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How is Internet Speed Measured?


When referring to computers and Internet connections, the first subject that comes up is usually speed. But do we really know what the letters and numbers mean, and how to compare speeds? To help clear that up, we have a quick download on speed definitions and how to use them. With this info you'll be able to determine just how fast Time Warner Cable service is compared to other Internet providers. So buckle in and follow along.

Internet Speed is Measured in Bits-Per-Second

  1. Bits-per-second is the standard for describing the speed of computer communications.
  2. 1 Kbps (kilobits-per-second) = 1,000 bits per second and 1 Mbps (megabits-per-second) = 1,000,000 bits per second.

Example: For Standard Internet service at10 Mbps, a Time Warner Cable modem is over 100 times faster than the average speeds you'll see from a dial-up modem at 64 Kbps.

Example: For Turbo Internet service at 15 Mbps, a Time Warner Cable modem is over 1.5 times faster than the fastest DSL service at 6 Mbps.

Web Browsers Measure in Bytes-Per-Second

  1. File download speeds from your web browser are reported in bytes-per-second or kilobytes-per-second (kBps).
  2. The speed of your dial-up ADSL, or cable modem is listed in terms of bits-per-second or kilobits-per-second (kbps).
  3. The uppercase "B" means bytes, the lowercase "b" means bits.
  4. A 100 kBps download is eight times faster than a 100 kbps download.

How Do We Measure Speed?
As a rule, always measure the speed of the Internet in terms of bits-per-second. If you see a speed listed in terms of bytes-per-second (or using an abbreviation with an uppercase "B"), multiply this number by 8 to convert to bits-per-second. If your browser reports a file downloaded at 150 KBps, you'll know this is 1200 kbps or about 1.2 Mbps. Before making a conclusion about whether the speed you receive from a particular download represents a problem with your Time Warner Cable Modem, it's important to understand the factors that can affect Internet speed.