Internet download speed confusion

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ams963, May 11, 2014.

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  1. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I have noticed a peculiar situation with my internet download speed. I found my internet download speed to be an of 1.40 MB/s using Speedtest.net by Ookla. But when I download anything with either Firefox or Internet Explorer, both of their Download Windows show a download speed of around 170 KB/s. And the download takes the time in accordance to the browser's showings.

    I don't understand. What's wrong? Why do I get almost one tenth of the speed shown by Ookla's speed test when using IE and FF?
     
  2. guest

    guest Guest

    It could be the site's bandwidth limit.
     
  3. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Sometimes this is measured in bits, sometimes in Bytes. 1 byte = 8 bits. Since 170*8 = 1360, maybe you are confusing the two.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  4. guest

    guest Guest

    Oh yeah, I remember reading about that a while ago. Haven't finished reading it yet though.
     
  5. bo elam

    bo elam Registered Member

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    You are getting what you are paying for. This is how I do the numbers:

    1.40*1024 =1433.60, if you divide 1433.60 into 8, the result is 179.2 KB/s. If you download at 170 KB/s consistently, I think your speed is OK. Experiencing up to a 10% loss is reasonable.

    Bo
     
  6. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    ISPs love to trick users with that, don't know why Speedtest.net follows that nonsense nobody else uses. Same with gigabyte vs gibibyte hard drive manufacturers take advantage of.
     
  7. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    You make sense. So when my ISP says it's giving me 1 MB/s it's saying in megabyte. And so is Ookla's speed test. But Firefox is giving me download statistics in megabit and kilobit. When Firefox is showing Sandboxie installer as 2.8 MB it's actually saying in megabit right? Ah! I understand now. Thanks a lot.:thumb: I got confused as nobody specifies bit or byte, not my ISP, Firefox or Ookla's speedtest.
    You're saying I'm getting the speed at a 10% loss. Um I don't get it Bo.:(
    Oh so HDD manufacturers also use this trick huh! It's sad. They all are acting like crooks.:mad:
     
  8. bo elam

    bo elam Registered Member

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    I am saying, if you are paying for 1.40 MB download speed and if you constantly download at 170 KB/s when using Firefox, then you are getting what you are paying for. Downloading at 170 KB/s is only suffering about a 5% loss if you are paying for 1,40MB. I also was trying to say that is is acceptable to lose up to about 10%.

    I know you said Speedtest gives you 1.40MB, is that the speed that you contracted with your ISP? If it is, then you are OK.

    Bo
     
  9. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Actually, it's the other way around. Your ISP is giving you 1 Mb/s, while Firefox is showing SBIE as 2.8 MB. Please note the b=bit and B=byte. 1.4Mb/8=0.175MB, which is what you're experiencing.
    The numbers won't add up if Ookla is measuring bytes and FIrefox bits. 1 MB/s = 8 Mb/s. 170 Kb/s = 21.25 KB/s.

    Not this trick, but another math one. They measure HDD by gigabytes, which means 1GB = 1000MB. But Windows measures HDD by gibibytes, which means 1GB = 1024MB.
    That's why hard drives appear smaller than what they advertise, especially when the common meaning of gigabyte is in fact gibibyte.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    ams963,

    The two results have nothing to do with each other. You might have a 100 MB/sec plan and still only get 170 KB/sec with a Firefox download.
     
  11. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Apart from what others have said about the difference between Mbits/sec and MBytes/sec, you need to take one more factor into account. When you download a file through a browser, your browser only opens a single connection with the server where the file is located to download the file. Most servers have a per connection download limit, so a single connection can not exceed that limit.

    To utilize the full bandwidth on your line, you need to use a download manager. A download manager will open multiple connections with the server and will be able to download the file utilizing your full bandwidth.

    Try using the free download manager for Firefox called DownThemAll! to download a file and it will use all of your bandwidth.
     
  12. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    it's probably better to test your speed using your provider website, which should have a page for that.
    if you pay for a 1.2 Mbps and it's consistently much slower contact your provider.

    I pay for 1.2 Mbps and I get that quite often, but some sites are slower than other.
     
  13. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    Ah I understand now.
    My ISP says 1mb/s speed. I now believe they're clever to not specify bit or byte. Just puttin mb in small letters. :mad:
    You make perfect sense. I've tested with Ookla's speedtest again. And it does give result in bit. It says:

    Ping- 259ms | Download Speed- 1.49 Mbps | Upload Speed- 0.31 Mbps


    So when Firefox says 2.8 MB sbie installer it means 22 Mb. It would take about 20 seconds to download at my speed. And I've tested. It does take about 20 seconds.

    Thank you so much J L.:thumb:
    Ah I understand it now.:)

    You're confusing me. :confused:

    Oh I see. Thanks for adding another possible factor. I'll the download manager. Is DownThemAll good?

    Now that I understand the bits and bytes, I can see I sometimes get more than 1.2 and sometimes get 1.5 Mbps. And it never reaches below 1 Mbps. :)
     
  14. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    I myself use Internet Download Manager, but I have used DownThemAll before and it is a fully functional download manager. You can check the reviews on the link I quoted before. It is rated highly by its users.
     
  15. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    Ah I can see it's highly rated. Thanks for recommending it.:thumb: I surely try it out.:)
     
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