• What does Mbps mean in Internet terms?
  • Is Mbps the same as MBps?
  • Learn about faster Internet plans

When it comes to Internet speed, Mbps is a key metric to understand. Mbps stands for megabits per second, representing the rate at which data is transferred over your Internet connection. The higher the Mbps, the faster your Internet speed can potentially be.

You may also encounter speeds measured in Kbps (kilobits per second) or Gbps (gigabits per second). These are also measures of speed, with 1,000 Kbps equaling 1 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps equaling 1 Gbps.

But how do these speeds translate to your actual Internet experience, and why might you not always achieve the speeds you're paying for? Let's explore these questions further.

What’s a megabit?

A megabit is a multiple of the unit “bit” for digital information.

What’s a bit?

Breaking it down even further, a bit is a portmanteau of “binary digit”, and it’s the basic unit of information used in computing and communications. Think of it as a digital molecule.

Mbps vs MBps

While Mbps and MBps may appear similar, they actually measure different aspects of data. Mbps stands for megabits per second and is used to quantify Internet speed. 

On the other hand, MBps stands for megabytes per second and is used to measure file sizes or the amount of data being transferred.

How does Internet speed, measured in Mbps, actually work? 

Data is delivered to your device at a certain rate per second, meaning there's a delay when uploading or downloading content.

Having more Mbps means data arrives at your device faster.

Imagine Mbps as refuelling your car. The pump can only dispense a limited amount of petrol at once, so filling your tank from empty to full takes time.

To extend the analogy, factors like the size of the tube connected to the gas pump can also affect filling time. A narrow tube would be akin to low bandwidth in your Internet connection.

The type of Internet connection you have can also impact your Internet speed. For example, FTTP or HFC NBN connections in Australia can provide high-speed Internet, including gigabit speeds.

Finally, a slower Internet connection could be due to your Internet plan. If you're trying to do bandwidth-intensive activities or sharing your connection with others, a slower plan might not meet your needs.

So how many Mbps do I need? 

Well that all depends on what you use the Internet for.... 

  • 0.5 Mbps - 1 Mbps is typically all you need for emails and general web surfing such as social media browsing.
  • 3 Mbps - 5 Mbps is approximately what you need for watching videos (including streaming services such as Netflix or Foxtel), or for playing an online game of standard quality stream.
  • 5 Mbps - 8 Mbps will get you by if you wish to stream those videos in High Definition. 
  • 8 Mbps - 10 Mbps is what you'll need if you’re playing an online multiplayer game (ie. Fortnite or Call of Duty), as they will often require a bit more Mbps for smooth gameplay, especially if you want to ensure that the game doesn't lag, and that no other Internet usage in the house is slowed down while you're playing. 

So ultimately it all boils down to what you personally use the Internet for, and how much you want to spend. 

Bandwidth vs download speed

Bandwidth and download speed are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings.

Bandwidth refers to the capacity of your Internet connection to handle data at one time.

Download speed, on the other hand, is the maximum rate at which data can travel with optimal bandwidth.

Think of bandwidth like a highway. If you have two cars travelling down a two-lane highway with no other cars, they can move quickly. But if you add more cars, they'll have to slow down due to congestion.

Similarly, when your Internet connection has less data traffic, you'll experience faster speeds. However, as more people and devices use your connection, the bandwidth may become insufficient, leading to slower download and upload speeds.

Having more bandwidth is like moving those cars to a wider highway with more lanes, allowing for smoother and faster travel.

What speed do I need?

Curious about the Mbps your NBN plan can handle? Run a quick speed test on your NBN connection to find out.

Simply ensure your device is connected to your home Wi-Fi, then use an online speed test checker.

Faster Internet plans

If you're underwhelmed by your speed test results, it might be a sign to consider upgrading your plan. Here's a glimpse of some of the fastest NBN 100 plans available in Australia.

Superloop broadband provider logo
Superloop nbn™ Family Broadband Plan
  • Unlimited
  • 95/17 Mbps
  • Deal: $69 for first 6 months, then $85 ongoing
Superloop broadband provider logo
Superloop nbn™ Family Broadband + PAYG Home Phone Bundle Plan
  • Unlimited
  • 95/17 Mbps
  • Deal: $69 for first 6 months, then $85 ongoing
Tangerine Telecom broadband provider logo
Tangerine Telecom Speedy Broadband Plan
  • Unlimited
  • 95/17 Mbps
  • Deal: $69.90 for first 6 months, then $84.90 ongoing
$69 .90/ mth
Min total cost $69.90
Dodo broadband provider logo
Premium Speed (NBN100) Unlimited Dodo broadband plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • 95/17 Mbps
  • Deal: $70 for first 6 months, then $85 ongoing
$70 .00/ mth
Min total cost $70
Tangerine Telecom broadband provider logo
Tangerine Telecom Speedy Broadband + Home Phone Bundle Plan
  • Unlimited
  • 95/17 Mbps
  • Deal: $79.90 for first 6 months, then $94.90 ongoing
$79 .90/ mth
Min total cost $79.90

Contact Compare Broadband

Ready to upgrade now you’ve seen some of the plans you could use? Give our team a call and we’ll talk you through your options.