I had discussion with my friend who thinks that webpages will load faster with internet speed. His speed is 6Mbps and mine is 4MBps

If we load a website like: http://superuser.com , is it going to load with approximately the same speed for both of us?

My point of view: If webpage is around eg. 700KB in size, it will load with the same speed for all connections like 1Mbps,2,3,etc. Is this correct?

closed as off-topic by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, kobaltz, Tog, Dave M, m4573r May 23 '14 at 13:13

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The bandwidth, if we think about an ideal internet connection, is going to determine data transfer speed. Whatever is downloaded will get faster to your browser, if your bandwidth is bigger. But with small content (as web pages usually are) and high bandwidth, the time you spend downloading ends up being less than the time you spend waiting the other side for processing the content and start sending.

Here is the timing for this page html content (not including the images and scripts)

enter image description here

As you can see there was 176ms spent connecting to the server, 1ms for sending the request, 233ms waiting for the server to create the content (reading databases, files, etc), and only 179ms receiving. Which is about 30% of the whole time the users waits for the page. As long as we don't take into account scripts which block render in the client side.

There are multiple things to consider when looking at download times.

Firstly - a faster connection will probably give you a faster download. a 700kb file will download faster on a faster connection. This is because the faster your connection is, the more b, kb or mb you can download in a single second. If the files are all under 1mb, then the faster connections will need a smaller fraction of a second to download.

Secondly - download speed is dependant on upload speed. If the web server which is sending the content to your machine can only send at 500k per second, it doesn't matter how fast your connection is - you can only receive as fast as they can send.

Lastly - look at the speed of your PC. A brand new quad core, huge amounts of RAM, solid state drive PC will be able to translate the raw data into something on your screen a lot faster than a 5 year old slower computer.

There are other small factors that affect load times such as AV scanning which may slow things down, but these things happen post-download for the most part. Other things which may affect this are the browser speed (how well written it is), current load on the server and your PC in terms of other jobs running on the machines, lag and latency (google them :) ).. but the affect of these are minimal under normal circumstances

Hope this helps.

700KB downloads faster on a faster connection, but download speed is not everything.

A current computer is going to render and display a modern page MUCH faster than a 486, even if they both have the same Internet speed.

  • 1
    Agreed. Browser choice will make a difference as well. Some browsers are faster than others. Also, the contents of the page will make a difference. A fast connection is not going to help if the computer has to process a complex javascript script. Latency will also have an affect. – Keltari May 20 '14 at 14:33
  • thanks, theoretically higher speed does load webpage faster – Zack May 20 '14 at 14:58

Generally speaking, yes a faster connection will download a webpage quicker than a slow connections. But in reality, there are a lot of things that will affect how fast you can download and display a webpage:

  • Servers Upload Speed

Even if you have a download speed of 1 Gbit/s (Google Fiber), if the server you are retrieving information from only has an upload speed of 56 Kbit/s (Dial-up), you're only going to get your webpage at 56 Kbit/s. Your download speed is only as fast as the slowest part in the chain.

  • Type of connection to your ISP

With some ISPs, they say you will get "up to" 1 Gbit/s but if they have it set up where they share that connection with 100 different users, you may be getting a lot slower speed than what you think you are. In the middle of the night when no one is on the shared internet, you may be getting those speeds but in the evening when everyone is streaming Netflix, it will be a lot slower.

  • Latency

Depending on how long it takes for your request to reach the server also determines how long it will take for you to get your webpage. If your friend's connection allows him to send a request in 1 ms and your connection takes 500 ms, he'll be getting the webpage 499 ms faster than you will.

  • Computer Hardware

With most modern computers, they can display a webpage faster than it takes to actually download the page itself. But if you have a 5 year old laptop that happens to be running a virus check in the background and has 50 different tabs open, it'll usually take a lot longer than a new computer with a fresh install of Windows with nothing else happening on the computer.

  • Internet Browser

Finally, Which browser you use also determines how quickly you will be able to view a webpage. Browsers like Chrome and Firefox are usually quicker at displaying webpages than IE is, but there are certain webpages that IE will display quicker.

There is no rule to this.

Your only control in this is to set up and use a proxy server to cache web content locally, so part of the web content going to load as fast as most of your local data, and you reduced all the variables in this as much as you could.

The rest depends on the content type, internet traffic load, your ISP load, the target side load, internet routers, and a few other factors not directly related to the rated network speed by your contract with your ISP.

Faster speed helps, but you cannot benchmark based only on that. Google for example has regional servers everywhere, but only a few content provider can afford such a luxury. If your friend is using a different ISP, and live in a different region (even just a town away) your results can go either way.

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