Internet Speeds: Bits, Bytes, and Everything in Between
How to Read Internet Speeds
Which internet connection is better: 1,000,000 Kbps or 125 Mbps? 125,000 KBs or 1 Gbps? Actually, they're all the same. If you're left scratching your head when checking out your ISP's (Internet Service Provider) offerings, take a look below for a primer on internet speeds.
Decipher the Digits
Internet speeds are calculated in the amount of data you can download or upload per second. The size of data is measured in a series of data abbreviations. From smallest to largest, there's:
Kilobits (Kbps) – Kilobytes (KB/s) – Megabits (Mbps) – Megabytes (MB/s) – Gigabits (Gbps)
You're probably used to thinking about data in
1 Gigabit = 125 Megabytes = 1,000 Megabits = 125,000 Kilobytes = 1,000,000 Kilobits
What Connection Speed is Good Enough for Me?
While the internet speed of your Nokia
The speed you need really depends on what you'll be using your internet for and how many people will be on the connection. Ookla,
Reading e-mails: 0.08 Mbps download
Spotify: 0.15 Mbps download
Skype: 0.5 Mbps download / 0.5Mbps upload
Online Gaming: 1 Mbps download
Netflix: 1.5 Mbps download (5Mbps download for HD quality)
But remember that if more than one person is connected, these numbers add up on your connection. That means that if you and your spouse are both watching separate Netflix shows in HD and your kid is on Xbox Live, you'll need a connection of least 11Mbps to handle all the data.
How Does my Current Connection Stack Up?
As of 2014, the average internet connection in the US is 31Mbps (for downloads). You can see how you compare by taking the test below: