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Larka

Hello and Quick Question!

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Finally I'm able to post!

Took forever to get the validation email (had to resend it). Anyways, after browsing the forums for over an hour I couldn't find the answer to my burning question:

What is the number in parentheses next to the larger download number?

1.4Mbs (175kbps)

I'm using CenturyLink (bought out Qwest)

Now, I'm paying for 1.5Mbps but my ACTUAL download speed is the second number, roughly 150-180kbps.

So, why have two numbers? if thats my speed, thats my speed, right?

I have a basic router and modem, a generic low model one (I think its N? or w/e) and a Linksys wireless thing. Not too sure which is which.

I downloaded that TCP thingy that I saw a link to here, and I've done a optimization a while ago using AVG PC Tuneup but what elses do I need to do for faster speeds? (BTW I'm switching to Cox's 15mbps this week I think)

So yeah, thank you for replying and helping me out.

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Anyways, after browsing the forums for over an hour I couldn't find the answer to my burning question:

What is the number in parentheses next to the larger download number?

1.4Mbs (175kbps)

I'm using CenturyLink (bought out Qwest)

Now, I'm paying for 1.5Mbps but my ACTUAL download speed is the second number, roughly 150-180kbps.

So, why have two numbers? if thats my speed, thats my speed, right?

I downloaded that TCP thingy that I saw a link to here, and I've done a optimization a while ago using AVG PC Tuneup but what elses do I need to do for faster speeds? (BTW I'm switching to Cox's 15mbps this week I think)

Hey Larka, welcome to TMN!

First, read this explanation of bits vs bytes. I have a link to this on the results page that says "Understanding the Results", you may have missed it.

What are Mbps, Kbps, MB/s, kB/s?

Even if you're very computer literate this might confuse you. I'll try my best to explain this so that everyone can understand. First, when you're describing the speed of your connection, the bit scale should be used. If you're describing how fast a file transferred, use bytes. Also note, when you write these abbreviations they are case sensitive.

The bit scale - Connection Speed / Throughput

  • The smallest amount of information on a computer is called a bit. 1 Kilobit (Kbit) is 1000 bits, as "kilo" in the word suggests. 1 Megabit (Mbit) is 1000 Kilobits or 1,000,000 bits. 1 Gigabit (Gbit) is 1000 Megabits. Far beyond your purpose in testing here, using the same scale you'll arrive at Terabit (Tbit), Petabit (Pbit), Exabit (Ebit), Zettabit (Zbit) and Yottabit (Ybit). e.g. When TestMy.net says your connection is 512 Kbps, that's 512 Kilobits per second. When you see 52 Mbps, that's 52 Megabits per second.

The byte scale - Binary File Transfer Speed

  • Here is where is can get a little confusing. Another scale is the byte scale. Bytes are used when talking about binary data, like files. The reason there's a difference is because in binary data the information is stored using coded symbols, each consisting of 8 bits of information. Early computer systems used 4-bit, 6-bit and even 7-bit binary coded decimal representations. By the 70's 8-bit was the standard architecture. The byte scale is different than the bit scale, each step up is by a factor of 1024 not 1000. Although, a common misconception is that this also applies to networking, it doesn't. In the context of networking speeds the factor is 1000 not 1024. This has more to do with sales and marketing and less to do with true binary law. Where the number of memory locations is always a power of 2 (e.g. 210 is 1024). Manufactures started selling their products using a factor of 1000 because it's easier for the consumer to understand. For instance, it can be pretty confusing to the lay person when you tell them that doubling 32K memory results in 65K. To alleviate the confusion new abbreviations were created to represent a conversion with a factor of 1024 (e.g. KiB, MiB, GiB). But this has not been adopted by everyone. So 1 kB can mean 1000 bytes or 1024 bytes depending on who you ask. A good rule of thumb is that if you're talking about memory allocation or storage use a factor of 1024. In the context of networking a factor of 1000 is industry standard. This confuses even the most knowledgeable computer technicians and there can be a lot of debate that surrounds the issue.
    So now you should know that 1 byte is equal to 8 bits. 1 kilobyte (kB) is 1024 bytes. 1 Megabyte (MB) is 1024 kilobytes. 1 Gigabyte (GB) is 1024 Megabytes. But that 1 kB/s is equal to 1000 bps. 1 MB/s is 1000 kB/s. 1 GB/s is 1000 MB/s. Using the same scales you then arrive at Terabyte (TB) / Terabytes per second (TB/s), Petabyte (PB) / Petabytes per second (PB/s), Exabyte (EB) / Exabytes per second (EB/s), Zettabyte (ZB) / Zettabytes per second (ZB/s) and Yottabyte (YB) / Yottabytes per second (YB/s). e.g. When TestMy.net says your speed is 465 kB/s, that's 465 Kilobytes per second. When you see 2.8 MB/s, that's 2.8 Megabytes per second. Because TMN is in the context of networking, conversion using a factor of 1000 bytes per kilobyte is used.

Your TestMy Speed Test Results

TestMy.net displays your results in both formats because some people want to know their connection speed (shown in Kbps and Mbps). Others want to know the speed of their binary (file) transfer (shown in kB/s and MB/s). Some other websites may confuse you by displaying speeds in bps (bits per second, for instance) and people from other countries may abbreviate differently. TestMy.net will display your speeds using the correct up conversions and English abbreviations. Nobody ever says, "My connection is 50,000,000 bps" or "... 50,000 Kbps"... you'd instead say 50 Mbps. Right? So, TestMy saves you time by converting your speeds automatically when necessary.

Right now, I think you've done what you can do to get the most out of your connection. Your score here of 1.4Mbps is right on par with what you should expect from your 1.5Mbps connection. The reason why your file transfers are closer to the second number is because they are the second number. The numbers reported by your operating system when you download a file are in kB/s not Kbps. Again, a difference between binary transfer speed and connection speed... if you read the explanation above thoroughly it should help you understand the difference between the two. Hopefully I've explained it so that everyone can understand what I'm trying to lay down.

I believe that the numbers you're getting from your file transfers falling in line with your results here reinforce the fact that you've chosen an accurate speed test... I'm sure that others agree.

Good luck with your upgrade, I'm sure you'll be back to test it and make sure the speed is being delivered as promised. I personally use Cox Communications at home and love their service. They dominate speeds in the markets they compete in... that's true for most cable providers actually. Cox is also well known for delivering more than they promise so don't be surprised if you see upwards of 20Mbps from that connection. Let us know what you get after your upgrade.

I also double checked my mailserver and the queue isn't backed up or anything. I'll setup a test account to make sure there isn't a delay.

Thanks for visiting and being patient with the registration process. There are lots of spammers out there that ruin it for all the good guys. I really wish I could just have you sign up and that be that but I have to verify that you're a real person to keep the forums clean.

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