I would like to measure how fast my site loads from different locations around the world. What is the best way to do this?
A good tool I use is Pingdom Tools.
WebPageTest currently lets you test your site for free from 8 locations across the world & there was info at Velocity 2010 that more test locations are coming up. It even lets you configure browser, connection & band-width type & also choose from other test settings.
When you submit a URL to test, it generates a comprehensive report that includes load time & recommendations for optimizing the webpage.
I've been using the tor network. it alows me to randomly connect through proxies throughout the world and is completely free. combine that with firebug and the tor plug in for firexof and it only takes a few seconds to quickly check how the page loads elsewhere in the world
It won't be perfect or even consistent over time, but you can use the address of your site and tracert using the tools at uptrends.com. It allows you to select various points of origin and trace the path back to your site. I also use their free monitoring and speed test features to test when appropriate.
http://www.alertfox.com has free and paid account. What I like about this service is that it offers transaction monitoring in real web browsers (IE, Firefox and Chrome). So we can use it to monitor our Flash games, too.