What does Mbps mean - Your broadband ISP is fooling you? Find out why your WiFi is not working!

By Ashiqur R.
25 January, 2023
1 year ago
5 Mins Read

The Internet is the reason why you’re reading this article on our website. So, in a normal sense, it connects the entire world through a channel. You can read, watch, work or get into anything from anywhere in the world because of the internet. But sometimes we have encountered issues like getting stuck on something and can’t load the website or page anymore or no longer the internet is working or in simpler words slow internet. But why the internet is not working? Or Why is my download speed so slow on my PC? What could be the possible reason? Well, there could be many reasons such as broken lines, bad routers or switching devices, and bad connection. In today’s article, we are going to talk about the reasons behind your slow internet connection.

why there is no internet
So, the bad connection can occur for many reasons such as slow internet speed, weak signal strength (in case you’re using a WiFi router), an old switching device that can’t supply the maximum data as per need, a bad receiver on the receiving end (cellular device, desktop computer or laptops). But sometimes, we have also seen people complain about the internet speed.  In SpecDecoder, we often heard these lines such as “It’s a 50Mbps line, but why it’s still not working properly?”. And even though we disclose it with the broadband service provider, the issues remain unsolved. Why? Because it’s not how it seems. The speed that we are seeing or the marketing that our broadband service provider is using or your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is showing is not what we understand. Indeed, they are misusing the theory instead of making their consumer understand what it is actually and how it works. So, we are going to see an example today and after that, every one of us will understand what is the math here and how to figure out the actual internet speed at home!


Mathematical explanation:

Let’s say, in an average house we use a 20Mbps internet line and that seems really good in the normal sense. But what does this Mbps means specifically? And why it is important to use proper case letters. Here, in Mbps, only “M” is the capital letter, and the rest is small letters.

Well, in data transmission to express speed, we often use this unit Mbps- megabits per second. Notice, it’s not BYTE, it’s a BIT. And there is a difference between BYTE and BIT. And MBps stands for megabytes per second.  To define the capacity of our storage devices we often use the later unit. i.e.: I have 512MB microSD cards or, I’m going to buy a 16MB of RAM.

According to the binary formula, 8 bits = 1 byte. So, that means the relationship between bit and byte is the multiplication factor and which is Eight (8).

So, 5000 bits = 5000 / 8 = 625 bytes. [8 bits= 1 byte]

Now, let’s get back to the previous calculation and we are going to break the 20Mbps (megabits per seconds) to equivalent MBps (megabytes per second) and see what it become at the end:

The below calculation has been done according to binary system, instead of decimal (simply 1024 in binary will be equivalent to 100 in decimal, to keep the result precise I have shown you the binary calculation)

Mbps >> bps [1 mega = 1,000,000 unit]

20Mbps = 20 x 1,000,000 = 20,000,000 bps

bps>>Bps(B/s) [8 bits= 1 byte]

20,000,000 bps = 20,000,000 / 8 = 2,500,000 Bps

Bps>>kBps(KB/s) [1 kilobyte = 1024 bytes]

2,500,000 bps = 2,500,000 / 1024 = 2441.41 kBps (kilobyte per second) [1024 byte = 1 kilobyte]

kBps>>MBps(MB/s) [1 megabyte = 1024 kilobytes]

2441.41 kBps = 2441.41 / 1024 = 2.38 MBps

So, finally we got 2.38 MBps (megabyte per second).

Now, after all these math and calculation we already found out how much data it becomes when converted to a megabyte from a megabit. But in both theory and reality 2.38MBps is more than what we can even imagine. So why is still your internet is not working?

why wifi is not working ? why internet is slow?

Well, simple, it’s a theoretical calculation. Obviously, your internet service provider is fooling you but not at all. Behind low speed, some other practical facts are responsible as well. Such as your wireless router (if you’re using one)-the technology that it is running on could be affected adversely, or it could be your old/Chinese cheap switching device or it could be your receiving device's capability. Apart from all these, there are some losses in the transmission cables. Due to traveling, the latency of the internet connection increases drastically. At the same time, it also depends on the type or quality of the fiber optic cable that is carrying the optical signal from the distribution office to your address.

As a result, instead of that 2.38MBps, you could be getting somewhere between 1.5-1.8MBps. Even this speed is enough for a single device or a few. But as local or any obscure internet service provider doesn’t care about their consumer much so, that’s how we end up with getting a few hundred kilobytes.

In Bangladesh, if a few names are mentioned of the best high-speed internet providers then it’d be Link3 Technologies Ltd., aamra networks limited, BRACNet Ltd., Access Telecom BD Ltd., and a few others. Though we are not associated with any of the mentioned companies, depending on our practical experiments these companies showed us satisfactory results.

Internet speed test: You can also use https://www.fast.com (by NETFLIX) to test your current internet speed. Just go to Fast.com and it will automatically show your current internet status. You can also go to https://www.speedtest.net/ (by Ookla)

Hope this content helped you to figure out the actual problems. Still, if not then please let us know your specific issues, SpecDecoder will try to provide you proper fix (if possible). In a future article, I’ll try to explain and show you, how you will be able to test your WiFi router’s signal strength from Command Prompt in Windows 10. For more tech news and explanation, tutorials keep visiting SpecDecoder.com