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Discrepancy between speedtest download speed and actual download speed?

So it seems that when you do an internet speed test (such as, it shows that you have way more download speed than you see when you are actually downloading a file. I understand that you have other programs that are running in the background taking up download speed, and possibly even other people on the same connection, but that doesn't account for the difference that I have noticed. For example: I am downloading a file and the speed says it is going around 300 Kb/s, usually it is 1MB/s or so, but today it is 300 Kb/s. Regardless of which speed it is doing, I am paying for 13 MB/s and says I am getting 11 MB/s download speed, which is obviously not true for actual file downloads. So I just want to know what is causing the discrepancy. I am guessing this is pretty normal because it has been this way everywhere I have gone.

I just want to know what makes the difference, and how you can tell approximately how much download speed you can expect on actual file downloads from plans that advertise 13MB/s and such.

1 Answer

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You are comparing apples and oranges.

    The speed test is testing your ISP (Internet Service Provider) but the file is downloading from a website. You are limited to the slowest of the two which is almost always the website.

    Using a download manager will often get your file quicker as the good ones will download from the site on multiple threads at the same time. (I use JDownloader and uTorrent - both free from

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