Global Speed Effect Tool – How it works

Thanks for trying out our first version of the Global Speed Effect Tool! We really appreciate it. Seriously. With this quick scan we are able to give you an indication of how slow (or fast?) a certain website loads in every country around the world. Hope you like it! Of course I hope you realize these are estimates. If you have any thoughts, remark or want to leave a token of appreciation, please leave a comment below.

We developed this tool to make the “Broadband Myth” visible. The tool shows clearly that broadband as we know it is not everywhere yet. And that if you operate a website with global audience you definitely need to take speed optimization into account.

The data we use?

Avg. Internet connections per country

For most countries we are able to use the M-labs data.We used the data from May 2011. Their mission:

Measurement Lab is an open platform for researchers to deploy Internet measurement tools. By enhancing Internet transparency, M-Lab helps sustain a healthy, innovative Internet.

For countries where data was not available we took the 2010 figures from International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Unfortunately also their data did not cover all countries. For the few countries that were still missing data from Ookla Web Metrics (available via is used.

Internet users per country

This data is 2010 data from the International Telecommunications Union.

How we calculate the size of the homepage?

A simulation of a download of the homepage is done, and that is used to calculate the size of all objects. Flash files are left out in this beta version. Also it might be that some objects that are load by other objects (like images in flash files) are not taken into account due to this. This makes the calculations for (heavy) flash-sites underestimated. However for most websites this still gives a relatively close estimate to the average size of the full page downloaded by the users.


We aim to make this a quick scan. The current scan is purely based on the size of the web-page and the average bandwidth available for internet users. Likely the actual time it takes is actually (a lot?) worse Рas latency  is completely left out, as well as other factors like browser rendering. We also calculated based on averages per country Рwhile in real there is often quite some deviation.

Share your thoughts

Let us know if this tool has helped you gaining insights into real world data.

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