Netflix offers some of the best content available anywhere, but a shoddy Internet connection is a surefire way to put a damper on the entire viewing experience. So in an effort to keep users more informed about how fast their Internet connection is — or isn’t, Netflix on Wednesday launched Fast.com, a bare bones website that does one thing and one thing only — precisely tells users how fast their download speed actually is.
Fast.com is pretty bare bones, but truthfully, that’s part of its charm. There are no options to configure, no distracting graphics or anything of the sort. Indeed, there’s not even an option to test your upload speed; which makes sense insofar as the site is intended for Netflix subscribers. Simply navigate on over to the website and the speed testing festivities will begin automatically.
While super fast Internet speeds are thankfully coming sooner rather than later, the sad reality is that many people are still locked into deals with ISP’s that provide less than stellar download speeds, a problem which is only exacerbated by the rise in mobile HD content.
Notably, this isn’t the first time Netflix has concerned itself with download speeds. After all, faster connections make for happier viewers who are more likely to keep on binging. Previously, Netflix has tabulated and released the speed performance of various ISPs around the world and in the United States. Such information can be incredibly useful for users looking to get the most bang for their buck. And now with the release of Fast.com, users have the ability to quickly and easily see if their download speed is on par with what they signed up for.
The official Netflix blog notes:
We all want a faster, better Internet, yet Internet speeds vary greatly and can be affected by other users on your network or congestion with your Internet service provider. When you’re experiencing streaming issues, fast.com allows you to check the download speeds you’re getting from your Internet service provider. Using Netflix servers, fast.com works like other globally available tools including speedtest.net, and the results should be similar in most cases.
This consumer speed test is different than our Netflix ISP Speed Index. Fast.com measures your personal Internet connection at any given time. The speed index measures average monthly speeds of actual Netflix streams during prime time hours.