Many people use speed test websites to measure their connection speed. LMi.net has one as well. However, a more accurate test involves actually downloading a sizable file and measuring the speed averaged out over a few minutes. This is more reflective of a real-like scenario when you are actually downloading a large file, or streaming a movie. To assist in such a test, we have created an anonymous FTP server, and have loaded several files of varying size. Here’s how to use this..
If you are using a Mac
Open the Terminal application. You can find this in your Utilities folder, or just used the Spotlight menu to find “Terminal”.
In the new terminal window, paste in this command:
curl ‘http://www.lmi.net/testfile.100m’ -o /dev/null
This will transfer a 100MB file to you computer, but not actually create a disk file.. (the command deletes the file when it was been transferred). We also have files of 20, 50, 250 and 500Mb sizes. Just adjust the file name above accordingly (i.e. testfile.250m). The larger files will take longer to download, but perhaps give you a more accurate average speed.
Let’s look at the output:
> curl "http://www.lmi.net/testfile.100m" -o /dev/null % Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Curr Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed 100 100M 100 100M 0 0 850k 0 0:02:00 0:02:00 --:--:-- 882k
The Average Dload is the number we are interested in. in this case, 850k BYTES. Since bandwidth speed is traditionally measured in BITs per second, we need to multiply this by 8. So for this test we were getting 6,800 kbps (or 6.8Mbps).
If you are using a Windows PC
Open up the Windows DOS or Command prompt window. From the Start menu choose “Run” and enter the command CMD. Windows 7 and up users can just hold down the Windows key and press R to get the Run dialog.
Windows does not have the curl command installed, so we will need to use FTP. You will be connecting via FTP to www.lmi.net, as user “anonymous” You are asked to provide your email address for the password but you can just type any string of characters.
Here is a sample session, where we transfer the 20MB file. Text in bold is why you will be typing
C:\Users\Joe> ftp www.lmi.net Connected to www.lmi.net. 220 ProFTPD 1.3.4a Server (Debian) [::ffff:220.127.116.11] User (www.lmi.net:(none)): anonymous 331 Anonymous login ok, send your complete email address as your password Password: anytext 230-Welcome, archive user anonymous ! 230- 230-The local time is: Sat Oct 17 17:59:15 2015 230- 230-This is an experimental FTP server. If you have any unusual problems, 230-please report them via e-mail to <email@example.com>. 230- 230 Anonymous access granted, restrictions apply ftp> get testfile.20m 200 PORT command successful 150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for testfile.20m (20971520 bytes) 226 Transfer complete ftp: 20971520 bytes received in 31.19Seconds 672.34Kbytes/sec. ftp> bye
- So in this case we were getting 672.34 kBYTES/sec, so we multiply by 8 and get 5,378.72 Kbps (5.38 Mbps)