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In Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, there is a window called "Active Network Connections", and in there is a label called Speed.

How can I get Ubuntu to do a speed check?

I know of websites I can use to check the speed of my network, but that won't be logged in this window... or will it?

As you can see in the attached screenshot, there is a label called Speed and it says it is Unknown.

Active Network Connections

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I think I may have found why it is not showing up. I need an internet connection first - but I can connect through using SSH fine. – Kevdog777 May 31 '13 at 10:23
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I believe the speed label in this property window is intended for the port speed of your eth0 network device, and not for the 'speed' of your internet connection.

Your internet 'speed' can be interpreted many ways. You get headline figures from your ISP, but you probably never see these figures because your connection is contended. Here in the UK, a 20:1 contention ratio for home broadband ADSL is typical, so your line is split between 20 people as a worst case scenario at peak times.

Other factors that affect your broadband speed are limited connections upstream, and perhaps even bandwidth shaping, as well as network latency and jitter.

Quite simply, you can't "get Ubuntu to do a speed check."

To answer your other question, Ubuntu will not collect information from your visits to the various internet speed check sites, and put the results beside the speed label.

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Thanks for that, but I think our business is split on a 10:1 ratio. So the speed is much better at 10Mbps both ways... So basically the Speed indicator is for the network card/driver? – Kevdog777 May 31 '13 at 10:39
The contention ratio is how many people share your link from your exchange to your ISP's internet breakout. So if you have ADSL+ service here in the UK, and your ISP told you that your line is contended 10:1 then that means your there are 9 other people sharing the 24Mbps of bandwidth that you could have as a theoretical maximum if you lived next door to the exchange. Typical upstream rates for ADSL are much lower, generally as a maximum they are between 1 and 2 Mbps. Some of our offices have ADSL upstream rates of about 400Kbps. – David Jun 1 '13 at 16:50
It is correct to say that the speed indicator is for the link speed of that device, whether virtualized or physical. – David Jun 1 '13 at 16:51

The speed that is indicated there is based on the information the applet gets from the the status of your Ethernet hardware. It is the speed which with the network card talks to the next device (your router). I am not sure if your pcnet32 is indicating Unknown (maybe it is a virtual device?)

From the commandline you can check with cat /sys/class/net/eth0/speed.

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Yes it is a Virtual Machine... if that is what you are asking? – Kevdog777 May 31 '13 at 10:36
I typed in that command, and it said: cat: /sys/class/net/eth0/speed: Invalid argument – Kevdog777 May 31 '13 at 10:37
What does /sys/class/net/eth0/speed content mean? All I get is number 100, is it good? – Pgibas May 31 '13 at 11:07
@Poe that means a 100Mbit per second connection. I got 1000 for a Gigabit Ethernet adapter (connected to a GigE router). – Anthon May 31 '13 at 11:16
@Kevdog777 It seems that the virtual machine 'hardware' does not report the connection speed. But that would normally not be the speed with which you would connect to a website, as that is most often limited by your internet connection. Some routers give you an indication of that, but the real up/download speed is less than that. – Anthon May 31 '13 at 11:19

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