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Why does speed matter?

Whether you’re surfing the net on social media, video calling on skype, playing online games, streaming HD movies and TV shows , or having business video conferences, all online activity uses a portion of bandwidth data. Broadband speed is the time it takes to send this data to and from your computer and is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

Fast connections allow you to browse online, download songs in seconds and generally do whatever you want without waiting around. Slow internet connections on the other hand, can lead to lengthy downloads, buffering (the spinning circle during video and TV play) and general frustration as you wait impatiently for your broadband to catch up.

Speeds – Megabits and Megabytes

Broadband speed is measured in download speed (the rate at which information is received) and upload speed (the rate at which information is sent) on your broadband line. Speed is measured in ‘Mbps’. Capacity or usage is measured in ‘MB’ (Megabytes).

People can get confused between megabits and megabytes. There are 8 megabits in 1 megabyte. If your download speed is eight megabits per second (8Mbps), then that’s actually shifting 1 megabyte per second (1MB).

This is important to understand as file sizes such as, photos, songs, videos, movies are described in megabytes and this is also the case for download allowances. So in simple terms; megabits per second (Mbps) when talking about broadband speed, and megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB) for large files – when talking about file sizes or download usage allowances.

There is also kilobits ‘Kb’ and kilobytes ‘KB’ – there are 1,024KB in a MB and 1,024MB in a GB – the same goes for Kb/Mb/Gb.

Download speed

When you connect to the internet, the download speed is the rate at which data (websites, programmes, music etc) is transferred from another source to your device.

If you are a frequent online user – you often browse social media, online gaming, multiple users /devices connected at the same time, you work from home, stream HD movies and TV shows, or you download large files (music, photos, movies), speedy downloads are essential for you. They allow you to do multiple applications all at the same time in the same home – that means your son can be playing online games whilst your daughter is video calling (skype) her friends, and you are simply browsing social networks comfortably and smoothly with a speedy fibre optic internet connection.

A slow internet download speed can become very annoying if your downloads take forever and the video clip you’re trying to watch keeps buffering.

Upload speed
Upload speeds are the speeds at which data (such as uploading photos and videos on social media) is uploaded to the internet. Uploads go in the opposite direction to the download – from your computer to someone else.

Broadband upload speeds are generally much slower than download speeds. The reason for this is that people generally do far more downloading than uploading, so downloading is given priority by the internet service providers (who regulate how their networks deal with the various types of traffic).

This is why upload speeds are also vital for online gaming as you are constantly interacting with online users back and forth sending and receiving information. Therefore, having a fast, smooth connection enables gamers to never miss out on any action or vitally important moments.

Upload speeds are more important to people who are going to be doing large amounts of uploading, such as someone who works from home and wants to exchange files with a remote network, or people who play a lot of online games – especially if they’re hosting them themselves.

Distance from your telephone exchange or street cabinet, as well as other considerations such as old household wiring, can be factors in slowing down your upload speed. Therefore, Fibre To The Home is recommended if you are looking for speedy upload speeds.


GIBFIBRE technical support service runs 365 days a year. We are at your disposal to make sure your systems are running smoothly.

We have a fully comprehensive list of FAQs on our site at

Should you require any assistance, you can reach us on:

  • Support Services Email:
  • Support Services Phone: +350 22500000 (Option 1 for Residential Gibfibre, then Option 2 for Technical Support). This service is available is Monday – Friday
    8am – 10pm and weekends 10am to 10pm.
  • Live chat on our website where you can contact our agents.
  • Alternatively, pop into our offices at Unit 5, Waterport Terraces,
    North Mole Road, Gibraltar GX111AA