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Internet Speed Glossary: essential terms  

Posted On     Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

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To properly find and compare services from companies that offer internet, it is important to carefully go through the technical vocabulary presented in each internet plan, so you do not miss valuable information in the searching process.


Simply searching for terms such as “internet providers in my area” will likely put you in front of a huge spectrum of good and bad options for standard and high-speed internet. As few of us are specialists in technology, one must dig some concepts to compare internet in a free and autonomous way.


When it comes to broadband internet features, there are a lot of subthemes about each kind of quality. For example, some of the macro groups of elements related to the internet connections are velocity, data measures, structure, signal stability, etc.

vocabulary written in pieces of wood

To help current and future customers to correctly read the aspects of each internet service, we have selected the most recurrent words and terms that show up and have a high relevance to interpret the context of this technology are:


On the surface, anyone understand that the internet speeds define how a connection performs in terms of how much data and information it can transfer in each time. This ability is officially measured in Bits per second (bps), which is the minimum that can be distinguished in the computer environment.


In resume, the internet speed can be translated into different measures, being the most common:


One megabit per second means a million bits of data being on traffic in a single second in an internet connection.


Other units can be used to size speeds, such as Kbps (1000 bps) and Gbps (1 billion bps). According to the FF, from 25 Mbps of download speeds, an internet connection can be named as a “broadband”.


Alert! Do not mix up megabit (Mb) with megabyte (MB), as the second means eight times the first, being a pattern that usually measure file sizes.

Upload Speeds

Measure how long a connection takes to send out data from a computer to external networks.

Download Speeds

Measure how long a connection takes to pull out data from external networks.

Bandwidth or bands

Measures the maximum capacity or rate of a connection to download data from the internet to the computer. It differentiates from the download speed as it is another way to size the speeds.


Each online activity uses distinct levels of bandwidth, that is a larger capacity comparing to the download speeds only. It is important not to mix bandwidth with the internet speeds. These are two different concepts used to refer to distinct factors.


Ping is signal that is sent from a device to the server and comes back from the server as well. Ping rate, a frequent used term, is the time an internet service uses to run this process once.


It defines how long a server take to send a ping and receive it back at the local device.


It can be a receiver or transmitter equipment that translates the field radio frequency into alternating current to electronic equipment, being used to different technologies: internet, TV, radio, etc.


In computers or wireless applications, the most often used type of antenna is called “dish”, that deals with satellite connected equipment.

Peak Hours

Is also known as “internet rush hour”, that usually happen from 7 to 11 p.m., which can vary from location. It defines the periods when the navigation is crowded with a lot of users, resulting on a sluggish connection.

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Written By: Erika Yukari

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