Netflix’s passive-aggressive war with the world’s internet service providers rages on. Yesterday (May 18), the streaming giant launched a free speed test website, so you can check if you’re really getting the internet speeds that you pay for.
It also, interestingly, offers a way to specifically test whether or not you’re getting Netflix at the speeds you pay for.
Simply go to Fast.com and the site will automatically calculate your download speeds in megabits per second (Mbps). Once that’s completed, it’ll ask if you want to compare your results with those of another internet speed test site, the aptly named SpeedTest.net.
First, you should know how fast your internet package is supposed to be, in Mbps (check your latest internet bill if you don’t know). If that number is significantly higher than the speed your Fast.com results shows, there might be a problem.
And if your Fast.com results are significantly lower than the SpeedTest results, then that should give you pause as well. The Fast.com test checks your download speeds from Netflix’s servers, while SpeedTest just connects you to random servers that are nearby, so a disparity shows that your ISP may be throttling your connection to Netflix.
If that’s the case, Netflix suggests you should go complain to your ISP. “If results from fast.com and other speed tests often show less speed than you have paid for, you can ask your ISP about the results,” Netflix says on Fast.com’s FAQ page. All that’s missing is the wink emoji.
This is just the latest strike in Netflix’s years-long campaign to call out ISPs who may or may not be throttling their customers’ connections to Netflix and other streaming sites. Every month, Netflix publishes its “Speed Index,” which ranks ISPs around the world by how fast they perform on Netflix during primetime viewing hours. Here are the US rankings from last month:
Of course, internet service providers aren’t the only ones throttling your service. Netflix itself admitted to throttling video for AT&T and Verizon customers using data, saying it was to protect them from exceeding their data caps.