1MBPS versus 10MBPS: Would I notice?

I’m presently faced with the option of switching my ISP and home phone from one provider to another, with the chance of saving $50 CDN per month. Sufficed to say, I’m stoked.

A caveat, though: this new service is DSL lite, which claims to run at a 1 MBPS, a tenth my current download speed.

Now, it doesn’t take a towering intellect to figure out that 10 > 1. But if I’m using this for surfing the web, posting mindlessly on web forums, and checking outlook express, am I going to notice? Is the difference going to be 1 second to load versus a tenth of a second (i.e., negligible)?

For that matter, on the occasions when I do use the internet for downloading torrents and videos and the like, I’ve never actually seen the download rate running at 1,028 kbps. Or even over 100, for that matter. Is this then misleading to say that I have 10 MBPS internet to begin with? Is that extra 9 MB superfluous waste owing to the fact that the sites I get stuff from don’t upload that fast?

Any advice I can get would be greatly appreciated! :slight_smile:

An important question: is this 1 Mbps, or 1 MBps? “B” is for “byte,” which is eight bits-with-a-“b”; ISPs are inconsistent about providing these numbers, but usually quote performance in bits. FWIW, I have found that downloading is the most demanding thing I do, and I frequently exceed 1Mb/s, but rarely approach 1MB/s, even though my service allows this. I attribute this to the source, rather than my ISP, although my cable performance can be degraded by bandwidth sharing.

When you are using a torrent service you are limited by the upload speed of other users. Upload speeds for home connections are significantly slower than download speeds, for example I have 20Mbps download and just 1Mbps upload. Torrents aren’t a good test of your connection.

For simple web browsing and checking emails you won’t notice much difference but if you are on a site that uses a lot of flash or downloading attachments in the emails you will start to notice a big slowdown. It’s really all down to how you use the connection and how impatient you are, using a flash and advert blocker can speed up browsing on slower connections if it becomes an issue but downloading any larger files (including windows updates) will be a real pain.

MBps is megaByte per second, Mbps is megabit per second, Mb/8 = MB.

Imho, it will only make a difference if the sites you use can go that fast. In my experience, only a handful of sites can handle over .5 Mbps.

They’re telling you they’ll give you 1 MBps? Then you should expect to get 300K at best. And yes, you’ll notice. I have DSL now. It’s absolutely, unforgivably awful. I can’t watch videos, stream music, or browse at the same time as my girlfriend.

Don’t switch.

1 Mbps is fine for text and a few pictures. It’ll suck for picture galleries, many videos, and multi-tasking.

Want to read the SDMB? You’ll be fine.

Want to download a torrent, listen to Pandora, and browse through a Facebook album at the same time? It’ll be painful.

Torrents are limited by the AGGREGATE upload speed of its participants, not just one person. You may have 1Mbps upload, but the other 100 seeders and 200 leechers may have a combined 500 MBps upload (of which you’ll only have partial access to, but the total is likely still way more than 1Mbps).

Popular, well-seeded torrents are actually a great test of a connection’s max throughput because they’re not hampered by one server’s bandwidth (provided the torrent’s not choked by your router setup). The dead ones with only one or two participants, not so much.

The things, and it’s been mentioned, is that with the higher rate you can ve sure of getting consistenly higher speed even f the service is slow.

Thanks for the responses! As best I can tell, both services were MB per second, not Mb.

The DSL Lite people say they can offer me a service upto 5MB downloading. I can also get a cheaper plan from my current ISP, where the speed is limited to 3. What’s the bare minimum I need to, say, get a 30 minute youtube/tudou video to load in under 10 minutes? I think 3 would cut it, yes? Bandwidth isn’t an issue, as I don’t download a bunch and seldom play online on my PS3, but the top speed is a bit of a concern, as I periodically stream hockey during the NHL season…

I’ve never heard an ISP quote in MBYTES, only bits. And I had one person on the Charter sales staff who swore they were the same thing. Quoting in bits makes it look almost 10 times faster than it really is, since computer data is usually calcuated in bytes (your hard drive and RAM always are spec’d in Bytes). ISPs also typically quote only the DOWNlink speed, but the UPlink speed may be one-tenth of that.

I say don’t drop down. As technology progresses, you will find more and more applications that you cannot handle. The trend is UP, not down. Sure, if you only read/write text email, you won’t notice the diff, but the first time someone sends you ten 10MB images of their new puppy or grandkid, you’ll wish you had stayed with the faster service.

A 3 mbps connection will download a “30 minute” (22 min / 174 MB) scene release in about 8 minutes if the connection is saturated. If you lose 20% to overhead, you’ll just make that 10 minute mark. A 320p or 480p youtube episode will be even faster.

What’re the bandwidth caps from the new provider? Those could be a problem.

The new ones claim “unlimited” bandwidth at 1MBPS. My current ISP offers 60 gigs at 10MBPS (my current plan) or 25 @ 3 MB for 10 dollars less.

The trouble is that not many people seed whilst not currently downloading, the upshot is that everyone’s upload is likely to be saturated (especially since it is commonplace to throttle the upload speed) leaving the chances that you can saturate your download speed pretty low. Of course you do sometimes get lucky but downloading from a decent server is going to be faster the majority of the time.

If it really is DSL Lite, as you say in the OP, i’d be very surprised if they were talking about megabytes (MB) per second. It’s almost certainly going to be 1 megabit (Mb) per second, or about 125 kilobytes per second. That’s fairly standard for a low-cost, or “lite” DSL service. 1 megabyte would be 8 megabits, which is not really a lite service at all, at least not in most North American markets. There are probably places in South Korea and Europe where 8 megabits would be considered a slow, low-cost option, but not many places in North America.

As others have said, for text-heavy pages like the SDMB, you basically won’t notice any difference at all. The problem is that, as internet bandwidths have increased, many web designers have taken advantage of the fact and added all sorts of bandwidth-hungry (and sometimes completely useless) stuff to their sites. Flash video, large images, and all sorts of Web 2.0 nonsense makes many sites slow to load for people with lower-tier broadband connections, and if you’re still on dial-up, there are some sites that you can’t even visit anymore.

I have a 9 megabit cable connection at home, and in many cases my download speeds are limited more by the server i’m downloading from than by the speed of my connection. Still, on a fast server i can max it out and get constant download speeds of about 1.1 megabytes per second. My provider also has a “powerboost” feature which doubles the speed for short bursts, allowing even fast downloading of smaller files. If the file is less than about 50 megabytes or so, i can often average over 2 megabytes per second for the download.

How true. Like the one called, “The Internet.”

Upon closer inspection, that IS a lowercase ‘b’. Dangit! :mad:

I always wondered how in the hell I had a 10 MB connection and yet it took me 20 minutes to download a single TV show…nothing like slight of hand in advertisements!

I’ve had the opposite experience more often, with regular servers limiting my download speed to 500-700 KB/sec while torrents go above 1000 KB/sec. Of course, it depends on what and from whom you’re downloading, YMMV, etc.