The readability of privacy policies


The length and readability of speed test privacy policies vary considerably.

We used several methods to test the readability of the privacy policies.

Toast has by far the most readable privacy policy.

The Ookla Speedtest and Google Fiber have by far the longest privacy policies with an estimated reading time of over 40 minutes.



  1. Introduction
  2. Method of measurement
  3. Speed tests to test
  4. The measurements
  5. Conclusions


As concluded in Speed tests with a privacy policy almost all speed tests do have a privacy policy.

The question is, are these speed tests readable or not.


Method of measurement

For this test copy the text of the privacy policy and analyse the readability with this Readability Calculator.


Speed tests to test

For this test we tests the privacy policies as mentioned at Speed tests with a privacy policy.


The measurements

  1. Astound speedtest 6013 words, lexical density: 52.74%, Gunning Fog index: 19.92, Coleman Liau index: 14.05, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 18.74, Automated Readability Index: 19.18, SMOG: 18.15, Flesch Reading Ease: 17.66
  2. Bandwidth Place 999 words, lexical density: 53.95%, Gunning Fog index: 13.75, Coleman Liau index: 13.22, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 12.90, Automated Readability Index: 12.18, SMOG: 14.08, Flesch Reading Ease: 34.95
  3. Bredbandskollen 1151 words, lexical density: 52.65%, Gunning Fog index: 16.68, Coleman Liau index: 14.30, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 14.86, Automated Readability Index: 14.60, SMOG: 15.66, Flesch Reading Ease: 27.21
  4. Broadband Speed Checker 2478 words, lexical density: 49.64%, Gunning Fog index: 14.36, Coleman Liau index: 12.24, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 13.46, Automated Readability Index: 12.33, SMOG: 14.25, Flesch Reading Ease: 34.77
  5. Cloudflare 6764 words, lexical density: 57.57%, Gunning Fog index: 13.25, Coleman Liau index: 13.20, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 11.93, Automated Readability Index: 10.63, SMOG: 13.28, Flesch Reading Ease: 35.20
  6. Comparitech 1377 words, lexical density: 49.02%, Gunning Fog index: 17.20, Coleman Liau index: 11.39, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 16.22, Automated Readability Index: 15.50, SMOG: 15.60, Flesch Reading Ease: 29.90
  7. DSLReports 672 words, lexical density: 52.08%, Gunning Fog index: 13.51, Coleman Liau index: 11.82, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 11.88, Automated Readability Index: 11.06, SMOG: 13.15, Flesch Reading Ease: 42.24
  8. Fast 2840 words, lexical density: 56.55%, Gunning Fog index: 18.48, Coleman Liau index: 15.49, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 16.52, Automated Readability Index: 16.44, SMOG: 17.18, Flesch Reading Ease: 18.77
  9. Fireprobe 435 words, lexical density: 60.92%, Gunning Fog index: 12.90, Coleman Liau index: 12.92, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 11.44, Automated Readability Index: 9.95, SMOG: 12.58, Flesch Reading Ease: 36.51
  10. Google Fiber 9838 words, lexical density: 55.00%, Gunning Fog index: 16.24, Coleman Liau index: 13.12, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 15.99, Automated Readability Index: 16.20, SMOG: 15.49, Flesch Reading Ease: 28.94
  11. Internet Speed at a Glance 879 words, lexical density: 51.76%, Gunning Fog index: 11.56, Coleman Liau index: 10.88, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 10.69, Automated Readability Index: 9.52, SMOG: 12.07, Flesch Reading Ease: 47.39
  12. LibreSpeed 181 words, lexical density: 55.80%, Gunning Fog index: 12.24, Coleman Liau index: 11.02, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 12.27, Automated Readability Index: 11.26, SMOG: 12.83, Flesch Reading Ease: 42.93
  13. M-Lab 3906 words, lexical density: 53.48%, Gunning Fog index: 14.01, Coleman Liau index: 11.05, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 13.01, Automated Readability Index: 11.89, SMOG: 13.86, Flesch Reading Ease: 39.98
  14. 1088 words, lexical density: 47.24%, Gunning Fog index: 13.66, Coleman Liau index: 11.23, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 12.34, Automated Readability Index: 10.98, SMOG: 13.56, Flesch Reading Ease: 40.58
  15. N Perf 2595 words, lexical density: 55.07%, Gunning Fog index: 14.09, Coleman Liau index: 13.23, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 13.09, Automated Readability Index: 11.82, SMOG: 14.04, Flesch Reading Ease: 32.01
  16. Ookla Speedtest 10374 words, lexical density: 53.88%, Gunning Fog index: 16.91, Coleman Liau index: 13.58, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 15.94, Automated Readability Index: 15.18, SMOG: 16.21, Flesch Reading Ease: 23.92
  17. Open Speed Test 2023 words, lexical density: 48.59%, Gunning Fog index: 13.57, Coleman Liau index: 11.33, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 12.67, Automated Readability Index: 11.22, SMOG: 13.51, Flesch Reading Ease: 38.84
  18. SpeedCheck 4165 words, lexical density: 56.04%, Gunning Fog index: 15.18, Coleman Liau index: 13.06, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 13.80, Automated Readability Index: 12.73, SMOG: 14.46, Flesch Reading Ease: 31.31
  19. 1405 words, lexical density: 50.32%, Gunning Fog index: 15.47, Coleman Liau index: 12.66, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 14.17, Automated Readability Index: 12.82, SMOG: 15.01, Flesch Reading Ease: 30.27
  20. SpeedSmart 409 words, lexical density: 51.10%, Gunning Fog index: 12.71, Coleman Liau index: 11.74, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 11.62, Automated Readability Index: 10.24, SMOG: 12.92, Flesch Reading Ease: 40.89
  21. 769 words, lexical density: 48.89%, Gunning Fog index: 11.48, Coleman Liau index: 11.15, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 10.85, Automated Readability Index: 9.50, SMOG: 11.92, Flesch Reading Ease: 45.25
  22. Which Broadband Speed Test 4869 words, lexical density: 48.84%, Gunning Fog index: 11.83, Coleman Liau index: 11.53, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 10.94, Automated Readability Index: 9.59, SMOG: 12.52, Flesch Reading Ease: 43.68
  23. Xfinity xFi Speed Test 1542 words, lexical density: 48.96%, Gunning Fog index: 16.68, Coleman Liau index: 13.75, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 15.59, Automated Readability Index: 14.75, SMOG: 15.98, Flesch Reading Ease: 24.31

