The Difference Between 36 & 12 Mbps Broadband Internet

by Eoghan McCloskey

When choosing an Internet service provider, a basic understanding of Internet speeds and of how they differ is essential to choosing the right provider. Internet service packages are priced according to the maximum data transmission speeds that they are capable of attaining, so choosing one speed package or another is largely a function of your typical Internet usage and your available budget. Luckily, you can understand the differences between speed packages using a few simple steps.

Understanding Broadband Internet Speeds

Internet speeds are usually measured in terms of megabits per second, in other words, the amount of data in megabits that a given connection can download in one second. For instance, a 10 Mbps Internet connection is capable, under ideal conditions, of downloading 10 megabits, or 10,000 kilobits, of data per second.

36 Megabits per Second

A connection of 36 Mbps is very fast. In fact, most home users would encounter difficulty "maxing out" the connection at the full 36 Mbps, even on bandwidth-heavy Internet usage such as downloading full-length movies, Internet hosting and online gaming.

12 Megabits per Second

By comparison, 12 Mbps is much slower than 36, but is still capable of handling a high workload in terms of bandwidth. Avid online gamers and those who engage in any other bandwidth-heavy activities will likely be satisfied by a 12 Mbps connection, but this is largely dependent on individual factors.

Speeds in Perspective

Service providers are very rarely able to provide a 100 percent guarantee of Internet speed capacity because almost a limitless number of conditions can affect Internet speeds. Everything from a major service degradation affecting your entire neighborhood to your router needing a firmware upgrade can noticeably diminish Internet speeds.

About the Author

Eoghan McCloskey is a technical support representative and part-time musician who holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and political science from Texas State University. While at Texas State, McCloskey worked as a writing tutor at the Texas State Writing Center, proofreading and editing everything from freshman book reports to graduate theses.

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