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Question about network speed nomenclature

I have a question about network speed nomenclature. I really just want to confirm what I'm telling people :)

Say I have an ADSL connection that allows 768 kbps down. If I have an 11 Mbps 802.11b wireless network, my limiting factor on speed will be the incoming ADSL and not the 802.11b, correct - assuming we're getting max out of the wireless router?

Back to wired. My 100baseT NIC is capable of transmitting more over 100 times the amount of data my 768kbps down ADSL internet connection can provide, correct?

I'm just making sure... correct me if I'm wrong... my hardware is almost always going to be able to do more than my connection can do (unless I have 10baseT with T3 or something) for Internet. The advantage to having, though, wired gigabit over something like 11 Mbps 802.11b is then in networking between machines that are underneath the Internet?

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The 768K ADSL connection you have will definitely be the bottleneck of your connection. The 11 Mbps wireless network you have is by far much greater in capacity than the ADSL and this is usually the case for the majority of network setups.

You will find in nearly all LAN/WAN connections that the WAN speed is always smaller in comparison to LAN speeds.

Coming to the transfer speeds between your 100BaseT and ADSL Internet connection it is certainly clear that the 100BaseT is faster, but not by 100 times. These speeds are purely theoretical and in practice you will see the figures to be much smaller.

To give you an example, a 100BaseT connection in theory is capable of 12 megabytes per second. In practice though you will see it's a different story, achieving around 6-8 MBps if you're lucky. Personally I've never seen greater speeds than 5-6 MBps!

This was first published in August 2003

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