CHIP and NetCheck put the performance of German Internet providers under the microscope for a new edition of the network test. Whether the providers really deliver what they promise was examined for the first time at national level directly on the home connection of more than 500 Internet users.
Prices are rising - but so is the pace
Inflation is not stopping at our Internet connections either. Major providers such as Telekom and Vodafone have already increased the prices of their offerings. This makes the performance that Internet users actually get for their chosen connection all the more relevant. CHIP and NetCheck provide clarity with the new network test. It is good to see that not only the prices but also the average speed of the Internet connections measured via speedtest.chip.de have increased compared to the previous year - from 170 to almost 198 megabits per second.
553 RasPi devices complete the CHIP Speedtest
132,000 measurements from the CHIP Speedtest (speedtest.chip.de), which allows Internet users to test the speed of their connection on their own, provide a solid initial data basis for the comparison test. However, speed test results are often negatively biased, because many users test primarily when there are problems with the Internet connection. This is where 553 RasPi-based mini-computers come into play, which NetCheck sent to customers of the four major providers Telekom, Vodafone, 1&1 and O2 throughout Germany. In combination with the speed tests, these devices sharpen the test results.
The measurements focused on two criteria: Is the advertised maximum speed really achieved, or at least the expected speed specified in the product information sheet? And at what speed can uploads and downloads be performed?
Vodafone leads national ranking - despite deficits in contract compliance
Whether providers can keep their contractual promises is also influenced by the transmission technology. If this reaches its limits with high-speed connections, problems can arise - this is often the case with gigabit connections via TV cable. Vodafone promises 850 megabits in the product information sheet, but cannot keep to this value on average according to the speed test and the results of the mini-computers. But not alone, because the remaining three providers in the national ranking do not achieve the promised speed either. Telekom is the most "honest" and thus performs best in terms of contract compliance across Germany, followed by O2. Nevertheless, as a cable provider, Vodafone has a speed advantage over all its competitors and therefore clearly wins the "speed" and "price-performance" categories in the national comparison. The company can offer millions of gigabit connections at a moderate price via TV cable, where others first have to expand fiber optics with a great deal of effort and expense. All in all, this is enough for a narrow victory for the Düsseldorf-based company over Telekom, with O2 in third place ahead of 1&1.
Major competition from regional fiber-optic providers
Vodafone is also ahead at regional level in five federal states (Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony), but faces competition from providers specializing in fiber optics. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Lower Saxony and Hesse, Deutsche Glasfaser leads the ranking. But beware: The provider is by no means available to all residents, but concentrates on rural areas and suburbs. In large cities, fiber optic rollout is legally complex and therefore lengthy. However, Telekom is also strong with top scores for contract fulfillment and is winning in Baden-Württemberg, Saarland and Thuringia. And time and again, smaller providers show that they can keep up with the big players, at least locally: In Hamburg, for example, the provider Wilhelm.Tel wins ahead of Vodafone and Telekom. In Schleswig-Holstein, the provider tng takes first place ahead of Vodafone, Wilhelm.Tel and Telekom.
Unfortunately, the mini calculators could not yet be used to test regional providers due to insufficient coverage. The basis for the award for the best regional provider is therefore the speed test results per federal state and crowdsourcing data provided to NetCheck by millions of users.
The conditions directly on site are of decisive importance when it comes to choosing the right Internet connection. The best providers and price tips for all German states can be found at chip.de/festnetztest.