File download speed test

Test your Internet connection and estimate file download times with this free tool.

Febooti's fileTweak Download Speed is a small, specialized utility that clocks your download speed, compares it with standard connection types, and estimates how long it would take to download a specified file via various connections. It integrates with the Windows file properties dialog, too, so it's handy yet unobtrusive. It basically does what those broadband speed test Web sites do, only hosted on your PC. It's a module of the developer's fileTweak utility, but we tested the standalone freeware version.

Although this compact tool is no bigger than the average portable application, it downloads and installs conventionally since it integrates with Windows. To access the program, right-click any file, select Properties, and then click on the Download Speed tab. The tab displays a graph depicting how long it would take to download the file over various broadband connections ranging in speed from DSL, the slowest, to 10Mbps and T2 connections, the fastest. Our cable modem connection was shown at the bottom with its connection speed. Clicking the Test button initiated the download speed tests and displayed the remote server's location, Pittsburgh. A drop-down menu lets you test multiple files from one dialog. We highlighted a half-dozen files, opened the properties dialog of one of them, and all the selected files were listed in the drop-down menu, ready to be selected for testing. There's a button to click to obtain more fileTweak modules, but that's about it as far as features. The program installs files on the Start menu, but they access the Help, Get Started, and About pages on the developer's Web site. The explanations are clear and welcome, but this tool is very easy to use, and once you know where it hangs out, the rest is easy. Our only quibble is that you can't seem to retest single files when the test is finished, though clicking away to another tab and returning to the Download Speed tab refreshes the test, so it's really more carp than quibble.

Febooti fileTweak Download Speed is a pretty neat tool to have in the Windows file properties dialog, totally out of the way yet a right-click away when you need it. It's definitely worth a look.

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