed test website Fast.com to let users see how fast their Internet connection actually is with Netflix’s own servers.

In addition to diagnosing one’s Internet connection upload/speed, latency and packet loss, M-Lab hosts a number of other measurement tests including checking for port and application blocking and throttling. Unlike most Internet speed and diagnostic tools, M-Lab does not depend on Flash, Java or other browser plug-ins for most of its tests.

All data collected by M-Lab’s measurement platform is openly available and all tests hosted by M-Lab are open source created by researchers. Its website is mobile friendly and also appears to be free of advertising.

The following shows an example of a test run here:

M-Lab test result

Additional details such as packet loss, round trip measurements and potential issues such as network congestion are shown on the ‘Details’ tab:

M-Lab test result 2

The ‘Advanced’ tab shows the raw test result data reported by the test server. Going by TCPView, M-Lab runs its throughput test over random port numbers which makes it difficult for ISPs to fiddle with its speed test traffic. For comparison, Ookla runs its test over port 8080 that ISPs can potentially give priority to as we’ve observed before.

At present, the Google search feature does not seem to be live yet. For example, ‘How fast is my Internet connection’ returned Ookla, TestMy and Netflix among the first three results with the ‘OK Google’ voice search for us.

The M-Labs Internet speed test tool is available here.