SPEED! How fast is FAST?
It's easy to get your head spinning trying to understand speed as it relates to technology. There are so many claims of speed and "fastest this" and "fastest that", especially when discusing internet access. It can be confusing, or worse yet, deceiving.

When you hear speeds mentioned in tecnology, you hear phases like mega-hertz, giga-hertz, bits per second, kilo-bytes per second, and while they are all technically accurate, it's so much easier to simply use "miles per hour" when comparing things. Technically inaccurate, of course, but easier to grasp.

When it comes to internet access, we all probably remember 56K dialup modems. "K" stood for kilo-bits per second, but for comparison we'll just say 5 miles per hour.

With DSL, we can have speeds of 1500 miles per hour. Actually, Internet service providers are offering even faster speeds, up to 3000 miles per hour. Cable internet claims speeds up to 3000-6000 miles per hour these days.

The trick with DSL is that there is a speed difference between download speeds (when something comes down from the Internet into your PC) and upload speeds (when you send something back to the Internet). Download speeds affect you when you surf the web, download pictures or video, and when you receive email. Upload speeds usually only affect you when you send email, or when you use remote access programs, like GoToMyPC.

With DSL you can have download speeds of 1500 miles per hour, or even 300 miles per hour, but upload speeds are about 380 miles per hour.

A T1 on the otherhand is the same speed in both directions. You can send email just as fast as receive email. A T1 is 1500 miles per hour in both directions. This is something most noticable when you use remote access software like GoToMyPC.

  Download Speed Upload Speed
  What is it? What is it?
  The speed you can receive data from the outside into your building. The speed you can send data from inside to the outside

What does it affect?

What does it affect?

  • surfing the web
• receiving emails
• downloading pictures,music,videos
• Sending emails,
• Sending files to others,
• Remote access like GoToMyPC
  Potential Speed Potential Speed
DSL 1,500 385
DSL 3.0
3,000 385
Cable 3.0 3,000 300
Cable 6.0 6,000 300
T1 1,500 1,500


  Use the links below to measure your current internet speed:  

• SpeedTest.net (new)
• DSL Reports
• SpeedTest.TDS.net
• SpeakEasy Speed Test
• Bandwidthplace Speed Test
• CNET Bandwidth Meter
• BellSouth FastAccess Test
• CBeyond Need For Speed
• Toast Performance Test
To get accurate results, make sure that no other computer
in your office is accessing the Internet.

©2009 Outer Limits Consulting