Tested separately:

  1. SamKnows 2617 words, lexical density: 48.95%, Gunning Fog index: 10.72, Coleman Liau index: 9.44, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 9.53, Automated Readability Index: 6.91, SMOG: 11.64, Flesch Reading Ease: 48.94
  2. Toast 1466 words, lexical density: 53.55%, Gunning Fog index: 9.80, Coleman Liau index: 9.43, Flesch Kincaid Grade level: 8.23, Automated Readability Index: 6.19, SMOG: 10.47, Flesch Reading Ease: 54.19


Number of words

The number of words used for a privacy policy varies from 181 (LibreSpeed) to 10374 (Ookla speedtest).

The median of words needed for a privacy policy is 1542 (Xfinity xFi Speed Test).

The number of words needed to write a privacy policy per speed test in a bar graph

Reading time

According to the Words to Time Converter the following reading times apply:

  1. LibreSpeed, 181 words: 46 seconds
  2. Xfinity xFi Speed Test, 1542 words: 6 minutes and 29 seconds
  3. Average number of words (2903 words): 12 minutes and 12 seconds
  4. Ookla speedtest, 10374 words: 43 minutes and 35 seconds

Note that these reading times are the silent reading times. The assumption, made by the Words to Time Converter, is that when reading silently you can read 236 words per minute.

The graph below shows the reading time for the privacy policy per speed test.

