If you are like many people, you may not have a clue how to answer that question. If you are confused between megabits and megabytes, bandwidth, and streaming speed, you are not alone. So to determine how much internet speed your family needs can be quite daunting.
What Does Internet Speed Mean?
Internet speed is simply the speed at which the data travels between the web and your devices. The speed is measured in megabits per second or Mbps. There are basically four ways to receive internet in your home:
- Fiber. This is the fastest type of internet connection.
- Cable internet is another fast connection type, but it is not as fast as fiber. You can expect speeds of up to 1000 Mbps.
- DSL internet is slower primarily because the wires that carry your internet service are older and subject to long-distance interference.
- Satellite internet is the slowest and is usually found in remote locations that cannot otherwise acquire service from one of the other types.
The Federal Communications Commission says that medium speed requirements for 2 or 3 users with devices require 12-25 Mbps. However, many homes require much more, particularly if your family uses the service for work, streaming, or gaming. Some examples of the Mbps needed (each user, each device) for typical residential use are:
- Video conferencing: 5-25 Mbps
- Streaming Ultra HD 4K video: 25 Mbps
- Online Gaming: 5-25 Mbps
- Streaming Music: 1-2 Mbps
These are only estimates, each household may find different speeds are required. Keep in mind, however, that these speeds are estimates per user or per device. If one person is downloading a movie, another is gaming, and someone else is uploading videos to social media, you will need additional speed for the activities to be successful.
What is the Difference Between Download and Upload Speed?
Another thing that can be confusing is the difference between download and upload speeds. Download speed simply refers to the rate you transfer data from the internet to your computer or device. Upload speed is the opposite. It is the rate that data is transferred from your computer to the web. Upload speeds are always slower than download speeds.
So why is that? The majority of users on the internet are retrieving data: streaming music or movies, gaming, or downloading pictures. So the download speeds are faster because of the number of users. However, upload speeds can also be important. If you are uploading pictures or videos, or even files for work, upload speed becomes very important. Generally, internet providers allow for 10% of your download speed to be used as your upload speed. Fiber internet connections are the exception to this, usually with equally speedy upload as well as download speeds.
How do you calculate the internet speed you need?
There are several variables that you should consider when deciding how much internet you need.
- The number of users and devices. If a family member streams movies while being on social media on their phone, they are using two devices. The number of users is especially important when it comes to internet speeds during times when most people are on at once.
- Common activities. Obviously, checking your email does not take much internet speed. However, streaming movies in high definition – 4K does.
- Don’t forget smart devices. When you are calculating the number of devices connected to your WiFi, think about your smart devices. Although they usually don’t take up a lot of bandwidth, they can impact your internet connection. Consider smart TVs, security cameras, appliances, and personal assistants such as Alexis or Google Assistant.
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If slow internet speeds are keeping your family from doing what they enjoy, call the team at NKTelco. We have plans available to provide internet speeds up to one Gbps with a solid no-hassle connection. And without data caps, you will never have to worry again about your internet service! Contact 1-888-NKTELCO today to find out more and get on your way to the fast internet speed that you have only dreamed about!
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