DSL speed - what does this mean?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by karatekidk, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. karatekidk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    #1
    Hi all,

    I just moved to a new place a new place and am trying to get an internet connection. I asked a local internet provider for a price quote. They gave me quotes for three different services.

    - 1.5M/896K
    - 3M/640K
    - 5M/896K

    I understand 5M is the fastest, but what do 896k and 640k mean? Why 3M one has less amount (640k) than 1.5M (896k)?

    Honestly, I am embarrassed to ask the question. Thank you for educating me.
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    Download/upload.

    Also, these are bits, not bytes.
     
  3. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #3
    The first and larger number is your downstream speed, which is your bandwidth from the internet to your house. The second, smaller number is your upstream speed, which is going the other way. It's common for upstream speeds to be slower, because most people download a lot more than they upload.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    5M/896K is the connection speed for data moving from/to the ISP's central office router.
    But remember they might have 200 users connected to that router and all of them will share one wire going from that router to the the rest of the Internet. It works because everyone does not use their connection all at the same time.

    What really matters and they will not tell you, is how fast that connection to the Internet is and how many ways it is shared. You'd need to know this to know if the 5M connection is really any faster than the 1.5M connection. Likely during peak hours in is not.
     
  5. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I would ask the company about contention ratios. The lower the ratio the better your overall connection will be, especially at peak times.
     
  6. karatekidk thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    #7
    Thank you!!

    Just checked all the replies. Thank you all, I learned a lot!
     
  7. minik macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    #8
    The whole sharing thing sounds like Cable.
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    Right except cable usually splits at the curb while with DSL it's done on the DSLAM.
     

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