The time in minutes to read a privacy policy per speed test in a bar graph

When you accept a reading time of 5 minutes or less, you might read the privacy policies of the following speed tests:

  1. LibreSpeed
  2. SpeedSmart
  3. Fireprobe
  4. DSLReports
  6. Internet Speed at a Glance
  7. Bandwidth Place
  9. Bredbandskollen

You may wonder whether the privacy statements below are actually read, as the reading time is more than fifteen minutes.

  1. Ookla Speedtest
  2. Google Fiber
  3. Cloudflare
  4. Astound speedtest
  5. Which Broadband Speed Test
  6. SpeedCheck
  7. M-Lab

Lexical density

The ratio of content words (nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs) to function words (pronouns, prepositions, auxiliary verbs, determiners, exclamations, and conjunctions) is called lexical density.

Balanced lexical density is approximately 50 percent. This means that half of each sentence is made up of lexical words and half of functional words.

The lexical denisty varies from 47,24% ( to 60,92% (Fireprobe).

The median lexical denisty is 52,65% (Bredbandskollen).

Gunning Fog index

The Gunning fog index estimates the years of formal education a person needs to understand the text on the first reading.

Texts for a wide audience generally need a fog index less than 12. Although readable states that you should aim for a grade level of around 8 when for public texts.

The Gunning Fog index for a privacy policy per speed test in a bar graph

The following speed tests have a fog index less than 12:

  2. Internet Speed at a Glance
  3. Which Broadband Speed Test
  4. SamKnows
  5. Toast

There is no privacy policy that comes close to 8.

Coleman–Liau index

The Coleman–Liau index relies on characters to estimate the the U.S. grade level thought necessary to comprehend the text.

According to you should aim for a grade level of around 8-10 if you're writing for the public,

Only SamKnows and Toast have a Coleman–Liau index lower than 10.

Flesch Kincaid Grade level

The Flesch Kincaid Grade level is a United States Military Standard. Many U.S. states require legal documents to be written at a reading difficulty level no higher than a ninth grade level (ages 14–15), as measured by the Flesch Kincaid Grade level formula.

Only Toast has, with a rounded level of 8, a reading difficulty level no higher than a ninth grade level.

Automated Readability Index

The Automated Readability Index scores are always rounded up to the nearest whole number.

Doing this round up give the following results:

The automated readbility index for a privacy policy per speed test in a bar graph

SamKnows (index 7) and Toast (index 6) are tested separately. These speed tests have the best Automated Readability Index.


The SMOG (Simple Measure of Gobbledygook) estimates the years of education needed to understand a piece of writing.

The graph below makes clear that 12 to 18 years of education is required for reading a privacy policy of a speed test.

The SMOG estimation for a privacy policy per speed test in a bar graph

SamKnows and Toast are tested separately. Toast has with 10 years by far the lowest SMOG estimation.

Flesch Reading Ease

The Flesch Reading Ease gives an indication of the ease with which a text can be read.

The ease of reading is determined on the basis of the overview below.

  1. Higher than 90: Very easy to read
  2. Higher than 80: Easy to read
  3. Higher than 70: Fairly easy to read
  4. Higher than 60: Plain English
  5. Higher than 50: Fairly difficult to read
  6. Higher than 30: Difficult to read
  7. Higher than 10: Very difficult to read
  8. Higher than 0: Extremely difficult to read

Based on the scale above almost all speed tests have a privacy policy that are difficult to read (or even very difficult to read). Only Toast has a privacy policy that is fairly difficult to read.

The most readable privacy policy

There are various methods to assess the readability of a text.

To give a final assessment, we count how often the privacy policy comes out on top for the different methods.

This provides the following list of the most readable privacy policies (mentioned at least twice):

  1. The privacy policy of Toast (5 times mentioned)
  2. The privacy policy of Internet Speed at a Glance (2 times mentioned)
  3. The privacy policy of SamKnows (2 times mentioned)
  4. The privacy policy of (2 times mentioned)