How About Internet Speed

First Impression

Once for a while, we may need to choose or switch internet provider. I am based in Perth, West Australia. There are a few internet service providers in WA, such as Telstra, iinet, TPG and other providers.

As you can see, Telstra provides three different packages for personal plan; the higher price, the faster internet speed you can enjoy.

Internet Speed & Bandwidth & Latency

  • Internet Speed actually has nothing to do with how fast your internet works. It confuses me in the beginning when I signed up my internet service in my house. Instead, Internet Speed is your bandwidth and bandwidth means the amount of data that can be sent to us in seconds. For example, Telstra’s most expensive internet package offers 88 Mbps, which means that you can receive up to 88 megabits data per second.
  • Thinking of bandwidth is a supply water pipe, which delivers water to a storage tank. Water is delivered at same speed all the time, in order to get more water to the tank faster, wider pipe will get the job done quicker. In real life scenario, does that mean higher bandwidth will make internet speed faster? No. Instead, higher bandwidth just make internet perceptually faster, not technically faster.
  • Latency means delay. It is the amount of time it takes to send data from one point to another. Latency is measured by milliseconds (ms in some book). You may have came across with another term, which is called ping rate. Bandwidth means how wide the water pipe can be, and Latency means how fast it can move water from A to B. We are all expecting minimum latency all the time; 30-50 ms is preferred if we are playing online video game. In addition, Latency is influenced by connection type, distance and congestion.

Now we can easily figure out, how fast our internet is a combination of bandwidth and latency.
As you can see from Telstra’s package, it is offering 20Mbps, 44Mbps and 88Mbps, respectively. It does not mean that the most expensive package secure the fasted internet experience.

Mbps means megabits per second by definition

I was very familiar with Mb, Gb in my experience; for example, my portable drive is 256Gb and one music file is 26Mb. However, Internet Provider measures internet speed by Mbps.

1 MB = 8 Mbps

If we have a look Telstra’s most expensive internet package, its speed rates at 88 Mbps. In another word, your internet speed potentially rates as 11 MB per second.

How Fast My Internet Should Be

How fast your internet should be? It really depends on what do you do on the internet. There is a brief internet speed and user experience list, based on one person usage under one household.

Basic Internet Usage (0.5 – 3.0 Mbps)

  • News Browse
  • Email Communication

Moderate Internet Usage (6 to 18 Mbps)

  • Download Video (Relative Low Definition)
  • Download Music (Mp3 File)

Fast Internet Usage (25+ Mbps)

  • Video Stream
  • Online Game

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