Apart from your Internet connection speed -- which determines how fast you can access websites and downloads -- the stability of the connection is also important. With an unstable connection, the quality of your online gaming, video streaming and VoIP usage can degrade. If you are experiencing problems or just want to check that your ISP is delivering a good service, use one of the many free online testing services to check the stability of your connection.

Pingtest.net

Step 1

Open the Pingtest.net website (link in Resources), and then select a server from the map to use for testing purposes. Alternatively, click the green "Begin Test" button to initiate the test with a recommended server.

Step 2

Click the "Run this time" button if you receive a message stating that your permission is needed to run Java.

Step 3

Check the Ping and Jitter values at the conclusion of the test to see how stable your connection is. Lower values are better; with a stable broadband connection, your Ping should be less than 100 ms, or milliseconds, with the Jitter a small fraction of that.

Geek Squad Broadband Test

Step 1

Open the Geek Squad Broadband Test Web page (link in Resources), and then click "Run this time" or "Allow," depending on your browser, when prompted for Java permission.

Step 2

Click "Begin Full Test" and wait for the test to complete. The duration depends on the speed of your Internet connection, but shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

Step 3

Check the complete test results for an indication of your Internet stability. High Jitter and Packet Loss figures could be an indication of stability issues.

MegaPath Speed Test Plus

Step 1

Open the MegaPath speed test plus Web page (link in Resources), and then select a city from the map.

Step 2

Click "I'm Testing From a Business" or "I'm Testing From a Residence," depending on your location

Step 3

Check the results at the conclusion of the test to monitor the stability of your connection. Lower values for Packet Loss, Latency and Jitter indicate a more stable connection.