Broadband speeds are not all the same. In most cases, the actual speed experienced by the consumer does not coincide with the speed as claimed by the internet service provider. Actually, the speed stated on the brochure defines the fastest that you can have. Most of the time, consumers do not get to experience this bandwidth (speed). This is because the actual internet speed that a consumer has is largely determined by several factors.
These factors include your distance from the internet tower that sends off the signal (the nearer you are, the faster your speed is) and the saturation (the more users there are, the slower your speed is). If you are curious to know about your actual bandwidth, you actually can check on some sites that offer speed testing for DSL and cable internet. Some of them are paid but many are for free.
Running the test is very simple and does not require any downloads. Most of the speed test portals have easy to understand graphical interface and doing the test basically starts with simply clicking on a button usually found below the speedometer image. The speed test may be completed in less than a minute and a result window will pop up right away giving you your actual bandwidth.
The most common issue that consumers encounter in utilizing the service comes with high restrictions set with the firewall. When the blocking option is set very high the firewall usually blocks the speed test site. When this happens, you may reset your firewall to allow the particular site.