Mbps vs. MBps: What’s the Difference?


It’s often difficult to understand terms used for Internet metrics, such as Mbps vs. MBps. They’re the same letters, though they represent different metrics.

What’s the difference?

  • Mbps means megabits per second. Mb is used for download and upload speed.
  • MBps stands for megabytes per second. MB is used for file size.

You’ll spot these terms when you download a file from the Internet or transfer data from one device to another. They show the data transfer rate. Your connection speed (download and upload) will display as megabits per second. But, you’re downloading or transferring megabytes.

Let’s look at an example:

When you download or transfer a file, note when Mbps and MBps come into play. A file consists of a certain amount of megabytes. Say you download a file that consists of around 2 megabytes. You’ll need a download speed of 8 megabits per second to download the file in 2 seconds. Eight megabits makes 1 megabyte.

ISPs usually advertise their speed in the connection rate Mbps (Megabits per second). So when SMILE or Spectranet tells you they have a speed up to 21Mbps, divide that by 8 to get the actual data transfer rate in MBps (Megabytes per second)  when you’re downloading a file.

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Frederick Damasus is a tech enthusiast and blogger who has a passion for creativity and innovation. He is a self-taught graphic designer and currently delving into web design and development. He loves photography and volunteers his spare time to inspire children in orphanages through dance. He is a trained Petroleum Engineer but found himself in the AID/Development sector. He currently serves as the M&E/ICT Manager at the Center for Creative Development Strategies, an NGO based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

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