Speeds are measured in Kbps, Mbps and Gbps. Kilobits per second, Megabits per second and Gigabits per second. These are the data rates measured in units or bits per second (bps).
Kbps: Kilobits per second. One kilobit per second equals 1,000 bits per second.
Mbps: Megabits per second. One megabit per second equals 1,000 Kbps or one million bits per second.Gbps: Gigabit per second. One Gigabit per second equals 1,000 Mbps or one million Kbps or one billion bps.
Gigabits vs Gigabytes
Many people confuse gigabits and gigabytes. Both are measurable data rates but they are different.
"Bits" are the most basic measured unit in computing, while a "byte" is comprised of 8 "bits". Traditionally a lower case "b" stands for bits and an upper case "B" represents a byte. We switch to measure by bytes when the numbers get larger for example bytes are generally used when describing data capacity, for example Gigabytes and Terabytes.
Great info... so what does that really mean practically?
The table below will give you a more practical guide to how the connection speed you choose will affect the time it takes to do tasks online.
|Internet Connection Speed||Time to load a typical web page||Time to load a typical 5 minute song||Streaming video quality|
|56k dial-up||14 Seconds||12 minutes 30 seconds||Low Quality|
|256k broadband||3 Seconds||3 minutes||Low Quality|
|512k broadband||1.6 Seconds||1 minutes 30 seconds||Low Quality|
|1Mb broadband||0.8 Seconds||41 seconds||Low Quality|
|2Mb broadband||0.4 Seconds||20 seconds||Medium Quality|
|4Mb broadband||0.1 Seconds||5 seconds||Medium Quality|
|6Mb broadband||Instant||3.5 seconds||Medium Quality|
|8Mb broadband||Instant||2.5 seconds||TV Quality|
|12Mb broadband||Instant||1 seconds||TV Quality|
What speed will my household need?
17 Mbps - Ideal for browsing and downloading
- Great for small households
- Good multiple devices online
- 30 minutes to download an HD movie
- Good to stream online tv
38 Mbps - Great for multi-user downloading and streaming
- Ideal for families with many devices
- 15 minutes to download an HD movie
- Better to stream online TV
76 Mbps - Best for multi-user downloading and streaming
- Ideal for speed freak families with many devices
- 8 minutes to download an HD movie
- The very best to stream online TV to multiple devices.