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Often when downloading a file from the Internet, you will see either KB or Kb, however they are not the same thing:

1 Kilobyte (KB) = 8 Kilobits (Kb)
1 Megabyte (MB) = 1024 Kilobytes
Kilobits per second vs KiloBytes per second
144 Kbps 144 Kbps 18 KB/s
384 Kbps 384 Kbps 48 KB/s
768 Kbps 768K bps 96 KB/s
1,100 Kbps 1.1 Mbps 138 KB/s
1,500 Kbps 1.5 Mbps 187.5 KB/s
3,000 KBps 3 Mbps 375 KB/s
5,000 Kbps 5 Mbps 635 KB/s
10,000 Kbps 10 Mbps 1250 KB/s

If you have wget, or some download tool that shows bandwidth used, go through the website or ftpsite of your ISP and find the largest file you can download with it. Using traceroute, make sure that host is less then 3 hops away from you. Make sure there is no other traffic coming in, or leaving your network while you are trying these tests. At the end of the download, it should tell you your average bandwidth speed. In my example, I'm using and I found their windows setup tool, which was sure to be bloated. Now I ran three wget tests:

$ wget
          => `TekSavvyAM.exe'
Connecting to[]:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 5,135,855 [application/octet-stream]
100%[====================================>] 5,135,855     96.20K/s    ETA 00:00

14:33:29 (94.94 KB/s) - `TekSavvyAM.exe' saved [5135855/5135855]

2nd try results:

14:38:56 (90.83 KB/s) - `TekSavvyAM.exe' saved [5135855/5135855]

3rd try results:

14:43:44 (91.69 KB/s) - `TekSavvyAM.exe' saved [5135855/5135855]

Now to get my average (scale 2 to get 2 decimal places):

$ echo "scale=2; (94.94 + 90.83 + 91.69) / 3" | bc

which when I use the table up top, I'm getting less then 768kilobit speeds, yet I'm paying for 3Mbps speeds. To be proper, I will also use 3 online bandwidth test results to confirm my findings:

Bandwidth Place In my case: 434.2 kilobits

C|Net In my case: 885.2 Kbps

toastnet In my case: 973 Kb

As you can see, all three external resources confirm I am getting less then 1Mbps. I've done this test every day for one week, and each time I've got at least two classes of bandwidth slower then I'm paying for as per the above table, time to email my ISP my findings!

Also see byte.

There are also online sites that will help test your bandwidth, for example SpeedTest.