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We have a decent office ethernet connection in a startup incubator. Any guesses on how long would a download of this size of data would take?

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Download 100MB from Amazon and multiply by 3000? Otherwise, if you can't tell us what your internet provider is claiming your network connection speed is, at least run some speedtest somewhere and tell us how fast your connection sometimes is so we have a vague idea of what to tell you. – DerfK May 3 '11 at 17:53
As long as it would take to copy to an external drive and ship it. – DanBig May 3 '11 at 17:53
I liked the comment about the soda and the micturation. Oh well. – mfinni May 3 '11 at 18:39
@mfinni I was mod'd. Sensibilities, and all that. Ah well. – Holocryptic May 3 '11 at 18:42
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The Calculation:
To figure out how long it takes to download a file, you take the size of the file and divide it by the rate (keeping the time unit).

So for example if you need to transfer 50MBytes and your transfer rate is 1Mbyte a second:

50M/1M ( A Second ) = 50 (Seconds).
50M/2M ( A Second ) = 25 (Seconds).

You can also just type "50 Megabytes at 1 Megabyte a second" into wolframalpha:

How Fast am I?
I use the, a web testing tool that shows your network download and upload speed.

If it Takes Too Long:
If it is going to take a really long time for a large amount of data. You can use "sneakernet" (Transfer the file on storage over mail or on foot). For instance, Amazon offers this service with their import/export service.

Get your Units Right:
File sizes are usually in Bytes, where as network speeds are in bits. In general there are 8 bits per byte. If you just cheat using wolfram alpha this makes it easy, but keep in mind most speed tests are in bits.

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You can let google calc do the math too, just enter "50MB/1MBps, and it will answer "50 seconds". As you mentioned, watch the Bits vs Bytes. If you have a 10 MegaBIT link, you could do the same thing in google with "50MB/10Mbps" (lower b=bits, capital B=Bytes)and you'll get 40 seconds as an answer. – Alex May 3 '11 at 18:39

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