Internet connection speed

When choosing a tariff plan, we are faced with the choice of the speed of the Internet connection. Let's try to figure out what it is with the help of simple examples.

Surely you know that the speed of movement of a car, a person, a train or any other vehicle is measured in different units. If we are talking about a car, then its speed can be 100 km/h, the speed of movement of an ant or a turtle will probably be more logical to measure in meters / hour and the speed of space objects in thousands of kilometers per hour. In the same way, there is a scale for measuring the speed of the Internet.

The speed of the Internet and what it measures

If the speed of the machine is calculated by the number of kilometers that the car traveled per unit of time, the speed of the Internet connection is calculated by the amount of information transferred per unit of time.
A unit of information is a bit or byte. One byte contains 8 bits. And by analogy with many other units of measure, to these very bits and bytes it is possible to attach the prefix Kilo (1024), Mega (1048576), Giga (1073741824), etc.

Recently, most often to indicate the speed of Internet connections use the megabit per second (MB/sec). For example, the speed of 20 MB/sec means that in 1 second you can download (or download) a file of 20 megabytes in size.

Often, many are confused and lost in terms of measurement. As we said above, 1 byte is equal to 8 bits. Thus 20 megabytes, this is 2.5 megabytes (20: 8 = 2.5). And by analogy, the speed of 20 megabytes/sec is the same as 2.5 megabytes per second.

Bits are usually cut by a small letter "b" and bytes of a large "B". Basically, this causes confusion. 20 MB/s is 20 megabits per second, and 20 MB/s is 20 megabytes per second. Be careful with this, because the same letter, dialed in another register means a value of 8 times smaller or larger. So, for example, 20 MB/s is 8 times larger or faster than 20 MB/s.

Also, different browsers show the speed in megabytes per second and for this it is necessary to multiply the result by 8 to compare it with the provider's tariff plan.

Speaking about the speed of Internet connection, it is usually a question of the maximum possible speed. But not always and not under all circumstances this speed can be achieved.

Internet speed and bandwidth

Suppose that we need to get by car from one city to another. We calculate the route and get as a result the time for which we will reach our destination.
But in this case, we get the ideal option that does not take into account traffic jams, bad weather conditions, after all, a person's desire to go to the toilet or stop at the cafe to eat. And in the end, the calculated travel time is increased by 20-30% or even 2-3 times.
The same happens with the speed of the Internet connection. The provider, selling us its tariff uses the maximum possible values. As a result, we get the speed that remains to us after eliminating all the side factors. And again an example. The road section is 25 km. Direct, asphalted, clean. We are driving a sports car that can drive at a speed of 250 km/h. The manufacturer promised us this and now we will check it. We sit behind the wheel, accelerate to 250 km/h and fly 10 km in 6 minutes. Great result.
And now 20 huge cobblestones are rolling out onto this road, small stones are scattered in 10 places, and some places are flooded with water and frozen. We are going again, but we can not keep the speed of 250 km/h all the way, we have to dodge stones, slow down on ice, etc. As a result, we can not always go on the promised speed and the time for which we pass this site increases.

Exactly the same happens with the speed of the Internet connection. The provider in the tariff indicates the maximum Internet speed that can be achieved on "clean" Internet channels, when there are no obstacles and noises. But as soon as there are factors that in one way or another interfere with the passage of the signal, the speed of the Internet decreases.

What are these factors? There can be many. The main, perhaps, is the congestion of the channels. Imagine that on the same road you are traveling not alone but along with you there are 30 more cars and they all have a top speed of 250 km h. Do you think you can quickly get there? No. You will interfere with each other and in the end no one will be able to travel at a speed of 250 km/h.

Internet speed and distance

In this case, it is not superfluous to recall that also the distance is of great importance. What is the distance? We are often asked why the Internet speed measurement results in your Internet speed test are different from the results of measurements in other services. The results are different because different services are measured with different servers.

The speed of an Internet connection can be measured in only one way: check the amount of information downloaded or downloaded per unit time. But this information needs to be taken from somewhere. And this is a very important factor. You can receive information from a computer next door to you, which is in another room or from a computer that is installed in a house next to you or from a computer that is installed at your provider and maybe from a computer that is located in Germany.

Accordingly, as we have already explained, the further the road to the server from which we take information, the topic is more along the path of interference, and so the less the result will be the speed of the Internet. If you are measuring the speed with the server of your Internet provider, which is located from you at a distance of several kilometers, then the probability of no interference is great and the speed will be almost the same as promised by you at the rate, but if you measure the speed with the server that is located in Germany, the information to get to you on the computer must go thousands of miles along the networks of various Internet providers. And on this way it will be waited by various obstacles and surprises, as a result of which the speed will decrease. Thus, the closer to you the server with which you are making a standstill, the higher the speed of the Internet.

Internet speed and channel width

But that's not all. On the Internet, all the ways of passing the signal can be compared with water pipes. The wider the tube, the more it can pass the water per unit time. It also happens with Internet channels. The larger, wider the channel, the more information can be transmitted per unit of time and, accordingly, the greater the speed of the Internet.
You have never encountered a situation when suddenly in your high-rise building all at once decided to go to the shower. The pressure of water in the shower has decreased, you become less water. It happened because the diameter of the pipe that comes to your house is limited and through it can only pass a certain volume per unit of time. When the wash is 10 people, then there is enough water and when all went to wash, the water was not enough.

Imagine that for your area the Internet provider has allocated a 1 Gb/s channel. This means that the width of the channel allows you to skip a 1-Gbit data in 1 second. If you are on the Internet and another 10 people from your area, you are all connected to the 20 Mb/s rate and use it to the fullest (shaking the movie, for example), then all of you together use only part of the channel. Those. 10 people on 20 Mb/s occupy approximately 200 Mb/s channel, while its width is 1 Gb/s. You occupy only 1/5 of the channel. But then the evening came, everyone sat down at their computers and began to download movies. And now you are already 100, each channel has 20 Mb/s, and so that everyone can download at a rate of the tariff, you all need a channel capacity of 2 Gb/s, and the provided channel is only 1 Gb/s, which is 2 times. Thus, the speed of the Internet connection at all is reduced at least 2 times.

We often receive letters from our visitors who are lost and do not understand who to believe. All the speedometers show different values. The results of measurements may differ by orders of magnitude. We hope that our article has slightly clarified the situation for you. And in conclusion we want to sum up.


  1. The speed of the Internet depends on many factors and can vary depending on the time of day and on the network load.
  2. It is important to understand that the Internet speed is measured in bits and bytes. Always compare the speed according to the tariff and measured in the same units.
  3. The farther away from you the server for speed measurement of the Internet connection is territorially located, the less speed.
  4. The more ISP's subscribers are on the Internet at the same time, the less is the speed of the Internet connection.