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  1. #1

    Steam download and broadband speed quandary.

    Hello,
    something's puzzling me.

    I have a modest but very dependable 8meg Broadband connection. Had it for years and have no trouble watching HD TV, playing online and attaching our phones to it simultaneously.
    If I test this using any of the sites offering to do so I get anything twixt 7 and 9 MB/S.

    If I download a file from Steam this usually maxes out at 1.1 MB/S.
    During the download everything else slows and a check on the same test sites tells me my speed is 512KB/s-ish.

    Where's the 6 or 7meg left gone? Am I being thick here?

  2. #2
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    213
    There's a difference between MB and Mb. MB is megabytes, Mb is megabits. There are 8 bits in a byte.

    Your broadband is going to be 8Mb, ISPs advertise using bits instead of bytes as the number is bigger so it sounds faster.

    Steam's download speeds are shown in bytes. 1MB/s is maxing out your 8Mb connection.

    Unless you know all of this and actually do have an 8MB (64Mb) connection, in which case I apologise unreservedly. :p
    Last edited by Davkaus; 02-05-2013 at 06:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4,834
    What he said - tho people are lazy with the MB and Mb thing, you just have to know what people usually use.

    Broadband is sold in Mb - megabits

    Downloads are generally shown in MB - megabytes.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    877
    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    What he said - tho people are lazy with the MB and Mb thing, you just have to know what people usually use.

    Broadband is sold in Mb - megabits

    Downloads are generally shown in MB - megabytes.
    I have long suspected this is purely because of marketing. Bigger numbers = better sales.

  5. #5
    I looked at it closely and you're absolutely spot on. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Netherlands
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    1,411
    Network speeds have always been specified in bits. This is because the 8 bits to a byte thing wasn't a standard early on. There also were computers with more or less bits to a byte, so specifying it to bytes was confusing.

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