Unfortunately, the answer is not straightforward. Is 12 Mbps fast? Well, it depends.

MBps or Mbps?

Internet service providers usually list their speeds in terms of Mbps which stands for Megabits per second. This can be confusing if you don’t know the difference between a bit and a byte. A byte is 8 bits, and a megabyte, is 8 megabits. So, while you might have thought that on a 1Mbps connection you could download a 1MB file in 1 second, it would actually take 8 seconds to download. So, what does that mean for our 12Mbps connection? Well, it’s the equivalent of a 1.5MBps connection. The capital B indicates we are referring to bytes instead of bits. Be careful though, many people mistakenly use the two interchangeably, leading to a great deal of confusion.

What is the connection being used for?

If you use the internet mostly for checking email and news, a 12Mbps connection will be more than fast enough. If you regularly download large files, stream video from several devices at once, or play a lot of games online, you are probably going to find a 12Mbps connection frustratingly slow at times.

How many devices will be online at once?

If you have more than one device online at the same time, they don’t each get a 12Mbps connection. All your devices share the connection, and if you have two of them trying to download something at the same time, it will be more like each of them has a 6Mbps connection. So, if you think you will be needing to use many devices at the same time in your home, you’re likely going to want more than 12Mbps.

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