A good internet connection is important to most people who use the internet on a regular basis. The old times when you had to go online with a modem or ISDN lines are long gone, but the real speed you get from your ADSL or cable modem connection is often not in line with what providers claim to offer. If you want to use the web seriously in 2012, a real download speed of 10 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 1 Mbps (better to have more) are very much recommendable. Regardless the speed your provider claims to have, you can check on where you are standing, if you did not become aware from daily surfing already.
There are numerous speedtests available in the web. When you use them, make sure to connect only one computer to the router, because background applications such as Skype, your e-mail client, filesharing or other applications may reduce the available bandwidth significantly. The following list of sites where you can check on the available bandwidth is just exemplary. Depending on where you are located there may be others, more precise speed test sites or tools. I’d recommend not to take a single result as a reference but to try a few of them if you want to find out about your internet connection speed.
As said, if you are located in Europe and you test your connection speed through a server in Dalles, USA, it will most likely come up with a connection speed below the potential of your line. The results may also vary depending on the day and the time of the day you are running the test.