Internet speeds

  • What's the difference between a bit and a byte?

In data communications, transfer speeds are measured in bits. Most modern operating systems and hard drives will measure transfer speeds and file size in bytes. This can sometimes cause misunderstandings.

A byte is made up of eight bits and a megabyte is made up of eight megabits. If you are subscribed to a 10 megabit plan (Quantum 10), you are paying for 10 megabits per second which is the equivalent to 1.25 megabytes per second.


  • Why are my download speeds slow even though my speed tests are high?

If you have already done the conversion from bytes to bits and the speeds still seem slow, there are a few factors that could be causing slow speeds.

One question to ask is: how many other devices are using your internet connection right now? If two computers are being used to watch movies online and one computer is being used to play an online game, your fourth computer will not have access to your full internet connection. Your connection is shared among all devices in your home.

Another question to ask is: what are the capabilities of the server you are downloading from? If you are downloading a file from a server that is only capable of sending data at 2 megabits per second, you will not be able to receive data faster than this even though your CityWest connection is capable of higher speeds.

Another possible culprit of slow speeds is the wireless connection (if you are connecting wirelessly). Sometimes internet connections over wireless can be affected by other devices in your house or even in your neighborhood. If you are experiencing slower than normal speeds, try plugging your computer directly into the router. If you notice an improvement in speed, there is likely something interfering with your wireless network. This problem can often be solved by changing the channel or frequency on which your wireless network operates. Consult your router manual for instructions on changing your wireless channel and frequency.

If you are still experiencing slow speeds, try taking your router out of the equation completely. Bypass the router and plug directly into the modem (note: this is not possible if you have a CityWest wireless modem).

Finally, if you have ruled out all of the above, please contact CityWest at 1-800-442-8664.


  • How can I test my speed?

We suggest you visit the homepage of our website ( and select the appropriate link under "Test Your Internet Speed." Alternatively, CityWest has two servers listed on, one in Prince Rupert and one in Terrace. If you are a CityWest customer, will likely default to one of our servers. We recommend doing tests from a computer with a wired connection for best results.

Our main benefit, that we praise about to everyone since switching to CityWest's new services, is how much faster the Internet is. Before we couldn't have more than one person on, watching either Netflix, playing a game or scrolling through Facebook. We now have 4 Internet users in our household that use the Internet all at once at times with an impressive speed still! I have nothing but good things to say about how you guys have treated us as customers.

Sherri Morgan
Smithers / Telkwa

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