What does speed information mean?
Below in the article, you will often see data on speeds in Mbps (megabits per second). Let’s decipher what this means, because without it it will be difficult for us to understand further.
To get a quick visual idea of the amount of data, divide the declared speed by about 10. For a 16 Mbps connection, you get a value of 1.6. This roughly equates to a download speed of 1.6 MB/s (megabytes per second). Strictly speaking, it is necessary to divide by 8 (since one megabyte contains 8 megabits). Thus, the download speed (Downstream) for a line with 16 Mbps will be exactly 2 Mbps. True, such values can only be achieved in theory: actual speeds usually look different.
3rd place: VDSL2
- Up to 250 Mbps in theory
- Up to 150-200 Mbps in practice
VDSL (Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line) is perhaps the most common way to transfer data. Theoretically, with a VDSL2 connection, you can get download speeds up to 250 Mbps. On the contrary, its upload speed to the Internet is up to 40 Mbps, which almost corresponded to the maximum possible value a few years ago. In practice, everything looks a little different: the standard allows you to use only 70-80% of the speed.
In professional jargon, VDSL is called Fiber to the Curb (in Russian – “optical fiber to the curb”, that is, to the microdistrict, a group of houses). This means that the longest signal path is through the fiber, but that path ends at the DSLAM, the gray junction box on the street. The last leg of the journey to your home is a copper cable. Accordingly, the farther you are from the DSLAM, the slower your incoming and outgoing Internet speeds.
However, VDSL has one indisputable advantage: compared to other data transmission technologies, it is available almost everywhere. Connectivity is constantly expanding even in rural areas.
2nd place: LTE wireless network
- Up to 300 Mbps in theory
- Up to 50 Mbps in practice
Almost every new smartphone supports LTE (Long Term Evolution – aka 4G). But what are the benefits of a successor to the slow UMTS network?
Theoretically, LTE speeds can reach up to 300 Mbps when downloading and 50 Mbps when uploading. But for this, you must be the only person who will be connected to the network at a particular moment, since the actual speed depends on the number of connected users. Thus, the more smartphones using the Internet at the same time, the worse the network bandwidth.
That is why operators offer download speeds from 10 to 50 Mbps, and the actual upload speed is 15 Mbps at best. Of course, it all depends on the provider, network load and coverage of your area, but on average the picture is the same for all major operators. For example, in our test, the 4G speed at MTC in Moscow was about 13 Mbps when downloading and 0.41 Mbps when uploading.
Another feature of mobile communication is that, as a rule, after a certain traffic limit, the speed decreases, and you have to either update the package or put up with a slower EDGE standard. But the advantage of 4G is obvious: it’s a wireless standard that doesn’t need a bunch of cables like VDSL.
1st place: fiber optic
- Up to 255 terabits/s in theory
- Up to 1000 Mbps in practice
Among all types of connection, the leadership clearly belongs to fiber optic communication – at least in theory. In practice, a fiber optic connection is quite a bit faster than LTE or VDSL2.
Fiber Internet connection is also called Fiber to the House. The latest fiber data rate record in the lab is 255 terabits/s! But at home, you are unlikely to get such values in the near future.
In practice, the download speed for this type of connection is from 100 to 1000 Mbps. The upload speed is half as much: from 50 to 500 Mbps.
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