Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've heard different terms advertised for connection speeds . What are common ones today and what do they mean?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Common download speeds with DSL are 1.5 Mbps, 3 Mbps, and 6 Mbps Some cable companies now also offer speeds like 10 or 15 Mbps. These speeds are expressed in "mega-bits per second" (Mbps).

Here are 2 articles that explain this nicely:

share|improve this answer
'Sactly what I was looking for. Thanks! – Moshe Dec 19 '09 at 23:41

The speeds usually advertised are in megabits per second (mbps), the download speed you will see in a browser is that number divided by 8 (8 bits in a byte). If you see a connection advertised as 8mbps, you could (theoretically) download files at 1mbps, if there were absolutely no interruptions on the line, although you'd probably end up getting < 950kb/s as lines aren't perfect. With DSL connections, usually the further you are from the distribution center the worse your performance. A DSL company may advertise "up to 5mbps" (625kb/s) but that is under perfect circumstances, depending on where you are situated in regards to them. There is no guarantee you will get that speed.

For a detailed description on different types of connections, this article has it fairly well covered.

share|improve this answer
Great answer, Zoran got the check first though... +1 – Moshe Dec 20 '09 at 0:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.