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How Fast is Your Internet Connection?

by brandonminiman | November 10, 2009November 10, 2009 2:17 am PDT

We know that most of you have broadband, but do you know just how fast your connection is? Are you pulling around 30mbps down with fiber optics, or are you poking along with 768kbps DSL?

First, some definitions. You have two speeds, your up and down speed. Your down speed is the rate at which you can pull data from internet servers, meaning, the rate at which you can download (whether that’s a file or just web content). Your up speed (usually significantly lower than your down) represents the rate at which you can upload content to internet servers (think YouTube uploads or using FTP to upload files to your website).

If your connection is 20mbps down, that doesn’t mean that you can download at speeds of 20 megabytes per second. The “b” in “mbps” stands for bits, not bytes. If you want to know the megabytes per second speed, divide the megabits value by 8. So, 20mbps equals a theoretical maximum of 2.5 megabyte per second download speeds.

The other metric to consider is the latency of your connection, represented by the ping speed (in milliseconds). The smaller the number, the better, as this represents the amount of time that it takes for your connection to reach a given server.

We’re curious to know the results when you run the broadband speed test from Speedtest.net. Tell us in the comments!