Internet Connection Speeds

This Technical Note addresses how to determine, test, and interpret upload and download Internet connection speeds.  

Where to begin?

Open the Upload Speed Calculator template (linked below) and follow the instructions to determine upload and download speeds. 

Upload and download speeds are usually different.  For some connections (e.g., home cable) the download speed may be many times faster than the upload speed.  Speeds may be quoted in Kbps or Mbps.  For quick estimates, 1 Mbps equals approximately 1,000 Kbps.

Why are upload and download speeds different?

Connections that have identical upload and download speeds are known as fully-duplexed connections. T1 lines, dedicated Internet connections, and some DSL connections are fully-duplexed.  Cable connections and many DSL connections are not fully-duplexed and the download speed is often faster (five times or more) than the upload speed.  Providers do this to optimize network traffic. Most consumer Internet traffic is download oriented.

What if connection speeds are slower than expected?

Contact the Internet provider and have them test the connection. However, on a shared connection, if someone else is uploading or downloading files, it will reduce the overall connection speed.  Listening to music or watching video over the Internet, accessing a LAN remotely or file-sharing, can also reduce connection speeds. 

How much to upload and download at a time?

Best practice is to only upload or download data the size of which may be completed within two hours.  Longer times run the risk of time-out, connection interruption or failure.   

ZIP or RAR files before transferring.

See ZIP/RAR Files for more information.

How to determine MBs or GBs are in files?

Documents on local computer systems are usually expressed in kilobytes (KB). To get an approximate conversion of kilobytes (KB) into megabytes (MB), divide kilobytes by 1,000.  To get an approximate conversion of kilobytes (KB) into gigabytes (GB), divide kilobytes by 1,000,000 (1,064,560 KBs equals approximately 1,065 MBs or 1.06 GBs). 

Can the slowness be caused by the Lexbe eDiscovery Platform (LEP)?

LEP has extremely fast connection speeds (1 Gbps connections) and these are monitored to ensure peak performance.  

Ship Large Data Collections by Flash Drive.

If data transfer needs and speed are such that a transfer will take more than a couple of hours, consider copying to flash or portable drive for upload by Professional Services (free with subscription plans, otherwise billed hourly).