Internet Speed

The term Internet speed denotes a measurement of the time required to transfer data to, from and between Internet servers from an end user device.

Internet speed is measured in bits per second, commonly millions of bits per second (megabits per second or Mbps) or billions of bits per second (gigabits per second of Gbps).

Most Internet connections rarely or never reach their theoretical maximum Internet speeds. The reason for this is that there are many factors which negatively affect Internet speed. For example, the use of copper phone lines or coaxial cables to connect to the Internet can reduce Internet speed.

Example: Suppose you want to download a 1 gigabyte file using an Internet connection with a constant speed of 100 Mbps. The file would take 80 seconds to download. If the Internet speed fluctuated from the maximum speed to lower speeds – as is typical with Internet connections – downloading the file would take longer than that.

The slowest broadband Internet plans currently offered in Switzerland have maximum speeds of just several Mbps, while the fastest have maximum speeds of up to 25 Gbps. Internet speeds of 1 Gbps or more are typically achieved only through optical fiber connections.

You can use the download calculator on to calculate how long it would take to transfer a certain amount of data, based on your Internet connection speed.

Note that many Swiss broadband plans are asymmetrical, meaning they have different Internet speeds for downloads than for uploads. In almost every case, asymmetrical Internet connections have much slower speeds for uploads than for downloads.

More on this topic:
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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at and also covers other areas of personal finance.