What Is the Difference Between 5 Mbps & 25 Mbps?

by Mark Stansberry

Accessing cloud-based applications programs over a low-speed Internet connection does not give you the response time to efficiently use cloud-based software. This is especially true if your business runs data-intensive tasks that require large exchanges of information between your local machines and cloud-based software. For businesses with several employees, a low-speed Internet connection can also slow down operations when numerous employees access online services at once. Although both 5 Mbps and 25 Mbps Internet connections meet the needs of most businesses, the right choice for your business depends on the type of applications you run in the cloud -- or through remote Web services -- and how often your employees need to access them.

Relative File Transfer Time

A 25 Mbps connection can download a large file, like a DVD file, approximately five times faster than a 5 Mbps connection. Making estimates of file time transfer for downloads or uploads requires that you know the size of your file in megabytes and your data transfer rate in megabits per second. Calculation of the transfer time in seconds then just requires that you multiply the file size by eight and divide by the data transfer rate. For example, a 10MB file that is transferred with a speed of 5 Mbps takes at least 16 seconds to transfer. On the other hand, a 25 Mbps connection transfers the same file in about one-fifth of the time or at least 3.2 seconds.

Video Picture Quality

If your business operations require streaming high-definition videos, such as training films or advertising clips, having a higher speed Internet connection is to your advantage. Although Netlfix notes on its Internet Connection Speed Recommendations Web page that 7 Mbps is adequate for super high definition and 12 Mbps for 3-D, different high-definition standards may require a higher speed connection to achieve the quality you want. Using Netflix as a standard suggests that a 5 Mbps connection is not adequate for excellent high definition support of even one high definition user.

Multiple User Support

A 25 Mbps connection supports five times as many users on a single network than a 5 Mbps connection. Multiple users of a 25 Mbps connection will have a better video viewing and audio listening experience than those using a 5 Mbps connection. Multiple 25 Mbps users will most likely not the notice any drop in the performance of the network connection when downloading large video files. On the other hand, users of a 5 Mbps connection may see significant drops in network response times when other users download large video and audio files.

Cloud Applications Access

A 25 Mbps connection makes life much easier for those who want to work interactively with cloud applications. For multimedia applications, where large numbers of graphic and video files must be transferred for viewing and editing, a 25 Mbps connection can eliminate the substantial wait that often occurs when large files must be downloaded with a 5 Mbps connection. If you are a game development company or a company that makes use of cloud-based computer-aided design programs, a 25 Mbps connection is preferred over a 5 Mbps connection. A 5 Mbps connection may not be able to keep up with these types of cloud applications, so the work may have to be performed on a local machine.

About the Author

Mark Stansberry has been a technical and business writer over for 15 years. He has been published in leading technical and business publications such as "Red Herring," "EDN" and "BCC Research." His present writing focus is on computer applications programming, graphic design automation, 3D linear perspective and fractal technology. Stansberry has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from San Jose State University.

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