Netflix has launched Fast.com, a no-nonsense online tool for checking how fast your internet connection is. The test on Fast.com "performs a series of downloads from Netflix servers" to produce the estimate.
Fast.com requires no configuration or input on the part of the user: just type in the URL, hit Enter and you'll instantly be given a read-out on your device's screen. The website can be accessed on web and on mobile devices and gives users a real-time readout of their download speeds.
Netflix says the speed result you'll get probably won't be too dissimilar from other internet speed testing tools, for example speedtest.net. However the difference here is that you don't get the fancy graphics, myriad options, ads or a ping/upload speed readout.
Fast.com sits separately from the Netflix ISP Speed Index, which indicates how well Netflix performs on connections from various Internet Service Providers (ISP).
Fast.com measures your personal Internet connection at any given time to Netflix content servers, whereas the speed index measures average monthly speeds of actual Netflix streams during peak hours.
Netflix partly wants you to use Fast.com as ammunition for haranguing your internet service provider and offers advice on what to do if you get a disappointing speed result: "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."
David Fullagar, the company's VP of content delivery architecture, said: "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. Like the cellular data controls we recently introduced, Fast.com is another tool consumers can use for greater insight and control of their internet service."