What does my speed actually mean?
It’s easy to be confused by terms like Mbps, Mb, MB and MB/s.
Broadband speed is generally measured in megabits per second. This is written as ‘Mbps’ or just ‘Mb’, sometimes this is also referred to as ‘meg’ or ‘megs’. A ‘bit’ is a single binary digit of data. There are 1,000,000 bits in a megabit. A Gigabit is a 1,000 Mbps and is written as Gbps.
Most computers measure filesize in ‘bytes’ rather than bits. Bits tend to be abbreviated to lower case b while bytes are abbreviated to upper case B, so a MB is very different to a Mb. Megabytes per second tend to be written as ‘MB/s’ or ‘MB/sec’. There are 8 bits to 1 byte, 1024 bytes to the kilobyte and 1024 kilobytes to the megabyte. This means that there are actually 1,048,576 bytes or 8,388,608 bits in a megabyte.
File transfer speed, as reported during a download, is likely to be measured in megabytes per second rather than megabits per second, which means this is more than 8 times slower than you might expect if you thought megabits and megabytes were equivalent.