Last week, Netflix launched Fast.com – touted as world’s simplest internet speed test. Simple – Yes, Best – Probably Not. The latest addition in the streaming giant’s armory of internet speed focused tools does one thing. And one thing precisely – It shows how fast the download speed is at that given point. The simple, clutter-free description on the website’s bottom left section (nicely linked with a question mark symbol) confirms that this speed is calculated by performing a series of downloads from Netflix servers.
The company’s alleged aggressiveness against internet service providers cannot be more evident now. In the past, the company made headlines when it launched the speed index which measures average monthly speeds of actual streams during prime time hours. It’s known that thousands of Netflix lovers factor in the results of the speed index into their ISP purchase decision and thereby presenting enormous influencing power in the hands of the streaming company. Netflix even allows users to control data usage settings manually and select bandwidth according to different streaming qualities (low, medium, high). This simple speed testing tool takes the battle one step further. In fact, in one of the questions on the new website, the company ‘encourages’ users to ask their ISPs about the difference in speeds between what they pay for versus what they actually get (calculated using the test, of course).
Without further ado, in the spirit of Fast.com, let’s just see what’s in store for an average internet or Netflix user here:
The Good: The website with its clean design is a much-needed breather when compared to most other ads-killed-my-experience speed test websites. It’s also good to have a test which is not directly (or indirectly as some allege) linked with any service provider nor media giant with vested interests. What you get is a simple, automatic (yes, you don’t even click start on the test) display of your download speed in a big (really big) font.
The Bad: Most tech lovers (read geeks) who like to keep their internet service providers on the toes by constantly generating and sharing vital information like upload speed, latency, ping, jitter won’t be too fond of Fast. In a way that’s limiting. The fact that these parameters are critical in determining average internet and streaming experience makes it a let down on the real benefits of a speed test.
The Ugly: While there’s no limit on the number of established speed tests out there, we could always welcome another one. The latest baby from the team of developers based out Los Gatos, California scores well on simplicity and importance for an existing (or new) Netflix subscriber. It also shows how much Netflix is gunning after ISPs in trying to force them into improving their services or the least not exaggerating internet speeds in advertisements. The unfortunate bit, however, remains unaddressed.
So what if my internet connection sucks, I still want to be able to watch Netflix. Why should only some people have all the fun? No speed test or online tool is fixing that basic problem for satellite internet users.
This is where information about NightShift turns golden. There’s hope after all. Millions of internet subscribers across the US with satellite and cable internet connections finally have a super effective fix for watching hours and hours of Netflix in high definition. Find out more information here and thank us later.
Netflix is a registered trademark of Netflix, Inc. All images, brand names and services mentioned here are properties of their respective owners and used for editorial context only. NightShift is owned and offered by Aterlo Networks Inc. NightShift is in no way endorsed, sponsored, associated or administered by Netflix, Inc.