Internet Speed: Netflix Takes A Test
It’s hard to find an unbiased comparison of various internet service providers. If you’re one of those fortunate enough to have a number of choices as far as ISPs go, chances are you only have two options for choosing the best. Either you’ll have to listen to the companies’ marketing pitches or you’ll have to find reviews from other customers, which may not always be reliable. However, one of the biggest sites on the internet is now offering their unbiased evaluation of every major ISP in the US.
Netflix, which serves high-bandwidth video on demand to 30 million members, is now offering statistics on internet speeds based on the data they’ve collected. Unlike bandwidth claims from ISPs, which are devious at best, the data Netflix collects actually reflects the real-world performance of each of internet service. Each month, they’ll post a list of ISPs, ranked by speed, as well as their change in rank from the previous month.
Netflix is in a unique position to offer this information, and perhaps the best. Because the service they provide can max out most internet connections, and because of how many people use their service in a variety of locations, they gather the most accurate data on bandwidth usage possible. Only Google’s YouTube service would be able to provide a similar level of data, but as they provide internet through their Fiber service, they would be a biased analyst
They don’t really need the help: Google Fiber leads the pack by a long shot. However, it’s only available in very limited locations. After that, it’s Verizon’s fiber optic service, then Comcast. It will be interesting to see if this transparency affects the claims made by major ISPs, but it’s too soon to tell at this point. Their findings will be posted monthly at http://blog.netflix.com