Understand the Difference between Mbps and MBps

Understand the Difference between Mbps and MBps

Are you among those people who commonly get jinxed by internet terms? Welcome to the club! For those of you having problems in differentiating between internet metrics such as Mbps and MBps, here is some simple clarification.

Mbps – This stands for megabits per second, where the Mb is used with reference to downloading and uploading speeds.

MBps – This refers to megabytes per second. Here, MB is used with reference to file sizes or to the amount of data transferred.

Though both these terms sound like the same thing, there is a huge difference of speed between them. Most people assume that a download speed of 1 Megabit per second translates into downloading 1 Megabyte file in one second. However this is not the case. Both terms are used for measuring the speed of data transfer between two locations. These terms are commonly encountered when downloading data from the internet or transferring data from one device to another. The connection speed will show up as megabits per second while the downloads or data transferred will show up as megabytes.

To begin with, internet speed is measured in bits, kilobits and megabits. Downloads or file sizes on the other hand are measured in bytes, kilobytes or megabytes.

When downloading, one byte is equivalent to eight bits, meaning that a kilobyte is eight times larger than a kilobit. If you want to know how fast you can download a file, just multiply the size of the file in Megabytes by 8 to get the Megabits. Then divide the file size in Megabits with your internet speed.

But then, what’s your internet speed? It refers to your allocated bandwidth with bandwidth referring to the amount of data that can be delivered to you per second. Generally, Mbps or Megabits are used to describe the speed of your internet connection. Downloads and uploads are measured in Megabits which would then mean that in order to download a 1MB file per second, you would need an 8Mbps connection. In order to find out how much time it will take to download a specific file of known Megabytes, you will first need to convert it into megabits.

Hence if you take a high speed plan of 100 Mbps, you might think you are onto a good thing, but this only converts to 12.5MBps in theory – and if you factor in the usual bottlenecks, then your effective speed will probably be about 10MBp.

Hope this clears up your confusion a little….