How to Calculate Download Speed Values

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Download speed determines how fast you can browse the Internet and download files onto your computer. Knowing this speed will show you how fast your Internet connection really is. Internet speed is measured in megabits or kilobits, while your download rates are measured in megabytes and kilobytes. Converting the speeds from megabits to megabytes or kilobytes is simple.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator

Getting Your Speed in Megabytes From Megabits

  • Check with your Internet service provider to ask how many megabits of downstream (download) speed you actually have.

  • Multiply your speed in megabits by 1.048576 (the size of one megabyte in bytes, divided by 1 million).

  • Divide the result by 8. The result will be in megabytes. If, for example, you have a download speed of 6 megabits, you will end up with the result of 0.786432 megabytes.

Getting Your Speed in Kilobytes From Megabits

  • Repeat step 1 from the last section.

  • Multiply your speed in megabits by 1048576 (this time, we do not divide the size by 1 million).

  • Divide the result by 8.

  • Divide again by 1024. The result will be in kilobytes. If, for example, you have a download speed of 6 megabits, you will end up with the result of 768 kilobytes.

Getting Your Speed in Kilobytes From Kilobits

  • If your Internet service provider indicates your download stream in kilobits, then use the this section to calculate your download speed.

  • Divide your speed in kilobits by 8. The result will be in kilobytes. If, for example, you have a download speed of 512 kilobits, you will end up with the result of 64 kilobytes.

  • Compare the result to how fast you are actually downloading. While you download something from a website, your browser will show you the speed in kilobytes or megabytes, usually along the top or bottom of the page. If you reach speeds much lower than what you have calculated, you might call your ISP (Internet service provider) to figure out the problem with them.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you calculate the result as instructed, you should get the maximum speed at which you can download. If you are downloading faster than this, you might have made the mistake of assuming you have a certain speed from your ISP, or you might have incorrectly calculated your download speed. Keep in mind calculating upload speed is totally different than download speed.
  • If you are downloading slightly slower than the speed you calculated and you are using a DSL connection to the Internet, you are probably far away from the switch that serves your area from your Internet provider. In other words, signals to and from your home have a long distance to travel before reaching the router designated for your locale. If the speed is drastically slower than what you calculated as your maximum and this keeps repeating, you should contact your ISP immediately and let them know something might be wrong with your Internet line.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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