So I've been looking at the speedtest nodes available and they're... not good. If I go to Speedtest.net I'll get something around the 400MBps I'm supposed to, but the speedtest nodes here will give me like 20MBps. That doesn't really tell me a lot about whether my internet speed is lagging.
Are there better alternatives for periodically checking my internet speed?
You probably need to think a bit more about what you are testing and what you really need to test.
There are many issues that might impact the performance of your internet connection, not just the time it takes to upload/download a big file which is really all most of the speedtests do.
DNS queries for example can massively impact performance as can latency. Both of these you can easily measure on an ongoing basis as I do using Telegraf, InfluxDB and Grafana (no node-red there I'm afraid though). Those tests are also independent (mostly) of other things happening on your network (like your kids playing online games or partner watching Netflix).
OK, what kind of connection are you on and in what country?
Personally, I would use the DSLreports test which shows a bit more of an accurate set of data and I would simply run a couple of tests per night over several days.
I've had some variable issues with my provider over the last 6-12 months, we are on FTTC so not really a neighbour issue, definitely the ISP. To be able to monitor this, I set up Telegraf (which outputs data to InfluxDB) to regularly ping a number of different known IP addresses and to test connections to most of the common DNS services. I can then review the data in Grafana. The other day we had a short outage on our service - 10 minutes - and I could monitor exactly when that occurred. Previously, what I thought were outages were actually Google DNS dropping out periodically so the monitors let me know that and switch to a better DNS.
In your case, the ping tests will likely start to show failed pings and increased ping-time. Checking multiple addresses for well known endpoints will let you see if your ISP has restricted bandwidth to a particular popular service - Netflix or Youtube for example - which is not unheard of, especially, I believe in the USA.
I realise that none of this relates directly to Node-RED. But though NR is great, it isn't the answer to everything! Shocking I know!
Can you point me to the DSLReports test? Is that a plugin for Telegraf? I've got InfluxDB set up with NR already. I haven't bothered configuring Grafana yet because the boards in Influx 2.0 are pretty good. I haven't set up Telegraf yet, but it sounds like I should.
Sorry, meant to put the link in the last post. No, it is not connected to Node-RED at all, you run it manually from a web site. I think they may have a schedule for a small fee, not sure. I just run it manually a few times if I think I have a problem and the Grafana stuff isn't spotting it.
I'm avoiding that, using v1.8. Reason being that it seems to be as much a beta as a live product right now and the jump between the two syntaxes is massive.
I've certainly not regretted it. It gives a whole world of insight into various parameters and services for minimal effort and using minimal resources. Just don't let your individual InfluxDB tables get too big, especially on small devices, that's where you start to hit slow-downs. Keeping the tables to a manageable size means you can run all of this even on an old Pi2 which I do. Though I am slowly decommissioning that now.