• #1 NetSpot
  • Best WiFi speed test app for macOS and Windows
  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews

Top Best WiFi SpeedTest Apps

Which WiFi speed test app should you use to test WiFi speed? Luckily for you, we have the answer.
top choice
  • NetSpot
  • Best WiFi speed test app
  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews


NetSpot WiFi SpeedTest online

Check your Internet speed

Run the Internet speed test to make sure you are getting the best WiFi speed.
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Don't settle for a decent Internet connection, NetSpot ensures a consistent WiFi speed.

Just because your ISP advertises certain WiFi speeds doesn’t mean that you’re actually getting what you’re paying for. Network congestions occur when multiple clients use a single shared Internet connection at the same time, which often happens in apartment buildings and with less reputable ISPs.


Of course, your WiFi speed may suffer even when your ISP delivers on its promises. For example, there could be a strong interference caused by other WiFi networks operating on the same WiFi channel as your network. Or your home router may be placed in a bad spot, causing the signal to reach only to certain parts of your home. A simple, quick WiFi speed test is often everything you need to check whether your WiFi is performing as it should.

How Do WiFi Speed Test Apps Work?

Virtually all WiFi speed test apps test the following components: latency, upload speed, and download speed. From the point of view of regular Internet user, download speed is the most important measurement as it dictates how fast websites load and how long it takes for websites to load, but latency and upload speed are also critical for having an enjoyable web browsing experience.

What Is Latency?

In computer networking, latency is the time it takes data packets travel from their point of origin to their destination. Let’s say you want to download a file from a remote server. You already have the download link, so you simply paste it into your web browser and press Enter.

Depending on your Internet connection, it may take anywhere from several milliseconds to several seconds for the download to begin because it takes a certain time for the server to fulfill the download request. The time it takes for the reply to arrive is latency, and WiFi speed test apps typically test it multiple times before determining the final result.

What Is Upload Speed?

In the simplest terms, upload speed measures how fast you can send data to others. By others, we mean your friends and family on instant messaging applications, remote servers hosting various websites and services, and also your peers on file-sharing networks.

When WiFi speed test apps measure upload speed, they establish multiple connections to various remote locations and send precisely calculated chunks of data. The apps then determine how much time it took before all data were received and use this information to provide you with your real upload speed.

What Is Download Speed?

As you can probably guess, download speed measures how fast you can download data from others. WiFi speed test apps measure it by downloading chunks of data from remote locations and calculating exactly how long it takes for each chunk to download.

How Can I Increase WiFi Speed?

Signal strength is one of the most significant factors that influence the speed of your WiFi connection. A weak signal will result in slower data transmission speed. It may also be responsible for intermittently dropped connections. In order to reap the benefits afforded by a wireless network, maintaining signal strength throughout the coverage area is essential.

Distance is a key element in obtaining a strong signal and acceptable WiFi speed. The farther away from a WiFi router you are, the weaker the signal received by a connected device. Wireless networks that serve extended coverage areas usually employ signal extenders of some variety to provide connectivity to all of its users.

Sometimes your signal may be extremely weak, even when standing relatively close to your router. This can happen for a variety of reasons. You may be experiencing interference from nearby appliances such as a microwave oven or cordless phone that emits electromagnetic waves in the same frequency as your router.

The signal may also be impacted by walls or other impenetrable objects between you and your router. Where you place your router can have a tremendous impact on WiFI speed. A WiFi analysis tool such as NetSpot can help you find the ideal location for your router and enable you to increase your WiFi speed. You can use the application to test your WiFi signal strength from anywhere in your coverage area to identify the optimal placement of your router.

TEST THE WIFI SPEED FROM A NUMBER OF LOCATIONS ... AND CONDUCT THE TEST REPEATEDLY.

There are many online tools available with which you can test your WiFi speed. Just Google ‘WiFi speed test’ and you will find a free utility that lets you check WiFi speed. These tests can be very helpful in identifying issues with your network’s speed. But they need to be used correctly in order to deliver useful information.

