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What's the difference between upload and download speeds?

Guide to upload speeds and download speeds when choosing business broadband.

When you're shopping for business broadband, you'll see a lot of technical information about the package on offer. But what do the terms and numbers actually mean? We talk you through it in this guide.

What are megabits (Mb) and megabytes (MB)?

 Broadband transfer speeds are actually measured in megabits (Mb) per second. 8 megabits make up one megabyte (MB) - the electronic measure of data we use to determine file sizes on our computer. For example, the average MP3 is around 4MB large. So why are these numbers important?

Contrary to popular belief, broadband speeds are always measured in megabits per second, not megabytes. For example - a broadband package that advertises a speed of 8MB is claiming you can download from the internet at a rate of 8 megabits per second, or 1 megabyte per second. It's useful to make this distinction as we measure our file sizes in megabytes - which can make broadband speeds appear misleading.

What does 'broadband download speed' mean?

Your broadband download speed will determine how quickly you can receive information from the internet. For example, you may use the internet to download music files, view websites or watch TV online - all of these functions require information (data) to be downloaded from the web.

What does 'broadband upload speed' mean?

Much like your broadband download speed, your upload speed will determine how quickly you can send files, information and data to the internet. For example, when you send pictures to your family via social networking sites, or when you play games online with your friends, you are uploading data to the internet.

Is it better to have a faster download/upload speed?

The advantages of faster broadband are self-explanatory. But ask yourself, do you really need the fastest business broadband package?

If your small business only requires the internet for minimal day to day administration work - you could save a packet by downgrading your connection speed and sticking to what you need. Many businesses find themselves drawn onto expensive, high speed packages that you'd only need if you were running a large online operation.

If you're not sure what business broadband connection speed would suit you best, call our saving experts for business on 0800 980 2092. They'll be happy to talk through your business' needs and explain all of the available options.

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