Netflix wants you to know how fast your internet connection is, and has today launched a new website, Fast.com, that will give you that information. Basically, it’s a simplified speed test website that only focuses on download speed – as this is the metric that determines your video quality. The goal with the site is to help you figure out who’s to blame when you have a problem with your Netflix connection. It might not be Netflix’s fault, but rather your ISP slowing things down.
The site itself is very basic. When you launch the webpage, it immediately begins running a test. There’s nothing to even click. The numbers increment in gray while the test is underway then become a solid black when it completes.
Unlike other speed test sites on the web, Netflix’s site is not littered with ads to mar the experience.
On the site, you can also click a link that lets you compare your speed to Speedtest.net. Arguably, there are other websites that are better for those who truly want to understand their connection speeds, as they can provide the ability to select a server, as well as view download and upload speeds, pings, and more.
Of course, many mainstream consumers won’t know if the numbers Netflix’s Fast.com displays are good or bad. They may not even remember what internet package they had signed up for with their ISP. And the new site makes no attempt at helping you determine if your connection is slower than normal.
Presumably, however, if you’re visiting the site to determine if there’s a problem, you’re prepared to take the issue to your ISP after completing the test.
Or at least, that’s what Netflix hopes. According to the FAQ, the company says that if consumers aren’t getting the speed they’re paying for, “you can ask your ISP about the results.”
Another difference between Fast.com and general purpose speed test websites is that it tests downloads from Netflix’s servers. It also works on web, tablet, phone, or even smart TVs that have a browser.
As Netflix’s user base and usage have increased over the years, the company has worked to keep ISP’s competitive and honest with regard to their promised connection speeds. Already, the company maintains an ISP Speed Index, which ranks ISPs around the world based on their performance.
However, Netflix’s Fast.com is different from this Speed Index, the company notes. While the Index measures average monthly speeds of actual Netflix streams during prime time hours, Fast.com will measure a user’s personal internet connection at any time.
Speed is critical for maintaining a good quality of service, which is why these sorts of tools are important to the company. In addition to Fast.com, Netflix also recently debuted cellular data control tools that let consumers configure how much data Netflix’s mobile app uses.
Fast.com is live now, and available to anyone worldwide. Even non-Netflix members can use the site.