Want to check your internet speed??

Open a browser and go to www.speedtest.net.  Select the default server and click "Begin Test".  Let the test complete and you will see your results for Ping, Download and Upload. The default is in Mbps.  To convert Mbps to Kbps move the decimal place three spaces to the right!!  If you want additional information on bits and bytes and internet speed please read the information below.

 A Bit and Byte?

A bit is defined as: a single basic unit of information, used in connection with computers and electronic communication. All modern computers store and use data in digital form. The smallest unit of storage and measurement is one binary digit, therefore its name.

A byte, pronounced ‘bite’, is the next size up basic unit of measurement for information storage, usually consisting of eight bits. These 8 bits are grouped together to form a byte that is, a total or 8 grouped bits representing one character of data.

Therefore, so far we have two basic units of measuring digital information storage that have different capacities, they are:  1 Bit AND  8 Bits equal 1 Byte

Kilobytes, Megabytes and Gigabytes

These basic units of measurement are the basis for representing the ever increasing multiples of storage capacity. Different terms are used to define these increased multiples. The terms for large quantities of bytes can be formed by using prefixes such as:

  • Kilo (Kilobytes) (1,024 Bytes)
  • Mega (Megabytes) (1,048,576 Bytes)
  • Giga (Gigabytes) (1,073,741,824 Bytes).

Besides the storage capacity of disks, drives and computer files, large amounts of computer memory is also indicated and measured in terms of Kilobytes, Megabytes and Gigabytes.

Speed and transferring of data (downloading & uploading)

When you talk about the speed of transferring computer data that is, downloading information and measuring the speed it is able to transfer this data, the unit of measure used is known as ‘bits per second’ (bps). Usually measured in thousands of bits per second, known as Kilobits per second (Kbps).

To measure the faster speeds of data transfer, similar to measuring higher capacity of storage, the same prefixes are used, these are as follows:

  • Kilobits per second (Kbps) = 1,024 bits per second
  • Megabit per second (Mbps) = 1,048,576 bits per second
  • Gigabit per second (Gbps) = 1,073,741,824 bits per second

Digital telecommunications or computer network transfer rates, as previously mentioned, are described in terms of bits per second. The overall amount of data that can be transferred and the transfer rate of a modem at any one time, is referred to as bandwidth (speed).  Broadband is a term used to describe connections greater than 256Kbps.

Connection Versus Download Speeds

Your connection speed is the speed at wihch your service is connected and is measured as Kbps.  By agreement the USWiCom speeds will range from 128Kbps to 2048Kbps depending on the service plan selected.  USWiCom offers both SHARED & DEDICATED Service Plans AND they are different!!  SHARED plans have NO guaranteed speed and the actual speed can be as low as 1/4th of the plan speed because the bandwidth is shared. AAFES made us offer these plans.  DEDICATED plans all have a guaranteed BASE download speed which you should always receive and can burst 2-3 times the base speed during non-peak hours.  The relationship between the connection and download speeds is that the higher the connection speed you have, the faster your download speed.

What Does All of This Mean To You??

In a practical sense it means the increase in speed makes surfing the Internet, downloading documents, images, photographs, music and videos faster.  Here are some typical examples of the time (download speed) taken to download media using Broadband vs Dial up:

Time & type of file


Download time (Broadband)

Download time
(Dial up 56K modem)

4-minute song



About 10 minutes

5-minute video


About 3 minutes

About 1 hour, 10 minutes

9-hour audiobook


About 10 minutes

About 4 hours, 15 minutes

45-minute TV show


15-20 minutes

About 7 hours, 45 minutes

2-hour movie


About 1.5-2hours

Not recommended !



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