Just because you’re paying $300 a month for lightning-fast Internet speeds doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to move at full speed all the time. Think of it like driving on a highway. Your speed limit is 75mph. Your car can go 250mph, and you just left work during rush hour. Even though you have the equipment and bandwidth to go fast, you can’t go faster than the traffic that’s moving at 35mph. With the Internet, you have similar problems.
Determining file transfer time under ideal conditions
Let’s say that you’re sending a 10GB file in the middle of the night, and there is no Internet traffic of any kind. Your upload speed from your Internet service is 20Mbps (Megabits per second). So assuming that conditions are perfect, your file transfer should be done in about 1 hour and 6 minutes, right? Here’s how to calculate it:
- Convert 10 Gigabytes to Megabits = 80,000 Megabits (Convert your file size on Google here)
- 80,000 Megabits / 20 Megabits per second = 4,000 seconds
- 4,000 seconds to hours = 1 hour and 6 minutes
Why are services like Dropbox and WeTransfer telling you that it’s going to take more than 4 hours to transfer? Good question! Here are some factors to consider:
Are you hard-wired or wireless?
Wireless connections are less reliable than hard-wired connections. By their nature, wireless signals are weak or strong or unstable. Hardwired is the way to go. An Ethernet cable connecting your computer directly to the router will give you a reliable connection to the Internet.
Are the files that you’re sharing stored locally or on an external hard drive?
This is one of the factors that our clients encounter the most. When you’re sharing or syncing any file from an external hard drive to the cloud, the speed of transfer is only as fast as the weakest link. In this scenario, you would need to check the speed at which files are transferred from the drive to the computer before you could consider the speed between the computer and the cloud.
Above all, what is the technology designed to do?
The technology’s design is the biggest determinant of what it can do. If the purpose of the service that you’re using is to back up files, chances are that it’s designed to move slowly. But if you’re using a service that’s designed to move large files from point A to B, then it will move faster than any other back-up service.
There are several other variables regarding why your file transfer is moving slowly, which can be determined on a case-by-case basis. You can start to gauge whether you’re utilizing all your available bandwidth by taking a speed test at SpeedTest.net. Once you have your bandwidth speed, you can calculate how long a transfer should take and compare it with the time estimate that the file transfer service is giving you. If you’re tired of finding a way to make it faster, give eSecureSend a try. We promise to use all the bandwidth you have available so that your file transfer goes at maximum speed.