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Why do we get less Internet Speed than promised?

For an Internet connection that promises 1 Mbps speed, why does it take more than 1 second to download a file of about 200 KB size? Or else, why do we get the download speed of only about 30 KB per second with a 1Mbps connection? Well, there could be several reasons for this deficiency in what you expect (or are promised) and what you get in terms of the Internet speed. In this article, we’ll briefly touch upon these reasons. But, the first and foremost reason is that generally people are confused as to how Internet speed is measured in one specific unit while the download speed is measured in a different unit, which causes mismatch between the two due to differing units used. Difference between bits and bytes leads to confusion: Internet speed is measured in terms of bits per second. One bit is the smallest unit of information that a computer can understand, it is either 0 or 1. So, the Internet speed would be expressed like this: 1 Kbps = 1000 bits per second 1 Mbps = 1000,000 bits per second 1 Gbps = 1000,000,000 bits per second Here, K, M and G stand for a thousand, a million and a billion, respectively. On the other hand, file sizes are measured in terms of Bytes. Here, 1 Byte = 8 bits. Moreover, in computing the file sizes using binary mode, K, M and G have slightly different meanings, as explained below: 1 KB (1 KiloByte) = 1024 Bytes (appx. 1000 Bytes) 1 MB (1 MegaByte) = 1024 KB (appx. 1000 KB) 1 GB (1 GigaByte) = 1024 MB (appx. 1000 MB) Therefore, the file sizes, which are expressed in terms of KB, MB and GB, do NOT use the same unit such as Kbps, Mbps and Gbps as are used for Internet speed. While file sizes are measured in Bytes, the Internet speed is measured in bits.

Checking your Internet Speed
When the Internet speed is 1 Mbps, this means we’re getting 1 million bits (1000,000 bits) per second. To convert them into Bytes, we’ve to divide it by 8. So, we get 125,000 Bytes in second. This is about 122 KiloBytes or 122 KB; remember we’ve to divide Bytes by 1024 (and NOT by 1000) to get KiloBytes or KB. Therefore, 1 Mbps Internet speed will give us a maximum of about 122 KB size file download from the Internet. Accordingly, if the file size is 200 KB, it would take about 2 seconds even if we’re able to get the promised full speed of 1 Mbps. In general, we’ve to divide the Internet speed by 8 to get what file size we can download in one second. Internet Speed File Size transfer per second 256 Kbps 512 Kbps 1 Mbps 2 Mbps 3 Mbps About 31 KB About 62 KB About 122 KB About 244 KB About 363 KB

2. . 5.Other reasons of getting less Internet speed than promised: 1. Therefore. With one Internet connection. and not the minimum speed. There may be bottlenecks or defects in the infrastructure at the ISP end 3. In such a scenario. speed may be affected adversely deep inside the buildings due to walls and other solid structures. 6. underground cables get affected badly. if more than one computer or devices (such as your mobile phones) are connected at the same time. due to heavy rains. In wireless Internet (such as Wi-Fi). even a broadband connection may appear like a dial-up connection. The ISP quotes a standard Internet speed for everyone in all localities (maybe. it divides the Internet speed accordingly. For example. But. ISP may have its infrastructure setup for a specific number of users. there may be problems in the underground cables. ISP promises the maximum Internet speed. 7. the actual speed may always be less than the maximum speed promised. The actual number of users connecting to the Internet simultaneously is much more than their expectations. thereby each user getting less bandwidth (and speed) than promised. the actual speed may differ from place to place within their full coverage area due to several factors. due to which the total bandwidth gets shared by more number of people. In DSL technology (telephone and Internet through the same copper wire). 4. same speed throughout the country as a whole).