(WIRED) -- The Verizon iPhone and AT&T iPhone have gone head-to-head in thousands of broadband tests, and the numbers tell the story you'd expect: AT&T's network is much faster.
Ookla, creators of the Speedtest.net broadband test, compiled data from tests run by iPhone customers using the Speedtest.net app on both AT&T and Verizon.
On average, the reported AT&T iPhone transfer rates were roughly two times faster than the Verizon iPhone's.
The AT&T iPhone's average download speed was 1,769 Kbps, and the average upload speed was 730 Kbps. By way of comparison, the Verizon iPhone's average download speed was 848 Kbps, and the average upload speed was 506 Kbps.
The results come from 43,000 AT&T iPhones and 14,000 Verizon iPhones all over the United States. Most Speedtest.net app users ran the tests multiple times, totaling 106,000 results from AT&T iPhone users and 49,000 results from Verizon iPhone users.
The Speedtest.net results did not provide data on coverage reliability or dropped connections.
From my benchmarking of the Verizon iPhone versus the AT&T iPhone, I also found that the AT&T iPhone's 3G transfer rates were much faster than Verizon's.
However, the AT&T iPhone sometimes could not complete tests because it did not have a connection, whereas the Verizon iPhone successfully completed every test. In short, I found the Verizon iPhone to be slower with network transfers but more reliable with coverage. Reviewers at other publications had the same results.
"I think that's the story I expected to see," said Doug Suttles, co-founder of Ookla. "Verizon has never talked up their speed, but they always talk up coverage and reliability.... I think the story is quality versus throughput: What are you after?"
Speedtest.net's nationwide results back my verdict: You should get a Verizon iPhone if you really care about voice quality and calls, but the AT&T iPhone is better as a media-consumption device (Netflix movies, photo downloads and uploads, etc.) because of its faster speeds.
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