Understanding the difference between internet speed and data usage can be confusing but knowing the differences can save you a lot of money.

Internet speed is the measure of how quickly information is transferred to your device. The numbers you can expect to see for your internet speed can range from 1 Mbps to 100 Mbps (Mbps = millions of bits per second or megabits per second). If you have a 50 Mbps connection, your data is transferring to your devices twice as fast as a 25 Mbps connection. Think of it as the difference between 50 miles per hour and 25 miles per hour.

Data usage is the measure of how much data you’re consuming. The numbers you can expect to see in data plans could be anything from 1 GBs to 250 GBs, 1 TB, and in some cases, you may have an unlimited data plan. (GBs = billions of bytes or Gigabytes, 1,000 Gigabytes = 1 TB ). You’ll notice there’s not a “per second” in this one. That’s because it is a measure of how much and not a measure of how fast.

Think about it this way: Let’s suppose I have a tank that holds 30 GB of internet. That would be my available data usage. If I put a valve at the bottom to control how fast the internet comes out, that would be my internet speed. A 1.5 Mbps connection would be just a small stream flowing internet to my devices whereas a 100 Mbps connection would have internet gushing out.

Last month my family used 24 GB of data surfing the internet, which included texting pictures, working on homework, listening to music, watching videos, checking social media, transferring files, checking email, etc. For most of that time we averaged 3-5 Mbps for our internet speed.Our data usage was 24 GB and our internet speed was approximately 4 Mbps.

Faster internet speeds don’t necessarily mean you would use more data. It would just deliver it to you faster.

If you want to see what speed you’re getting, click the speed test button below.