Download Time Calculator
Easily estimate the time required to download a file or a group of files with known size and an internet connection of a given bandwidth (a.k.a. speed). Estimate the download ETA and learn when the download will complete. The calculator accepts input in MB, GB, TB, and others, and bandwidth in mbps, gbps, tbps, etc.
- Using the download time calculator
- How to calculate download time
- How long will it take to download?
- Frequently asked questions
- Can I speed up my download speed?
- What affects download / upload times?
- Why my downloads take a longer than the estimated time?
- Does it matter what type of file(s) are being downloaded?
Using the download time calculator
To use the calculator and esimate the required time for a download or upload, as well as the download ETA, two parameters need to be known: the internet speed (a.k.a. connection bandwidth) as well as the size of the file or files that are to be downloaded or uploaded.
The download size may vary from several megabytes to gigabytes to terabytes or petabytes. In most cases the file size will be visible either in the download interface, or in the file system manager that you are using (e.g. Windows Explorer on Windows machines). The size is typically given in MB, GB, TB, or PB as conventionally understood. However, it may also be in SI units with the same names which in fact denote smaller sample sizes. If the size is displayed in both MB and MiB, in GB and in GiB, in TB and TiB, then it means that the first unit is a SI unit, whereas the second one is the classic. You can decide what unit to use as input, but make sure to flip the "use SI standard" checkbox if using SI units instead of the classic ones to get an accurate estimate from the calculator.
The internet speed is the practically available bandwidth expressed as units of information per unit time. Most often Internet Service Providers (ISPs) quote speeds in terms of mbps or Mbit/s, meaning Megabits per second, with speeds typically ranging between 20 and 200 mbps. In other cases you may know your bandwidth in terms of MB/s or MegaBytes per second, which is a different unit which more closely aligns with the data storage unit. Note that if using a quoted instead of guaranteed or practically measured internet speed you should use a value equal to 80-90 percent of the quoted speed as quoted speeds are typically only theoretically possible. Other supported metrics are kbps, gbps, tbps, B/s (Bytes per second), KB/s (KiloBytes per second), GB/s (GigaBytes per second), and TB/s (TeraBytes per second).
After pressing the "Estimate duration & ETA" button you will see how long it will take for the file to download or upload, as well as the download ETA in your local time. All estimations assume that the given internet speed is maintained throughout the whole download or upload process, at least on average.
How to calculate download time
The following simple formula is used to calculate the duration of a file download or upload:
Download time = File size / Bandwidth
Importantly, the download time and the bandwidth unit should share the same time measurement unit, for example seconds and mbps (Megabits per second) or MB/s (MegaBytes per second). The file size should share the same data unit with the bandwidth expression as well. For example, if the file size is in GB, then the bandwidth needs to be in GB/s. Likewise, if the bandwidth is in mbps then the file size needs to be expressed in megabits. Once the download time is known, estimating the download completion ETA is a matter of simple time addition. This tool functions as a download eta calculator so it does this for you.
How long will it take to download?
Let us consider an example of a large game or archive image file with a size of 200GB. How long will it take to download over a 100 mbps connection? We can convert 100 mbps to GB/s (it is 11.92 MB/s), or convert 200GB to megabits, then divide the size by the bandwidth. If this is GB as in classic Gigabytes and not SI gigabytes, then that will be 287 minutes or 4 hours and 46 minutes.
Here are some example download times for a file with a size of 200 MB, 2 GB, 20 GB, 200 GB, and 1 TB over a 50 mbps, 100 mbps, and 1 gbps connection:
|Download size||Download time at 50 mbps (~6 MB/s)||Download time at 100 mbps (~12 MB/s)||Download time at 1 gbps (~120 MB/s)|
|200 MB||1 minute||30 seconds||2 seconds|
|2 GB||6 minutes||3 minutes||17 seconds|
|20 GB||57 minutes||28 minutes||3 seconds|
|200 GB||9 hours 33 minutes||4 hours 46 minutes||29 minutes|
|1 TB||48 hours 52 minutes||24 hours 26 minutes||2 hours 27 minutes|
The time durations are rounded to the nearest minute or second. The same times apply for uploads given that the same connection bandwidth is available for upload, which is often not the case as ISP typically provide asymmetrical upload/download ratios to match the fact that most users predominantly download and rarely upload.
Frequently asked questions
Below are a few questions users have related to file upload and download scenarios, answered by a specialist in computer networks.
Can I speed up my download speed?
Yes and no. There are some factors affecting download speed over which you might have some influence (see the next Q&A), but in general it is not possible to speed up the time for a download or upload. The best you can do if a download is of high priority is to make sure you are not downloading or uploading anything else at the same time and that the machine is relatively not busy otherwise.
What affects download / upload times?
Multiple factors can influence the time to download a file. The two most important are download size / upload size, and your connection bandwidth, colloquially known as network speed. Two other factors are the load of the server you are downloading from, as well as the speed of your disk drives. A busy server might not be able to retrieve the files you are requesting quickly enough to fill up your connection, so even if your bandwidth is 100 mbps the server might only be able to fill 40 mbps of it, resulting in a much slower actual download. If you have a super speedy connection like 1 gbps, it is possible that your disk drives may not be speedy enough to catch up in writing the data, again, resulting in slower download than the connection allows.
A fifth factor is the stability of your internet connection. A network of poor quality can result in significant fluctuations in the actual speed of transfer. A common example is when a connection is shared between multiple users in a building or even a residential block. When more users are using the shared infrastructure, it gets clogged and each user experiences slower download and upload speeds.
Why my downloads take a longer than the estimated time?
It is possible that your connection speed differs substantially over the duration of the download and hence the predicted download duration and download ETA from this download time calculator do not match your actual experience. It could be due to any of five key factors, as explained above.
Does it matter what type of file(s) are being downloaded?
It does not matter with regard to the download time. Audio, video, games, photos, archives, documents all download the same. The most important factor influencing a download or upload time is their combined size.
Cite this calculator & page
If you'd like to cite this online calculator resource and information as provided on the page, you can use the following citation:
Georgiev G.Z., "Download Time Calculator", [online] Available at: https://www.gigacalculator.com/calculators/download-time-calculator.php URL [Accessed Date: 28 Nov, 2022].