The speed test illusion

By | May 12, 2018

I love running speed tests (especially since getting my NBN connection!). It’s not the fastest but nice to know you’re getting what you expect. Also, when visiting other countries, it’s fun to compare to Australian speeds – for whatever reason.

However, it’s important to remember these speeds are not a reflection of regular web use experience. I was reminded of this again when I checked the hotel’s speed during a stay in Bratislava for the SNOMED CT Expo (where I presented a couple of posters [see here and here] as well as attending the business meetings)

I know Australian’s who’d probably give up their first born for speeds like that!
However, if I change the server to one in Australia…

And it’s not the server. This is the speed I get from this same server from home.


Most of the internet isn’t located within 50 miles of your house. Much of it is served by cheap hosting services or worse P2P connections. After a certain point, more speed doesn’t improve things like Netflix streaming. And unless you’re regularly downloading large files, super high speed isn’t going to change your life.

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