How Do Internet Speeds Work?
Have you ever asked yourself “How do Internet speeds work?” Well, the answer is complicated.
Many variables determine how fast your Internet runs, and in turn how quickly you access the information you need. This article’s goal is to help you understand Internet speed and how this might affect your online experience.
For instance, the speedier your Internet, the better quality the videos you can watch and audio you can listen to, and the more likely they will play without interruption due to buffering. We’ve all experienced our videos lagging because our Internet connection couldn’t handle the speed at which the video was being delivered. Our Internet will essentially pause the video to catch up, causing the delay.
To understand speed, it’s helpful to understand the difference between “speed” and “bandwidth”. The name “bandwidth” directly refers to its definition – it is literally the width of the ‘canal’ that the data is travelling through. It may go without saying that speed refers to how fast that data travels.
Understand that if your ‘canal’ is overloaded with data, this will directly affect the speed at which it travels. So, in most cases, adding bandwidth would increase your available speed.
Data can travel from the Internet to your device, or from your device to the Internet. This is what is referred to as “download speed” and “upload speed”. Internet providers like Silo will strategically offer packages that are biased towards providing higher download bandwidth when compared to upload bandwidth. We do this because most customers spend the majority of their time downloading content from the Internet, like movies, than they do uploading content to the Internet.
As far as speed measurement, it is most common for Internet bandwidth to be measured in megabits per second (Mbps or Mb/s), with the most common standard broadband connection being measured at 4 Mbps download speed and 1 Mbps upload speed. A package of this size would be large enough to deliver a single standard definition Netflix stream.
A common point of confusion can be when observing the download speed of a file, as this rate of transfer is measured in megabytes per second (MBps or MB/s). 1 megabyte is actually equal to 8 megabits! They sure did make things confusing… whether the ‘b’ in ‘Mbps’ is capitalized or not actually translates to an 8x difference in speed. So, if you’re looking at the speed of a file download, remember that you have to multiply that speed by 8 to understand how much of your Internet bandwidth it is using.
If you would like to measure the speed of your Internet connection, you can run an online speed test at http://speedtest.fibrenoire.ca. In order to run an accurate test, you must consider that your available speed can be affected based on variables like how much data you’re using at the time of the test, fluctuations in the wireless environment, and many other factors. For instructions on how run a proper bypass speed test (which can remove many of these variables), please check out our video walkthrough by clicking here!
If your speed test results do not fall within the range specified in your subscribed package, contact us using the form here or call Silo’s tech support team at 519-449-5656 opt. 3 and someone will be happy to help you find a solution!