Currently the best there is in all categories (March 2007) http://www.speedtest.net/
There are at many on-line sites for testing your connection speed. And they come and go often, so some of these listings might be out-dated!
The Modem Speed Test analyzes your connection speed by indicating "how fast or slow your data transfer rate over the Internet really is". You pick one of four "download tests": Jave applet; 56K, ISDN; or Large Graphic (470KBytes). Your download time is derived and then compared to a "typical" time on a Gantt (bar) Chart. The modem speed page states it is intended for use with "ordinary analogue dial-up modems, and ISDN modems..." -- NOT for xDSL or Cable Modems.
In this operation, the timed download speed is the indicating factor. This can tell you how fast the file moved from their server to your machine, but in instances of slow connections, there is no way to tell WHERE the slow-down occurs. It could be in a "local loop", on the Net, in any one of several (depending on how you're are connected and routed) servers, or other points of restriction in your particular (and generally dynamic) routing to the site.
An interesting real world speed test that takes the changing conditions of the net seriously!
REMEMBER: Before Re-Running any of these speed tests, CLEAR YOUR CACHE!
Additional speed/download-related information can be found at:
General 56K Modem information can be found at this site.
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