What is Mbps (megabits per second)?

Megabits per second is a unit of measurement that is used to measure network bandwidth and throughput. The higher your bandwidth is, the faster your data transfer will be. This unit is commonly written as Mbps.

What is Mbps and what is it used to measure?

A bit is the smallest unit of binary data that electronic data processing uses to store information. Binary code displays information in the form of two different symbols, 0 and 1. A bit is then a single 0 or 1. The number of bits that can be transferred per second can provide insight into how fast a network is. The Greek prefix “mega-” means one million; with one megabit corresponding to one million bits. Megabits per second indicates how many million bits can be transmitted per second.

When selecting an internet provider, price and amount of Mbps are often important factors when it comes time to choose a plan. Megabits per second is a unit used to measure the speed of a network and, along with the ping command, can be used to determine the quality of a connection. A high bandwidth promises fast loading times, which, in turn, contributes to a great user experience.

How many Mbps are there in a good internet connection?

The answer to this question depends on what the internet connection is being used for and how many people are using it. To start with, users should first answer the following questions:

  1. Purpose: What do you use the internet for? Do you use it to check your email and surf the web from time to time, or do you need a fast and stable internet connection for remote work?
  2. Number of Users: How many people are using the internet (at the same time)?

How does usage affect internet speed?

Different services on the internet require different amounts of data. Video streaming in 4K, for example, is a service that consumes a considerable amount of data, up to 25 Mbps in some cases. In contrast, streaming videos in HD is more data efficient, requiring only 5 Mbps. If you don’t have a plan with a data rate that can support 4K streaming, you’ll encounter problems while trying to stream.

If you plan to use the internet for home office or remote work, you need to consider the requirements of the different services you will need to use. Video conferencing with Zoom or Google Meet, for instance, is important for many people in their day-to-day work. In order to use these services, it’s necessary to factor in a data transfer rate of 3 to 4 Mbps.

If you are using the internet for gaming, you’ll need to consider, in addition the connection speed, the stability of the connection. Interruptions to the connection can negatively impact your gaming experience, and frequent interruptions can prevent you from participating altogether. Because connection stability is so important for gaming, many gamers use Ethernet.

Higher internet speeds can also be advantageous if you need to access the cloud to download and upload data.

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How does the number of users affect internet speed?

Each individual service that you use requires a certain number of megabits per second. It’s important to keep in mind that the amount of Mbps needed also depends on the number of devices being used at the same time. The more people who want to stream in 4K simultaneously, the faster the connection needs to be. This means that households with multiple internet users need a higher speed.

Our recommendation

100 Mbps is sufficient for most applications, even if they are being run by several people at the same time. A bit rate of 100 Mbps also makes it possible for data-intensive services to be used by more than one person. Additionally, with this amount you have a buffer, should you need to transfer more data. For those needing to transfer high volumes of data over the internet, it’s best to invest in a faster connection. This results in reduced waiting times and ensures that you can do your work without any interruptions to your connection. Some internet service providers already offer data rates of up to 1,000 megabits per second.

The following table shows how fast the internet connection should be depending upon how you use the internet. If your internet usage habits or those of other people in your household tend to change, investing in a faster connection will help you to avoid delays and interruptions. A faster connection, however, also comes with a higher price tag.

Internet use type Recommendation
Occasional surfing Minimum of 10 Mbps
Home office/remote work Minimum of 50 Mbps
Online gaming Minimum of 100 Mbps
Video streaming Minimum of 100 Mbps
Household with several people video streaming simultaneously Minimum of 200 Mbps
YouTubers und content creators Minimum of 250 Mbps

In addition to internet speed, hardware is also a determining factor in how fast data can be transferred over your home network. In general, it is a good idea to have a home network that can transmit data slightly faster than the connection speed in the plan you would like to purchase. Most routers that can be used for home networks support Gigabit Ethernet.

What is the difference between Mbps and MBps?

If you have spent some time looking into the subject of data transfer speeds, you have probably also come across the term megabytes per second. Despite sounding similar to megabits per second, it is a different unit of measurement.

While megabits per second describes network bandwidth and throughput, megabytes per second refers to upload and download speeds when transferring files. In their abbreviated forms, megabits are written with a lowercase “b” and megabytes, on the other hand, is written with a capital “B”. A megabyte consists of 8 bits, with the byte rate often shortened to MBps. This means one byte, or 8 bits, can be transferred per second.

It’s important to be careful when looking at download speed and internet speed. If you have a connection with 100 Mbps for downloads, this corresponds to a maximum of 12.5 megabytes per second since the 100 megabits need to then be divided by 8.

How do you convert Mbps into MBps?

To convert megabits per second into megabytes per second, it’s necessary to first understand how to convert bits and bytes. In order to convert bytes into bits, you need to multiply the number of bytes you have by 8. If you want to, on the other hand, convert bits into bytes, you’ll need to take the number of bits you have and multiple it by 0.125. Now, it’s time to take a look at the prefix “mega-”. The Greek prefixes kilo, mega, giga and tera indicate an incremental increase of 1000, with kilo meaning a thousand, mega one million, giga one billion and tera one trillion.

The following table lists typical internet speeds in kilobits, megabits and megabytes. To convert from megabytes per second to megabits per second, multiply the megabyte value by 8. To convert megabits into kilobits, multiply the megabit value by 1,000.

Kbps per second (kbit/s) Megabits per second (Mbps) Megabytes per second (MBps)
50,000 50 6.25
100,000 100 12.5
250,000 250 31.25
500,000 500 62.5
1,000,000 1000 125
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