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Ookla Revamps and Relaunches Broadband ISP Speedtest.net Service

Posted: 06th Mar, 2011 By: MarkJ
Ookla uk broadband isp statisticsspeedtest.net logoOokla, a global broadband ISP speed testing and web-based network diagnostic applications provider, has today launched a completely revamped version of its hugely popular Speedtest.net site. At the last count Speedtest.net was the world's most popular internet connection speed analysis tool with more than two million daily users and over two billion tests served.

The update adds a new interface with zoomable map system, real-time tracking features and sharing of results. In addition there's also Speed Wave™ (explained below) and a broad range of other enhancements that improve testing for higher speed and "powerboost" connections.
Improved Testing
The new interface and mapping scheme instantly selects the optimal (lowest latency) server from among the closest of 780 current testing locations in the U.S., Europe and Asia, in order to deliver the most accurate results possible, regardless of the tester’s technical knowledge. This new feature automates and delivers results with a single click of the mouse.

Speed Wave
Speed Wave is central to the newest version of Speedtest.net, and allows users to start or join a “testing wave.” A Speed Wave is a grouping of predefined speed tests used for ongoing comparison. Testers start Speed Waves to compare their speed against others, create friendly competitions (for example, schools, offices, cafés or hotels versus one another, or a battle between service providers), and to view the detailed statistics created in the process.

As the Speed Waves ripple across Speedtest.net and through various social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, special badges will be awarded in each wave to testers for achievements, such as being the first to participate, recording the fastest and slowest speeds and many more.

Connection Management and Tracking
Testers now have the option to register on Speedtest.net to gain access to enhanced features and more tools, including the ability to start a Speed Wave (anyone can join one). By registering, testers can log tests to a special “My Results” section to better track performance, tag and categorize results (home, work, coffee shop, etc.), store geographical, pricing and promised speed information by zip code, and more. Other sitewide enhancements include a new support section designed to improve the accessibility of technical solutions, resources and answers to popular questions.
Ookla also uses its Speedtest.net data to construct an index of worldwide average and individual ISP speeds through its Net Index service. In the past we have criticised the index because of the way it constructs its results, which can often produce considerably higher speeds than you might expect.

Mike Apgar and Doug Suttles, Ookla's founders, inform ISPreview.co.uk that they've made some changes to address this. For example, Speedtest.net now uses a new method to automatically select a server based on the lowest ping time at that moment. This usually results in the fastest and most accurate test result because the server is the closest to you from a computer networking perspective.

Sadly they still fiddle with the statistics to produce their results. To quote the reply, "we drop the slowest 30% and fastest 10% - which we deem best to identify the fastest sustainable throughput". Naturally there will be different points of view on doing this, although if you're wondering why the Net Index service shows faster results for your ISP than any other tests, well.. now you know.
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