Question
While I'm not exactly a "beginner," this seems to me to be a beginner-type question: I have Dial-up Internet Access with a download speed of about 30 Kbps (as measured by the Ookla Speedtest) and I need to download a 300 Mb file.  Am I safe in assuming that this download should be accomplished in about:
300,000 Kb / 30 Kb/sec  =  10,000 sec  =  2 hr 47 min - or am I being too simplistic in my thinking?

Hi Ed

I can see where you would come to that result.  I will explain this as best as I can, please reply to me if you need further clarification.

Your internet speed is actually measured in Kbps which is Kilobits per second, or 1000 bits per second.  This is different to a file size which is listed as kB meaning kilobyte .  A kilobyte is 1024 Bytes.

1 bit
8 bits = 1 byte
1024 bytes = 1 kilobyte
1024 kilobytes = 1 megabyte
1024 megabytes = 1 gigabyte

I hope I have explained this clearly.  It is a common misunderstanding that download speeds are directly related to file sizes and I can see how kbps would be confused with a kilobyte.  For future reference; a bit will be listed as a small 'b' and a byte should be listed as 'B'.  This means that a kb is a kilobit and a kB is a kilobyte.

Thanks
Steven
Questioner's Rating
 Rating(1-10) Knowledgeability = 10 Clarity of Response = 10 Politeness = 10 Comment Steve: I can't begin to tell you how I appreciate the promptness, courtesy and clarity of your answer - you have saved me from launching a hopeless attempt at this download. I was 99% certain that my notions were correct, but something told me to double-check before I took the plunge and am I ever glad I did - there's no way I could've let my one & only phone line be tied up for the better part of a day! I am well aware of the distinction between bits and bytes (before retiring in '92, I was for nearly 20 years a COBOL Programmer in a variety of batch-processing environments) but I never dreamed that the speed quoted to me was measured in the former rather than the latter - I attributed the variations from "b" to "B", etc. as mere carelessness. Live and learn! Thanks so much for your invaluable help. As for "Good Luck" with my update, I'm afraid that's a moot point - under my present circumstances it ain't gonna happen - but thanks anyway.

Internet for Beginners

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#### Steven Gibb

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