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What does 'bits per second' (bps) mean and why does it matter to me?
Broadband access is usually described by its speed or bandwidth. This is the amount of data (in bits) that can be transferred per second either to the user (download) or from the user (upload). A typical email is thousands of bits (kilobits, or kb), a music file several million bits (megabits, or Mb) and a film several billion bits (gigabits, or Gb).
If you measure your connection speed and actually have 2Mbps download, this means that you are receiving 2 Million bits of data per second.The more bits that can be transferred per second, the quicker you will be able to download items and view pages on the internet.
When you subscribe to a broadband provider, you often see details such as "up to 4Mbps download" Downloading is what you're mainly doing when you're browsing the internet, loading pages, receiving emails, listening to music and watching online videos. in their advertising. "Up to" is an important phrase. You may never actually receive 4 Mbps. The advertised speed is what would be achievable in a perfect world.
The upload figure is likely to be much slower. Uploading is sending emails, posting messages on websites and sharing music and videos with others.