Bandwidth Meter and Diagnostics

The Bottom Line

Update: This product was launched in 2008 and only works with older versions of Firefox.

Bandwidth Meter and Diagnostics is a Firefox extension which performs connection speed tests in addition to providing your public IP address and domain name. Also, Internet connection status as well as several diagnostic tools are provided whenever a web page fails to load.

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Pros

  • Your current download and upload speeds can be quickly and easily retrieved.
  • IP and domain information can be obtained without having to visit a web site or leave you browser.
  • Results graph lets you see how your connection compares to other narrowband and broadband options.
  • The status of your Internet connection is checked and displayed whenever a web site fails to load.
  • Useful diagnostic tools are provided directly within Firefox's failure page.

Cons

  • Test results do not show up in the Broadband Meter window itself.
  • Text within download and upload buttons are noticeably misaligned on OS X.

Description

  • Selecting Bandwidth Meter from Firefox's Tools menu opens up the Broadband Meter as a browser pop-up window.
  • Your public IP address and domain name are displayed at the top of this window.
  • The Internet Speed Tests section contains the following two buttons: Download Speed Test and Upload Speed Test.
  • Clicking either of these buttons will begin the appropriate testing process.
  • During testing, the Bandwidth Testing Message will display a relevant status.
  • When a test is completed, a new browser tab will open displaying detailed results.
  • Results are displayed on GoToMyHelp.Com and show your current download or upload speed.
  • A graph is provided which compares your download or upload speed to various dial, ISDN, DSL, T1, and cable connections.
  • Troubleshooting tips and diagnostic testing tools are added to Firefox's "Server not found" page.
  • These tools include ping, traceroute, whois, and more.

Guide Review - Bandwidth Meter and Diagnostics

This is one of those extensions that you will probably not use very often but is good to have on hand for the times that you really need it. Being able to quickly gauge your download and upload speeds can be important for a number of reasons, one of them being to ensure that you are actually getting what you pay for. Most Internet providers offer several packages, with the higher priced options offering more in terms of speed. The only way to really prove what speeds you are actually connecting at is to use an independent testing tool like Bandwidth Meter and Diagnostics. In addition to providing adequate reporting in that regard, this extension also aids you in troubleshooting any potential problems that may exist when a web page fails to load. First off, it assures you whether or not you have a valid connection and then lets you take the next appropriate steps in determining what the issue may be. The tools presented are common yet invaluable at a time like that, and they save you the trouble of venturing elsewhere outside of Firefox to find a solution.

Bandwidth Meter and Diagnostics adds an option to your Tools menu and stays out of your way until you need to call on it. This is a nice addition to have, and may just help you in a time of need.

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