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Wifi Speeds

SouthernStallion
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Forgive my noobishness, but why when say you have a 60mb internet connection is it always referred to as "speed"? It's bandwidth or capacity isn't it? For example, in a fibre cable the data is travailing at the speed of light. And in a copper cable at a significantly reduced speed. So in fact it's just marketing trickery? A 1Gb connection is no faster than a 30Mb connection if you're say streaming data that is 12MB from Youtube - the 1Gb connection is vastly overkill. Am I right in thinking such speeds are for families with 20 children all on their devices streaming at the same time, such that 1Gb internet has the capacity to feed all of them - it's no faster (for a small file) than 30?

 

Thank you for your time

T

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Speed is the Number you generally see, so if i have 600 Mbit internet, its 600 Mbits/s speed. Bandwidth is the amount of data that will be allowed to run at that speed. Take a water pipe for example, the flow of the water into the pipe would be the speed of the water. But the pipe can only hold a certain amount of water (bandwidth) no matter how fast your internet is, if the bandwidth is short you are going to be limited by that.

 

Its why youll see people with gigabit internet get 10-20 MB downloads instead of 50-70 MB, because one the servers of the games have one bandwidth limit, and your home internet has a bandwidth limit

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Not really, think of it more like a pipe with water. You have a small pipe and it might be fine for one person who needs a bit of water and doesn't mind a little extra wait but if you have a lot of water you need to move then a bigger pipe is going to allow you to do the same thing but faster. Speed on the line is irrelevant in terms of how "fast" something downloads. The term you're looking for is latency and it's how much extra time it takes for you to do something and it to be received by the server. Lower latency is faster communication between you and the other side but the additional latency of copper vs fiber is minimal and almost non-existent to the normal person.

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Bandwidth is how much data you can move through the path at once. That is the amount in Mbps (Megabits per second) or so.

Latency (given in milliseconds) is how much time it takes to go from one end to the other end. Fiber is ever so slightly faster than copper, wireless is slowest of these three.

 

WiFi speeds are whole different story. The advertised speeds are very often the maximum theoretical bandwidth combined over all clients. The realistic speeds depend on a lot of variables - distance, interference, device/router capabilities (b/g/n/ac), packet sizes etc.

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