3 Meg Vs. 5 Meg DSL Speeds

By Nicole Martinez

DSL connections require a DSL modem as part of the Internet service.
i cable modem image by IKO from Fotolia.com

Consumers who are in the market for Internet service may consider DSL Internet service providers such as Verizon, AT&T and Earthlink. These companies offer always-on, high-speed Internet service through the customer's telephone line.


DSL Internet service providers that advertise service plans with "3 meg" or "5 meg" speeds are referring to plans that can achieve speeds up to 3 megabits per second or 5 megabits per second. Consumers will note that the more expensive Internet service plans cost more; however, they may also find that faster plans are a better value in the long term.


Although DSL Internet service may be capable of speeds up to 3 Mbps or 5 Mbps, the user should note that he will not necessarily achieve these speeds at all times due to factors such as computer performance, network setup and line maintenance. Furthermore, these figures refer only to the download speed, not the user's upload speed, which tends to be much lower than download speed.


Although files sizes vary, users will see a slight improvement in download speeds between a 5 Mbps and a 3 Mbps connection. For example, a large file, such as a movie download of 512 megabytes, will require 21 minutes and 58 seconds to download on a 3-meg network and fewer than 16 minutes on a 5-meg network. Regardless, these speeds are both significantly faster than a dial-up connection and casual users who do not frequently download files may be satisfied with a 3-Mbps connection.