How to Decide on the Internet Speeds You Need?
It happens more often than not; video starts buffering, music streaming suddenly stops, downloading fails, emails not being sent, etc. all pointing toward not being able to understand the kind of internet connection your online activities require. This article will explore the nuances of internet connections so you can better understand what kind of internet speed you need for your online activities.
What is the ‘slow’ internet?
If you still remember (or don’t remember), the dial-up connection was the first kind of internet connection having speeds of approximately 56 kilobits per second (Kbps). Downloading just an average-sized file would take hours. As a result, the dial-up connection was considered too slow to qualify as a broadband connection. The FCC or Federal Communications Commission regarded 25 Mbps to be the required download speed and 3 Mbps as the upload speed.
Choose An Internet Connection
Following are some of the things you can consider for an internet connection;
Streaming. If you are into streaming services or streaming TV, you need to have at least 5 Mbps for watching HD content or 25 Mbps to watch movies in 4K. But this amount will only work for your one device. If there are multiple devices, with their own online activities, you will need to adjust the required Mbps accordingly.
Gigabit Plans. This type of internet connection offers at least 1000 Mbps or 1 Gbps which is ideal for so many devices running in a single household. It is all about how much Mbps all the devices in a single household require.
Consider Xfinity internet for a fiber-like internet connection or even a basic one like that of 25 Mbps.
More Devices = More Bandwidth. Multiple devices in a household streaming HD content means that a lot of bandwidth is required for streaming to go as smoothly as possible in all the available and connected devices. An ideal baseline download speed is 200 Mbps which should be enough to meet the needs of all the devices in a single household, but obviously, you will need to adjust accordingly.
Upgrade old Hardware. If you aren’t receiving the internet speed that you signed up for, then there must be a problem with the hardware. For instance, if you have signed up for a gigabit plan but you are receiving 200 Mbps, then it definitely means that you need to upgrade the router.
How Much Data Do You Need?
Following is the breakdown of how much data your online activities would consume
- Sending/receiving emails = 1 Mbps
- Browsing social media platforms/web = 2-5 Mbps
- Video Calls = 3-5 Mbps
- Playing Online Games = 3-6 Mbps
- HD Movie = 10-20 Mbps
- 4K movie = 25 Mbps
If you consider all of these collectively, you will need around 30-50 Mbps for all these basic online activities. And if your online activities move from playing games that require lesser Mbps to playing heavy-duty games, downloading heavy files, etc. your requirement for internet connection speeds might increase.
Upload and Download Speeds
These are also the commonly used words being thrown about in concerns about internet connection speeds. You might have noticed both the terms being used in internet plans. The download speed is usually more than the upload speed, and there is a reason for that.
For an average internet user, download speed is more important than the upload speed since all your online activities such as sending/receiving emails, browsing websites, streaming movies and songs, etc. require a faster download speed.
But if you are into online activities like content creation, making constant video calls, live-streaming your gaming sessions, and uploading heavy files, then you need to have a faster upload speed.
Considering all the factors, you should be able to narrow down to what kind of internet connection you need for your household. The basic internet connection works if your online activities are sending/receiving emails, browsing websites and social media platforms, or streaming an SD-quality movie. A faster internet connection should be able to fulfill the browsing needs of multiple devices in a single household, no matter how heavy-duty their online activities are.
You can also use online speed testing programs to check how much Mbps you are receiving from your ISP. If the speed fails to meet the requirement of all your devices, you can always upgrade to a new plan. Reach out to your ISP to decide on what kind of internet connection you need.