The internet has made the world into a global village where all things big and small are shared across the world in the form of documents, videos or audio… However, the internet language still stumps many and some even get taken for a ride just because they didn’t understand what they were signing up for.
When shopping for an internet connection, have you ever wondered what the ‘Mbps’ and ‘MBps’ stood for? To start with, in internet lingo, the small ‘b’ stands for ‘bits’ and the big ‘B’ stands for ‘Bytes’. Furthermore, Mbps stands for megabits per second while MBps stands for megabytes per second. Both are measurements of data with 8 bits being equal to 1 byte. One megabit refers to 1,000,000 bits and one megabyte refers to 1,000,000 bytes.
While the above terms are similar, Mbps refers to internet connection speeds while MBps refers to file or data transferred per second – this includes both downloads and uploads.
Internet service providers advertise their internet speeds in terms of Mbps with higher Mbps denoting greater internet speeds; however you may not always be able to avail of the advertised speeds as other factors including the type of technology used, the number of users online in your neighborhood during peak hours or even the distance of your connection from the ISP’s service center. Mbps is usually represented as two numbers, such as 42/24, with the first representing download speeds and the latter referring to upload speeds.
Megabytes or MBps is used as a measure of file sizes and their transfer rates per second. Similar to the bits to bytes ratio, 8 megabits make up one megabyte. In order to determine how many bytes you are capable of downloading or uploading, divide the file size by your MBps to get an approximate idea of length of time required for download or upload. For example if you want to download a 10MB file with internet speed of 16 Mbps, you first need to divide your MBps by 8, which gives you 2; then divide the 10 MB file size with 2, which gives you 5. This means that you need about 5 seconds to download a 10MB file at internet speed of 16Mbps.
Having an idea this way about your online needs gives you an idea of the amount of internet speeds you require. So when next you go internet shopping, you now know the kind of Mbps or internet speeds you need.