All too often I have seen several companies advertising “High Speed Internet” service or “Broadband” service as a campaign against “those other guys” using dial-up or slower cable modems.
Verizon has a real good “hook” campaign and so do some of the Bell companies. I haven’t heard much about Comcast (a.k.a. BrightHouse Networks in the southern states), but that’s probably because they don’t have to advertise so much. I had great service with them in Daytona Beach, Fl. and I had above average service from them in Atlanta, Ga. And I have darn good service with them here in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The real catch is in knowing whether the ads are talking about mega “bits” per second or mega “Bytes” per second transfer rate. We may also be talking Kilobits versus KiloBytes as well.
So here is how it works in simplest form. There are 8 bits of data in a byte. If you see an ad that touts 56Mbps (lower case b), then they are talking megabits. This means you can divide your 56Megabits by 8 and you are actually getting roughly 7MBps ( 7 MegaBytes) transfer speed. I won’t go into details but it is only a rough approximation because of a kilobyte being 1024 thousand bytes of data. Summarily, if you see an add touting 768Kbps versus 768KBps you can then divide the 768Kbps by 8 to discover you are only getting 96KBps true transfer speed.
My results are Download Speed: 12181Kbps (1522.6KBps) which translates into roughly 1.5 MBytes/sec or 15 Mbits/sec.
Now when I say transfer speed, I am actually talking about “optimal” download speed only, not upload speed. Many configuration settings on your computer can affect your actual speed of data transfer (upload and download). The standard upload speed was roughly 384kbps, but there have been some changes in technology of late and some people may be getting close to the same 1500kbps uploads speeds as I get.
If you are interested in knowing what your actual transfer speeds are with the current service you have, click on the Speak Easy speed test Logo at the top right of this article. By the way, just for a cost comparison, I pay about $35 a month for Internet service.