Need help with internet bandwidth calculation?

Posted on 2011-09-28
Last Modified: 2012-06-21

I'm running a Win XP Pro, SP3 box.  I have ADSL internet service.  I'm considering ditching my two A T T telephone lines (voice & DSL) and use local cable company telephone and internet service.

I want to compare my ADSL download speed with what the cable company promises.

1.  When I download a file, Firefox "Downloads" (Ctl, J) consistently runs at 70 to 80 "KB/sec".  I did a small test and downloaded 9.1 Meg in 60 seconds.
2.  On Control Panel, "Network" tab, the speed is shown at "0.06 to "0.07" % with Link Speed 1Gbps.
3. The cable company promises up to  "7 Meg."  They don't tell you Meg/???.  I assume is is  10 Meg/Min.

The image below is two screen shots from the cable company advertising their various internet download speed.

What speed am I likely (ball park, rule of thumb) to experience when it says up to 10Meg?  
What is the approximate download speed difference between ADSL and cable 10Meg cable?  
How do I do the calculation?


Question by:IT79637

Accepted Solution

Em Man earned 250 total points
ID: 36812883
Hi IT79637,

Here's my answer:
What speed am I likely (ball park, rule of thumb) to experience when it says up to 10Meg?  
- for a 10Meg it usually play around from 7-8Mbps, also the location from your house to their Box.
if this is ADSL, that speed is not a guaranteed speed.

What is the approximate download speed difference between ADSL and cable 10Meg cable?  
- ADSL is a shared bandwidth and there is no 10Meg Cable. may be a 10Mbps connection.

How do I do the calculation?
- its really hard to calculate since this some kind of ADSL connection. The best way to test it is by downloading large files duing Off-Peak hours and Peak Hours. Peaked hours are usually the time after office hours or night time where everyone in your neighborhood are accessing the internet.

but then again it depends if all house in your community are using same ISP.

LVL 21

Assisted Solution

Papertrip earned 125 total points
ID: 36812915
You have to take into consideration certain things while doing Internet throughput testing, like how fast the remote server is able to send and how many hops you are from that server.

Try testing at
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:Fred Marshall
Fred Marshall earned 125 total points
ID: 36812942
Don't worry about 20% differences.  You won't notice it really.  Comparing 10Mbps ADSL (which is what I have and get maybe 8Mbps in actuality) and 7Mbps cable is pretty much a wash.

8 or 10 Mbps is about the same from your perceptions.  

Only if you are doing *lots* of large file transfers might it matter at all.

ADSL isn't shared.  Cable is.

ADSL implementatin may include some kind of allowance for users not using all their allocated bandwidth all the time so they may be selling bandwidth promises but they do that in a way so that they can keep those promises almost all the time.

Video streaming has become a big bandwidth hog and so some of their rules or measures in this regard have had to change.

So, in that sense ADSL is shared but at a relatively high level and, again, they intend to keep their promise based on know user statistics.

Assisted Solution

by:Em Man
Em Man earned 250 total points
ID: 36813095
Speedtest is not really 100% reliable none are. heck.. even ISP speedtest.
The best test is for us to test it by ourselves, directly from our point to another.

and in most cases 80% of ISP cannot deliver what they promise, not unless that is a Dedicated T1 or E1 business line connection.

Test you 10Mbps daily and see for yourself, bottom line here is ADSL are shared bandwidth it depends on users activity. imho

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37070709
Thanks for your input!

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