Unveiling the Mbps vs. MBps Myth: How Fiber Network Providers and Device Manufacturers Can Mislead Us

Thiyagu Arunachalam
3 min readOct 10, 2023
Photo by Thomas Jensen on Unsplash

In the internet speeds and digital connectivity world, you've likely come across the terms Mbps and MBps. These abbreviations appear to be similar, but they are not.

Understanding the difference between Mbps (megabits per second) and MBps (megabytes per second) is crucial to avoid falling victim to marketing tricks from fiber network providers and device manufacturers. In this article, we'll unravel the Mbps vs. MBps myth and shed light on how you can make informed decisions about your internet connection.

Mbps vs. MBps: Deciphering the Terminology

Mbps (Megabits per Second): This unit of measurement refers to the speed at which data is transferred over your internet connection. One megabit is equal to one million bits, and it's often used to express internet speed. For example, a 100 Mbps connection can transfer 100 million bits of data per second.

MBps (Megabytes per Second): A megabyte is eight times larger than a megabit. It measures file sizes, such as documents, photos, or videos. You need to divide the Mbps value by eight to get MBPS.

Therefore, if you have a 100 Mbps connection, your maximum download speed in MBps would be 12.5 MBps.

How Providers and Manufacturers Mislead Us

Fiber network providers and device manufacturers often take advantage of the Mbps vs. MBPS confusion to make their services or products appear faster and more attractive. Here are some common tactics they use:

Marketing in Mbps: Internet service providers (ISPs) frequently advertise their internet plans in terms of Mbps because it makes the speeds seem higher. For instance, a 100 Mbps plan sounds faster than a 12.5 MBps plan, even though they are equivalent in actual download speed.

Small Print: Providers may bury important information about data transfer speeds deep in the fine print or use asterisks in their advertisements. These details should be noticed by consumers who assume they are getting higher speeds than they are.

Device Specifications: Device manufacturers may advertise their routers, modems, or storage devices in Mbps to make them appear more powerful.

How to Avoid Falling for the Mbps Trap

To make sure you're getting the internet speed you expect and not falling for marketing tricks, follow these tips:

Check for Mbps and MBps: When comparing internet plans or device specifications, look for Mbps and MBps figures. This will give you a more accurate picture of the actual download and upload speeds.

Read the Fine Print: Take the time to read the terms and conditions of your internet plan or device purchase. Look for details regarding actual speeds and any limitations.

Test Your Connection: Use online speed testing tools to measure your internet speed in MBps. This will help you verify whether your provider is delivering the promised speeds.

In summary

Understanding the difference between Mbps and MBps is crucial for making informed decisions about your internet connection and technology purchases. Fiber network providers and device manufacturers may use misleading marketing tactics, but armed with the knowledge of how these units work, you can ensure you get what you pay for. Don't be fooled by the Mbps vs. MBps myth; instead, focus on the real-world speeds that matter to you.

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Thiyagu Arunachalam

Hi there! I'm a science and technology enthusiast with a passion for writing about the latest developments in the fields of science and coding.