Which term: Bandwidth, Throughput, Download Speed, Else?
June 4, 2009 3:30 PM Subscribe
Throughput, download speed, bandwidth, or something else -- which of these am I trying to say? I can download a huge file, topping speeds of around 140 KB/s. Is 140 KB/s my maximum download speed? And isn't that speed the same for all information I can receive, or just file transfers?
posted by Quarter Pincher to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was trying to tell a friend that my DSL recently got bumped up in speed -- when I noticed that my previously-familiar download speed of 80 KB/s (kilobytes per second) is now suddenly in the 120-140 KB/s range, without a change in service plans. He tried to tell me that "download speed" isn't the right term, but couldn't offer an alternative or bother to explain the differences.
I'm from the 2400 baud modem era, and typically estimated my max bandwidth (my word) by the maximum apparent speed at which I could download a large file (a RAR for instance) the quickest, and assumed that's the maximum by which information of any kind could reach me. When I moved up to a 56,600 baud on dialup, I could pull down from 3.5KB/s to 4.5KB/s tops on a big file. Now with the DSL, I was getting 80KB/s, but now I'm getting 140 KB/s max download speeds. Is that my bandwidth, or download speed, or throughput, or what?
We play Halo 3 on XBL regularly, and he asserted that the communicating speed from x360 to XBL server is calculated differently than being governed by whatever limiter governs my 140 KB/s, but that doesn't make much sense to me. Hivemind, clear us both up!