How to Compare High Speed Internet

When choosing a broadband Internet connection, the three largest components of a connection's performance are download speed or down-rate, upload speed or up-rate, and connection latency.

  1. Download Speed

    • Download speed is the rate at which the connection can download information from the Internet. The download speed is usually measured in kilobits per second, and is commonly cited by Internet service providers when touting their service.

    Upload Speed

    • A connection's upload speed is the rate at which the connection can upload data from your computer to servers or other computers on the Internet. On most residential connections the upload speed will be much lower than the download speed. Upload speed is usually measured in kilobits per second.


    • Latency is the delay between when your computer sends a request to somewhere on the Internet,to when your computer receives a reply. Some types of broadband connections, such as satellite, will have a comparatively high download and upload rate, but will also have a high amount of latency. This makes the connection seem slower for things such as Internet browsing because while the speed at which data is transferred is high, there is a large delay before the data will begin to be sent and received.

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