A single test is not sufficient to show you the true speed your network will deliver. You need to test the WiFi speed from a number of locations within your coverage area and conduct the test repeatedly at different times of the day. The speeds reported by the tool may vary widely depending on when and where the test was run. Averaging the speeds will give you the best sense of the speed of your WiFi connection.

WiFi speed can also be affected by the channel or frequency the network is using to broadcast its signal. This is another area where a WiFi analyzer tool like NetSpot can be instrumental in allowing you to identify and address network issues. You can use the program to survey the area and see any signals that may be impacting you from competing WiFi networks.

A SIMPLE CHANNEL CHANGE CAN DRAMATICALLY INCREASE THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR WIFI NETWORK

The results of a survey will show you which channels are in use by other nearby networks. Using a busy channel will negatively affect your WiFi speed. The information provided by the survey can let you make an informed choice regarding which channel your network should use. A simple channel change can dramatically increase the performance of your WiFi network.

Similarly, the frequency that neighboring networks are using might slow down your WiFi speed. If all of the nearby networks are using the 2.4 GHz frequency, you might consider moving to the 5 GHz band to see if it improves your speed. One important factor to keep in mind is that the 2.4 GHz band is better at penetrating solid objects and may actually provide more speed in some settings that the alternative of the 5 5GHz frequency.

Best Apps to Check WiFi Speed

People often ask, “I want to test my Internet speed, but which WiFi speed test app should I choose?” The answer is simple: choose the app that best meets your needs.

As you’ll see, some WiFi speed test apps are extremely simple and designed to do just one thing, while others are more complex. If you’re a home user, you probably don’t want to spend long hours learning how to use a professional application that offers 100x as many features as you actually need. Instead, you should pick something that’s easy to use and comes with an intuitive graphical user interface.

Simplicity has its merits when you only need to check what your current WiFi speed is, but extra features come in handy when you decide to do something about it. Always select a wireless speed test app that supports the latest WiFi standards and the most commonly used WiFi frequency ranges. What may be even more important than features, though, is accuracy.

Best Apps to Check WiFi Speed

The last thing you want to do is accuse your ISP of not living up to its promises only to find out that the WiFi speed test app you’ve been using is inaccurate. There are many wireless speed test apps out there, but only a handful are mature, polished products that are ready for daily use. We recommend you to choose a wireless speed test app from a professional developer that knows how to develop world-class software and always stands behind its customers.

We’ve selected the top 4 best WiFi speed test apps that you can use to instantly check WiFi speed and picked our favorite.

#1
NetSpot — to align the needs of professional users with the needs of complete beginners. Use it to instantly check WiFi performance without reading complicated, boring manuals or watching online tutorial videos.
#2
Wifiner — is an ideal solution in case you only need to analyze one wireless network.
#3
Network Speed Test — is a humble Windows 10 app that does nothing but one thing: tell you how fast your Internet connection is.
#4
LAN Speed Test — was designed to measure the speed of wired and wireless Local Area Networks (LANs).
choice #1
WiFi speed test app runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network adapter.
  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews
  • 500K
  • Users
The beauty of NetSpot lies in its ability to align the needs of professional users with the needs of complete beginners. Anyone can download the free edition of NetSpot and use it to instantly check WiFi performance without reading complicated, boring manuals or watching online tutorial videos.

The modern user interface makes all features self-explanatory and available at a glance. NetSpot has earned the number one spot on this list thanks to its reliability, ease of use, extensive features, and excellent support.
  • Full coverage

    Get the most efficient and full-bodied WiFi coverage throughout the planned space.
  • Cross-platform

    Available for any MacBook or any laptop with Windows 7/8/10 on board.
Best WiFi speed test app for macOS and Windows

Open NetSpot, start a new site survey and once in the Active Scanning screen - choose the wireless network you are going to test. Important to remember: you can run an active scan on a network you can access. It can either be an open network or a network you know the password for.

