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maximum DSL speedsMaximum DSL speed is a function of distance, the gauge (thinness) of the phone wire used in your locale, and the DSL technology employed.
The fastest DSL now commonly available is ADSL, and it offers maximum download speeds of up to 7.1mbps and around 1.1m upload. Most residential ADSL is limited to 90-680k for download, depending on the Telco. SDSL currently has a max of 1.5mbps, but that is both up and down (symmetric). Other common rates are (in k bits per second) 640k/90k, 1600k/90k, 680k/680k for ADSL.
Rule of thumb for converting speeds to something easier to understand: take the k bps, and divide by 10. This is the maximum transfer K per second you are ever likely to see in a browser download window. More accurately, divide by 8 and take off 13%, which is overhead from tcp/ip and, more importantly, ATM overhead. (DSL lines use ATM as an underlying data-transport protocol).
Modems range from 2-5k a second, DSL lines from 10-500k a second, office computer interconnections are usually either (best case) 800k a second (10mbit) or 8000k a second (100mbit switched).
A 30mb game demo download would therefore take at best, 1 minute on the fastest ADSL, 30 seconds on an office or home network, and 3 seconds on a clean switched net with top components, to download (transfer) between devices.. On a 56k modem, assuming no line drops, it would take around.. um.. er.. 2-3 hours to transfer, and thats if the modem connection doesn't drop out half way through!
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