How to Compare Download Speeds

by Art Corvelay

There are many different Internet providers that provide a wide variety of Internet speeds. Download speeds are highly dependent upon the speed of the Internet connection, along with other variables, including the number of users accessing the Internet through an Internet service provider. You can compare download speeds on a theoretical or conceptual level, as well as through a practical Internet speed test.

Compare Internet download speeds conceptually. To do this, think about baseline speeds. Dial-up Internet download speeds top out at 56 kbps. On the other hand, DSL tops out at 6 mbps. Finally, cable tops out at 12 mbps. Cable, then, is typically twice as fast as DSL. Of course, not all cable or DSL Internet service providers allow users to download at these optimal speeds.

Visit http://reviews.cnet.com/internet-speed-test/ to test your actual Internet speed. This will give you a more realistic comparison of Internet download speeds.

Enter your area code, choose your connection type, and select your Internet service provider.

Click the "GO" button to perform your Internet speed test. This may take a few minutes, depending on your Internet speed.

Interpret and compare your results with baseline results. Your speed will be placed on a chart that compares your actual speed with different types of Internet services.

About the Author

Art Corvelay is a freelance writer for demand studios who has been writing and editing for five years. He holds a Ph.D. in technical communication and teaches courses in writing and editing at the university level.