When you compare a more abstract concept to something familiar, it really has a way of putting things into perspective. For example, if someone tells you they are hungry, you have a general idea that they need food. But if someone tells you he is as hungry as a bear just coming out of hibernation, then you know you should get him food — and fast!
There are different forms of Internet service today, and it’s expected that we would want to understand which one has faster Internet speeds. And let’s face it, we aren’t all tech savvy and may not be able to tell a kilobit from a kilowatt. So in order to get a better perspective, let’s take a look at some Internet speeds as compared to animals we all know and love.
Fiber-optic broadband is much like the cheetah. The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal, reportedly able to run at speeds up to 70 mph, but it is also an endangered species. Fiber-optic broadband is still rare in the United States, but it is by far the fastest. With faster Internet speeds starting at 300 Mbps and gigabit options already starting to pop up in select cities, it is definitely the leader when it comes to speed.
If fiber-optic broadband is the cheetah of the Internet world, then cable is definitely the horse. Not as fast, but with top speeds reaching nearly 55 mph, it is still quite impressive. Cable Internet boasts download speeds between 4 and 100 Mbps and is much more widely available than fiber-optic at this time.
DSL operates over telephone lines, and depending on the service provider, download speeds can be anywhere from 128 Kbps to 3 Mbps. These speeds are still pretty fast and still much more common than fiber-optic broadband, so it seems safe to compare it to the rabbit, with top speeds of almost 30 mph.
Last and definitely least, with a maximum speed of 56 Kbps, is dial-up. Like the sloth, with an average speed of 0.15 mph, you can’t help but smile that it actually exists and watch in awe as it slowly moves along. Oh dial-up, you are just so cute!