I'm new here. What's a reliable method of comparing the network speed between two providers? They often put up a 50MB or 100MB file to download, but I'm not certain how to go about testing their bandwidth.
I can't just download the file from my home connection -- my link is probably capped at 10 Mbps. Is there an external service that I can use?
If you are trying to test the download speed of the service let's start by asking / answering the question as to whether the people who are going to be downloading files from the server are going to be connected at speeds higher or lower than your home connection?
If higher, then the only reliable way is to have other users with server connected at high-speeds download the files and post the results. You can ask people on this forum and they will gladly do it for you.
If about the same or lower, your home connection would be sufficient for determining a typical users performance. However, I suspect that most broadband users are limited to single-Mbps throughput i.e. less than 10Mbps you will also have to account for network distance (how many hops those users are from the server.)