The difference between MB/s and Mbps

Niall Deakin
10 Jan 20

I’ve been having loads of issues with my internet of late.

After an OS update, I suddenly was unable to stream; I was dropping all the frames. The only thing that had changed was an update in my OS.
Weird, right?

Using the updating and down-dating the drivers did nothing, but I was moving away from my ISP by this point, because of their terrible customer service, and the fact that you are essentially forced to use their equipment only (which is expensive and sucks).

So I moved ISP, to somewhere “faster” and cheaper.

Certainly cheaper… and third-party friendly, but as for reliable, no chance.
Although their supplied router actually reaches all parts of the house and doesn’t randomly disconnect.

I’ve taken out the best possible plan they have for my area, and it’s not a lot.
It’s advertised as 35-50Mbps, but I am no where near that; for an entire month I was barely scratching past 20.
But “guaranteed” 31.8Mbps.

As for my upload… I’d be lucky to go over 3Mbps (despite advertised as 6-12Mbps).

Not only that, I can do one thing on the internet at any given time. Downloading a file literally obliterates any other connection, on the same machine or other device.

But what I did learn from this is that Mbps is not the same as MB/s. Both are per second but Mb is megabit and MB is megabyte. 8 bits in a byte.

So doing some tests, I was able to download a 500MB file in a few minutes, at 3.0-3.5MB/s, and that ate up my entire bandwidth. No control, and no consistency.

At least with my previous ISP I had a consistent wired connection (I aim to not use wireless if possible).

Even as I write this, I am currently watching someone stream on Twitch. That uses up 3-5Mbps, but trying doing anything else or visiting a site takes far too long.

Bandwidth, Buffering, Download, ISP, Lag, MB/s, Mbps, Upload