Netflix’s internet speed test tool called FAST.com is getting a major update two years after its launch. The service will now be able to measure upload speed and latency, a major upgrade from its ability to only measure download speed before.
FAST.com made its debut as a free, fast and simple way for people to check the speed they are getting from their internet service provider. Now, the streaming video platform says that usage has doubled over the past seven months and claims to have generated more than 500 million tests from around the world. The service has become significant since it measures your connection to Netflix’s servers.
Since internet service providers tend to optimize their connection to work well with popular speed test services, the FAST.com makes a unique offering. In order to offer better speed on the service, the ISP would need to first improve the speed at which you are able to stream on Netflix and the test results have been found to be meaningful. While upload speed does not necessarily mean much for streaming on Netflix, it is a vital data for those who run speed test.
Netflix says upload speed will be able to measure the speed of the connection for uploading data from a user’s device back to the internet. However, the addition of latency should be seen as a welcome move since it shows the amount of time taken for data to travel from a user’s device to the server and back.
FAST.com will measure latency on both loaded and unloaded connections. The unloaded latency measures the round-trip time of a request when there is no other traffic present on a user’s network. The loaded latency measures the round-trip time when data-centric applications are being used on the network. In ideal scenario, the values for unloaded and loaded latency should be close to each other.
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Even after the update, FAST.com only shows the download speed while the upload speed and latency is shown in the form of additional information by tapping on ‘show more info’ button. Netflix says it is adding these information since users ‘crave for more information’ about their internet connection.