I tested each system by wandering through my house with a laptop running Netspot, an app that builds a “heat map” of Wi-Fi strength. DAVID POGUE • YAHOO FINANCE

If you have selected this option, NetSpot will measure the network speed at each data sampling point by sending requests to various servers and calculating the time needed to send a request and to receive a response. Perform this process for every network you select to test. Once the survey is completed you can review the visualization data for the tested wireless network speed.

Pros and Cons

  • Easy to use
  • Extensive features
  • Accurate
  • Modern user interface
  • None
choice #2
Runs on MacBook (macOS 10.10+) with a standard built-in wireless network adapter.
  • 4.6
  • 15 User reviews

Wifiner is an ideal solution in case you only need to analyze one wireless network. You'll get your hands on a comprehensive survey results with an interactive color-coded heatmap. If there are "dead zones" in your coverage you'll be able to clearly identify them in order to get rid of.

Wifiner
Wifiner

We think Wifiner will be great for those who set up their first Wi-Fi network at home or at a smaller office space - as simple as it is Wifiner provides a detailed report on the process. The app runs on MacBook (macOS 10.10+) with a standard built-in wireless network adapter and is available through the Mac App Store.

Pros and Cons

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • 11 types of heatmaps
  • Available on the Mac App Store
  • No discover mode (chart with Wi-Fi networks around like in NetSpot)
  • No map drawing feature
choice #3
Available for Windows 10, Windows 8.1
  • Not Enough Ratings

Network Speed Test is a humble Windows 10 app that does nothing but one thing: tell you how fast your Internet connection is. Actually, it tells you a few more things, but those can be easily found with the native WiFi tools in Windows.

Network Speed Test for Windows
Network Speed Test for Windows

It’s so high on our list because Windows users can download it directly from Windows Store and because it provides accurate readings.

Pros and Cons

  • Simple
  • Available on Windows Store
  • Doesn’t tell you why your WiFi isn’t performing as it should
choice #4
Available for Windows 7 (SP1 +), Windows 8, Windows 10, Server 2008, Server 2012 and Mac OS 10.7.5 or later
  • Not Enough Ratings

LAN Speed Test was designed to measure the speed of wired and wireless Local Area Networks (LANs). It works on Windows and macOS and is completely portable. The software makes it possible to configure just about every aspect of the test, making it great for pros but confusing for beginners.

LAN Speed Test
LAN Speed Test

Local speed tests are useful for optimizing local data transfer speeds, for example from a smartphone to a remote hard drive connected to a home router.

Pros and Cons

  • Accurate
  • Versatile LAN speed testing utility
  • Not great for beginners

Are Internet Speed Tests Accurate?

There are many online sites that offer to check your WiFi speed. They will check the upload and download speed as well as the ping rate of your wireless network. Testing your Internet connection with one of these tools will give you some numbers to work with, but can you trust the results?

Yes, Internet speed tests are typically accurate, but they are far from perfect. When a doctor measures a patient’s blood pressure, he or she knows there are a number of factors that may influence the measurement and compromise its accuracy. Similarly, there are many factors that may negatively influence the accuracy of Internet speed tests, and you need to be mindful of them in order to obtain accurate results. Among them are:

