What is a Bandwidth Test?

A bandwidth test is a test where a file is downloaded from the Internet while being timed to measure how your download speed is to a certain server or in general. The same is then done with a file being uploaded to calculate your upload speed. The complete process is called the bandwidth test.
Such a test has quite a few uses; the most common being to test your connection speed and see whether or not your Internet connection is properly set up. This test may also be used to fine tune your connection.
The bandwidth test is freely available online, such a test can be used either online or a downloaded version can be used to test other connections such as a wireless network.
This is performed on different servers or download servers in different locations may help you decide which servers you would like to make use of for specific uses such as downloading/uploading of files, backup, and web or e-mail hosting.
If you download large files frequently or use your Internet connection for gaming and receive a low score on your bandwidth test then you may want to consider getting a faster Internet connection such as high speed DSL or cable type connections.
A faster Internet connection will almost certainly increase your download speed or the smoothness of your games provided that the servers that you are connecting to can handle the higher speeds.
A bandwidth test may help you in a lot of ways whether it be getting your connection tuned properly, choosing servers for web hosting and other Internet related activities or help in choosing a connection type. With all these uses and the added bonus that the bandwidth test is usually free there is really no reason not to give it a try.