Fact About ‘Mbps’ Promised By Telecoms: It’s Not ‘Megabytes Per Second’

Image: Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com

We’ve all been suckers for it. When it comes to signing up for a data plan with a telco, we fall for the promises of the biggest Mbps package.

We want speed. We want it fast. And we want it now.

And then reality sets in.

Your downloads lag. It takes FOREVER at times. What’s supposed to work at the speed of light is trailing behind like a snail. I’m not going to sugarcoat the details for you, because you’ve experienced it countless times.

We’re going to find out the hidden truth behind the Mbps promises from telcos.

Megabyte per Second? Or Not?

For a start, I’m 98% certain that you think Mbps stands for Megabyte per second, so if you’re downloading one megabyte of content, it’ll take one exact second.

You’re wrong.

Well, Mbps stands for Megabits per second. One megabit is equivalent to approximately 0.125 megabytes. So, when you see a telco advertising a package of 15Mbps, this means that your download speed is at 1.875 megabytes per second.

Yes, that’s why your Netflix still lags.

You see, here’s something even more confusing: Mbps is megabits per second, while MBps is megabytes per second.

Get it so far?

Can I get the full Speed of my Modem on Wifi?

Sadly, no. Let me explain things a bit more here.

(Article continues below) Most Touching Singapore Video: Jenny is brought up by a single parent, and when she steps into adulthood, she starts to forget that her mother used to be her everything. Watch it here:

(Since you’re here, subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more informative videos lah)

Wifi is only half duplex compared to an Ethernet connection. In plain English, it’s not as solid. If you plug in your connection directly into the router with an Ethernet cable, you’re going to get a more stable connection. It also prevents other obstacles as you surf like walls.

How to Get the Best Wifi Connection

Routers have limited coverage areas. They’re also not positioned in the best of places. You’re most likely to have your router right next to the TV in the living room, while you’re all walled up in your bedroom trying to stream Orange is the New Black.

My solution for you? Invest some money and get yourself a Wifi extender. Just visit the nearest computer store and get one. It works on Bluetooth and you’d have a more stable connection than what you’re dealing with right now.

Other Things You Can Do

Use your WiFi connection at a time you know there’s less people hogging on the same line. You’d be able to Skype without getting all worked up every time the connection freezes.

If the router you’re using has external antennas, adjust them until they are vertical. This will boost the WiFi coverage. You can also elevate your router by mounting it up on a wall or placing it on top of a shelf to get a better signal.

Use an app like Heatmapper to figure out the weak and strong spots on your WiFi network.