WASHINGTON, March 7, 2011 - Ookla, the company that owns and manages the connection testing website, Speedtest.net, relaunched the site Monday with an updated look and new functionality to better record consumer connection data.
The new Speedtest.net, in addition to testing the speed of users' connections to their local servers, now allows users to track the results of tests they have completed in the past, interface with a zoomable map, and compare results with friends through a "Speed Wave." The site also boasts an updated look and feel.
According to Oookla CEO, Mike Apgar, the company focused over the last nine months on making the site more appealing, more configurable and more fun. Speetest.net boasts more than 188 million unique connections tested in the last 12 months - 100 million of those within the U.S.
"From a volume standpoint, it seems we're beyond just the techie audience," said Apgar in an interview last week.
One of the primary goals, he continued, was to appeal to a wide audience that wants to know their connection speeds, whether to test how speeds change over certain time periods, or just out of curiosity.
The site only measures speeds from users' internet connection to the backbone - essentially the "edge" of the network that ISPs are responsible for providing to consumers. This segmenting, Apgar stated, allows consumers to see exactly what they are getting from their ISPs and provides accountability that ISPs are meeting their advertised speeds.
On the other hand, the company also kept in mind its more sophisticated audience, who may tracks speeds for professional or more technical purposes. For those with more advanced needs, Speedtest.net now allows users to register with the site and configure their accounts to name connections and track group connections.
Other new features on the site allow users to share their results via Facebook and Twitter, as well as test connections with apps for their mobile devices. The main goal, however, is to improve the marketplace through the data that Ookla has collected through Speedtest.net.
"We have great data and we have a ton of it," said Apgar, "and we are looking for the ways to feed that data back to the industry and the people to whom it will be useful."