Download or upload link speed – why should you care?

Bandwidth allocation is usually measured in Megabits per second or Mbps but you want more to know how much is this in megabytes/second or kilobytes/second so math is:

1 Mbps = 1024 Kb (kilobits) / 8 bits = 128 kilobytes/second

If you have fibre-optics access you have usually symmetrical upload and download speed. Download/upload speed starts often at 10Mbps/10Mbps (price around: 20€/month) and it can to 200Mpbs/200Mpbs (price around: 200€/month) or more. With 100Mbps/100Mbps you can host various stuff with reasonable speed quality for your consumers.

Download Speed

This is usually more useful for residential users (for the content consumers or viewers).  It reflects how much data can be transmitted to your computer/LAN at one time.

This affects the speed of:

  • Web page loading
  • File downloading
  • Video/audio streaming

Upload Speed

Upload speed plays determines how quickly your computer/LAN can transmit data to other locations.  For this reason ISPs typically provide much lower upload speed to their subscribers then download speed, very often upload speed is 10-times lower then download speed.

Upload speed has a significant impact on these operations:

  • Does it take a long time to send an email with an attachment?  That’s the limitation of your upload speed.
  • This also plays a crucial role in doing a live broadcast, since you are sending (or uploading) the stream from your location to the streaming server.
  • If you want to host a server at your home then this directly affect you

What you get is what you paid for (or not)

These bandwidth speeds are not constant, they fluctuate based on how much load is placed on the network. What you pay for and what you are actually getting does not always line up. You can visit speedtest.net for measuring your speed. If you ever experience internet speed problems run a speedtest first.

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