Author Topic: Broadband speed - mbps or MBPS or Mbps or what?  (Read 318 times)

Online familydar

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Broadband speed - mbps or MBPS or Mbps or what?
« on: Monday 03 December 18 12:13 GMT (UK) »
I have a question about broadband and what the numbers mean.

Is the mbps figure quoted by ISPs in terms of download and upload speed using the same unit of measure as the mbps quoted by manufacturers of powerline adapters and wifi range extenders?  I've used lower case for the acronym in both cases and I think the bps part stands for bits per second, but is one micro and one mega or something?  Because I'm struggling to understand why the speed offered by ISPs on all their packages, even fibre, quote a much lower number than the powerline products.

Jane :-)
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Offline Mart 'n' Al

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Re: Broadband speed - mbps or MBPS or Mbps or what?
« Reply #1 on: Monday 03 December 18 12:50 GMT (UK) »
Megabits per second (Mbps) are a unit of measurement for bandwidth and throughput on a network. Each megabit is equal to 1 million bits. Mbps belongs to a family of metrics used to measure the capacity and speed of data transfer.

https://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/Mbps

 Like ethnicity estimates, figures quoted by sales people should be taken with a pinch of salt . A very long time ago a very wise computer consultant told me that the only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is that car salesmen know that they are telling lies .

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Offline locksmith

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Re: Broadband speed - mbps or MBPS or Mbps or what?
« Reply #2 on: Monday 03 December 18 12:53 GMT (UK) »
They are all mega bits per second. The signal coming down your phone line could be along hundreds of meters of copper cable, reducing speed according to the length. When you use a powerline around the house it is a few meters of copper wire, and is the speed from your computer to whatever it is attached to, not the speed of anything coming in to your house from the exchange. Or put another way one is speed from the exchange to your house, the other is speed around your home network.

Simon

Online familydar

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Re: Broadband speed - mbps or MBPS or Mbps or what?
« Reply #3 on: Monday 03 December 18 13:55 GMT (UK) »
My reason for asking is that I think one of my quite elderly powerline plugs is starting to fail, and the current replacements quote much higher numbers than I have.  If I buy a pair then that gives me a spare (which I can make use of for a wifi device that would be better wired), but I wondered if it would make any difference which powerline plug I put where.  The router needs a plug-through one (not enough power points) whereas in other areas I would prefer the less bulky non-plug-through ones.  Logic suggests that the router one, through which all my ethernet-connected devices must pass, should have the highest Mbps number if stuff downstream isn't to be throttled, but if the numbers are way over and above the speed I receive from my isp then it really doesn't matter.  Am I making sense?

I know they're not expensive but I'm trying minimise expenditure at the moment.

Jane :-)
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Offline andrewalston

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Re: Broadband speed - mbps or MBPS or Mbps or what?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 05 December 18 19:28 GMT (UK) »
If you want full speed you have to read the specs for powerline adapters carefully before spending your cash.

One brand (can't remember which) has a headline figure of "200 Mbps", but careful inspection shows that the ethernet port is only 100 Mbps. You'd need a Gigabit port to actually use the "200", and they are double the price.

Most brands will talk to each other, but some options, such as encryption or extra speed, won't be available. You would have to put up with the (low) probability of being picked up next door.

If you don't move stuff from machine to machine, you would probably never notice a low speed. I've tried in my place connecting with extension leads each end, widely separated, with different brands, and get about 40 Mbps (5 Megabytes per second) transfer speeds. My mum's fibre broadband gets 40 Mbps too.
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Offline mike175

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Re: Broadband speed - mbps or MBPS or Mbps or what?
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 05 December 18 21:38 GMT (UK) »
I think I would prefer a matched pair/set of adapters so that encryption can be used. I don't know what the maximum range is but I have a pair set up between the house and an outbuilding almost 100 yards away, passing through two three consumer units, so it would be likely that many neighbours could potentially 'eavesdrop'.

I can stream live CCTV through mine, and it doesn't even seem to matter if they are connected to a different phase of the 3-phase supply.

I think the speed rating is simply the maximum they can handle.

Mike.
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Offline HarryW

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Re: Broadband speed - mbps or MBPS or Mbps or what?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 06 December 18 13:50 GMT (UK) »
You do have to be a little careful when buying "powerline" extenders - firstly there is the speed quoted by the manufacturer, you must decide what speed you want as some have quite a premium for buying high speed ones.  Secondly, some of them are notorious for causing Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and may cause problems with Bluetooth, mobile phones, wireless doorbells etc.

It is well worth reading reviews with particular reference to real life speeds, rather than manufacturer quoted.   

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Online familydar

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Re: Broadband speed - mbps or MBPS or Mbps or what?
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 06 December 18 20:47 GMT (UK) »
Did I just get lucky that many years ago I bought a pair of powerline plugs and they just worked.  For years.  No drama.

If I just want bb access throughout the house and I want it wired (ethernet) it seems that pretty much anything will do the job because powerline plugs have a much higher mbps than my isp can supply.  If I want to go wireless then encryption is a consideration.  And if I want to access something on NAS then theoretically that's when the higher speeds might be useful.

Thanks everyone for your input.
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Online familydar

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Re: Broadband speed - mbps or MBPS or Mbps or what?
« Reply #8 on: Friday 07 December 18 20:13 GMT (UK) »
Update

Bought a replacement pair today, not plug through as I realised I did have a spare socket available after all.  They are so dinky!  Make their predecessors look massive!

Anyway, good news.  Worked perfectly straight out of the box, and one of the old ones is now being used on a speaker in the bedroom which is theoretically wifi but poor signal strength means it tends to drop out.  Old powerline plug with no flashing lights to keep me awake is ideal.

Jane :-)
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