  • The location of the testing device: Unless you’re testing a network using a wired connection, your location will have a dramatic impact on the results. The WiFi signal has only a limited ability to penetrate obstacles, and it loses strength with each obstacle it penetrates. That’s why you probably won’t have a problem achieving the Internet speeds advertised by your ISP when standing right next to the router, but won’t be able to achieve anything close to them in a different room. What’s more, the WiFi signal can be unpredictable, and a very small change in position can have a surprisingly large impact on your Internet speeds.
  • The location of the test server: Testing with a server that is physically located a substantial distance from you can negatively impact the test.
  • Testing while running a VPN: Any program running between your machine and the Internet can slow down your connection and may lead to inaccurate results.
  • Online activity: While modern wireless routers prioritize important, real-time network traffic to provide users with a lag-free online experience, they can’t account for the impact online activity can have on Internet speed tests. If you want accurate results, you should never test Internet speed while doing other things online, including playing games, browsing the web, or chatting with friends and family.
  • Testing at the wrong time: It’s a well-known fact that the Internet rush hour starts around 7 PM and ends around 11 PM. During these hours, people from all over the country are frantically checking social networks, downloading files, watching online content, or are just casually browsing the web. Even large ISPs may have problems with delivering their advertised Internet speeds during this rush hour, so it’s a good idea to check WiFi speed at other times of the day. So, testing at peak usage times will not provide accurate results.
  • Internet gear: Similar to computers and mobile devices, Internet equipment has evolved dramatically over the years, and modern routers offer much faster speeds and a wider range of features compared to older routers. If you’re still using the same router your ISP gave you 10 years ago, you should consider upgrading to something better otherwise you might not be able to check Internet speed properly. We recommend you to look for a router that supports the latest WiFi standard and can broadcast on the 5 GHz band.
  • Additional network-connected devices: When you test WiFi speed you should attempt to restrict network access for all devices except the one conducting the test. Other devices on the network can slow down the speed if they are uploading or downloading during the test.
  • Forgetting to reboot: Always start fresh when testing your connection speed by rebooting your machine before commencing with the test.
  • Using the wrong testing tool: You should use an HTLM5 testing tool rather than one that runs Flash as the former is supported with no overhead on all standard web browsers. There are also desktop speed testing tools that eliminate the browser from the equation.
  • Running the test once: Always run the test multiple times to ascertain if the results are similar. The average speed you are attaining over multiple tests will be a more accurate indicator of the true speed than any single test.

With all of the variables that can affect a WiFi speed test, the results may not be an objective indicator of the speed of your wireless network. In some ways, the best way to look at the results of a WiFi speed test is in relation to previous and future tests made on the same network. If you have made changes to your network meant to improve performance, you should see the average speed increase, but individual tests may still not be as fast as you would like.

When the goal of your testing is to see if your WiFi implementation can withstand the demands of gaming or heavy streaming, repeated tests at various times will give you a sense of the capacity of your wireless network. Numerous tests reveal the range of your WiFi speed and can alert you to issues that may need to be addressed to optimize your network and its coverage.

Best Online WiFi Speed Test Services

Sometimes you don’t want to see detailed statistics about your WiFi network. You just want to know your current download and upload speed. Online WiFi speed test services are perfect for this purpose, and we’ve picked three popular options.

Google Speed Test

Created by Google for its fiber-to-the-premises service, Google Speed Test is a lightweight online WiFi Speed Test with a material design user interface with a single main button. Although the service is intended for people who want to speed test Google Fiber, anyone can use it without limitations.

Speedtest by Ookla

Speedtest by Ookla is arguably the best-known online WiFi speed test, featuring an appealing user interface that shows your current IP address alongside your latency, download speed, and upload speed. Speedtest by Ookla has servers around the world, so the results it displays always reflect reality.

Fast.com

Fast.com is hands-down the simplest online WiFi speed test service there is. As soon as you visit the website, an internet speed test automatically begins. After just a few seconds, you will see your download speed displayed in large-size digits.

SO, WE RECOMMEND
NetSpot
WiFi speed test app runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network adapter.
  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews
  • #1
  • WiFi speed test app

  • 500K
  • Users
  • 6
  • Years
  • Cross-platform
  • Mac/Windows

We recommend NetSpot as a comprehensive and easy-to-use WiFi speed test solution with advanced WiFi analysis features that you can use to significantly improve the performance of your WiFi network.

Because of how much we depend on a stable, strong WiFi connection, it makes sense to have a reliable, accurate wireless troubleshooting solution such as NetSpot WiFi checker at hand all the time.
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Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network adapter.