Netflix’s new Fast engine tracks your Netflix speed

Alex Kidman 19 May 2016

Netflix_Fast_450
Sick of watching spinning wheels while you’d rather be watching Netflix? There’s a new tool that could show you why.

Internet speed tracking engines are nothing new at all, but when Netflix talks about Internet speeds, people listen. The company already offered up speed data on a global level, including Australia, via its Netflix ISP Speed Index, where for April 2016 it ranks Optus, TPG, iiNet, Exetel, Dodo/Primus and Telstra respectively as the six fastest ISPs on average.

Averages only tell you what the crowd is doing, however, and don’t do that much to relate to what your own individual connection is capable of. This is important in the case of Netflix, because it uses adaptive streaming to deliver you the best possible picture quality depending on the material you’re watching. In theory, if you’ve got fast enough Internet pipes, you can watch Daredevil in 4K resolution, but how do you know?

Netflix’s new "Fast" speed engine is designed to give you those kind of individual numbers, delivering a straight download speed estimate at the time of testing based on connections to Netflix’s global servers. It’s a deliberately stripped-down tool designed only to give you a straight download speed, because other factors such as uploads or ping rates aren’t relevant for Netflix watching.

You can check your Netflix speed ranking at Netflix’s new fast.com web site here.

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