Internet speeds describe the rate at which data, little packets of information, are transferred from one location to another.
Download speeds represent the rate at which these packets are transferred from somewhere else to your computer, and upload speeds represent the rate at which they are transferred from your computer to somewhere else.
Two points to understand about internet speeds:
The first – internet speeds are measured in Mbps, while your download speeds are measured in MB/s
- Mbps = megabits per second.
- MB/s = megabytes per second.
One megabyte is equal to eight megabits; this means that when you see an internet connection speed advertised as up to 24Mbps, you can expect download speeds of up to approximately 1/8th of that, so 3MB/s.
The second important point is to note the difference between your ‘Sync’ speeds, and your ‘Throughput’ speeds.
- Sync: Your sync speed is the fastest rate at which data can move between your modem and the local exchange or cabinet.
- Throughput: your throughput is the actual rate at which data is being transferred between your computer and the servers that hold the data – this is shown as your ‘download speed’ when downloading a file.
So ‘Sync’ speeds are the fastest speeds your line can achieve, and ‘Throughput’ speeds are the speeds at which files are transferred from the internet to your computer (and vice versa).