How can I find out if I'm truly getting the speed I'm paying for?

Like the title, how can I find out if I'm truly getting the speed I'm paying for? What are best sites, PC applications, etc to test the speed of my connection and the quality of my signal?

On these speed test sites like, do I pick the closest location or furthest? I never knew which to pick and why.

I have Verizon FiOS, the 75/35mbps package. Are those speeds only guaranteed only if your hardwired, what about wireless? What should I be getting roughly when I'm wireless? I understand that distance, walls, etc come into play but just curious on a rough estimate?
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  1. To really test you would need another location you control. The speed test sites to a point lie. Of course you always want to pick the nearest one. If you were to pick one in india and you live in the US the traffic must go all the way there and back and even at the speed of light it slows things down. Most speed test sites will give you a good indication of what you can expect.

    Verizon like every other provider guarantees nothing. All the numbers they give you are "best effort" and even on a commercial account they can only guarantee traffic that never leaves their network. They can make no promise once it goes to ATT or level 3 or whoever.

    You should always test on wired. This will then show you the best you can expect. You want to test if possible during off hours since other people are sharing the FIOS network and of course they too think they can use that magic number verizon states.

    Wireless is impossible to predict and it tends to be very random anyway. Simple things like a door open or closed or someone walking though a room has a impact on the signal. Still that is not the key problem, all your neighbors are also wireless and if they happen to use it when you are testing it will give different numbers than when they are not. Like verizons numbers wireless numbers are best effort and you have to share with lots of other people.

    Still with the newer routers that can peak rates at 300m you generally can get more speed though the wireless than you can get though the ISP connection. So as long as it is higher than the test numbers you get when you test wired the wireless is not slowing you down.
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