Definition of Download Speed

By Mitchell White

Download speed refers to how quickly a file can be downloaded from a remote source. To "download" something means to obtain it on your computer, usually through the Internet. This is typically from a website that has the file that you want, or from another user that allows you to download the file directly from them. The download speed is measured by how much of the file is transferred to you over a certain amount of time.


Most download speeds are measured in "kb/s," which stands for "kilobytes per second."

Fun Fact

A kilobyte is 1000 bytes. A byte is in turn made up of 8 bits.

Limiting Factors

The download speed of a file is dependent on how much bandwidth both the downloader and the uploader (the one providing the file) can use in the download.


"Bandwidth" is a measure of the available resources your Internet connection has available to use in downloading files.


Bandwith is usually measure in either "kbits" or "mbits," which stand for thousands or millions of bytes of resources, respectively.

References & Resources