Paying for what you don’t need is frustrating. Whether that’s getting sucked into paying for cable and a landline when all you want is internet, or paying extra for internet speeds that you won’t take full advantage of.
We’re here to help you decide what internet plan is the best for you based on speed, so you can get the service that you need at the right price.
Here’s what we’ll go over:
1. What Internet Speed Numbers Mean
2. What Internet Speed You Need for Browsing, Gaming, and Streaming
3. What’s a Good Speed for You
– Internet Less Than 10 Mbps
– Internet With 10 Mbps
– Internet With 25 Mbps
– Internet With 50 Mbps
– Internet With 100 Mbps
First things first, we’re going to explain how internet speeds are communicated. If you’re already familiar with this, feel free to skip to the next section.
Megabits per second, or Mbps, is how internet speeds are measured. This is how much data is transferred each second (aka the connection’s bandwidth). The higher the number, the more data can be transferred in a specific amount of time, or the faster your internet is.
When it comes to choosing a plan, you’ll see two numbers, typically separated by a “/”. These are the upload and download speeds. The first of these numbers is the download speed. This is how fast you are able to download data from the internet (like streaming TV shows, browsing a website, or saving an image from the internet).
The second is the upload speed. This is how fast you are able to upload something to the internet (like sharing a photo on social media or an attachment to an email).
You’ll notice that most upload speeds are a lot slower than the download speeds. Most internet providers do this intentionally. Because the majority of internet users download data (viewing web pages, streaming videos, etc.) more than upload data, it makes sense to prioritize speeds for downloads.
The right internet speed for you is dependent on what activities you will be doing on the internet. The speed you’ll need for checking email and surfing the web will be a little bit different than if you plan on gaming online or streaming HD videos. The recommended speeds vary from activity to activity. Here’s a quick look at what type of speeds you’ll need for different activities.
|Streaming Video||3 Mbps (for standard definition), 5 Mbps (for HD), or 25 Mbps (for Ultra HD and 4k)|
|Streaming Music||2 Mbps|
|Online Gaming||3+ Mbps|
|Video Conferencing||1 Mbps (standard) to 1.5 Mbps (HD)|
|Downloading Large Files||5 Mbps (if you’re patient) to 50 Mbps (if you’re not so patient)|
|Email, Web Browsing, Social Media||1 Mbps+|
An important thing to note when selecting an internet speed is that everyone on your network will be drawing from the same Mbps. The package you choose if you’re part of a family of 5 gamers and binge-watchers will be different if you’re a gamer living by yourself.
The same is the case for businesses. If you have 20 employees on the same network making video calls all at once, the package you’ll need will be different if your office only has two or three people.
So while it may only take 5 Mbps to stream an HD video, if someone else is downloading a large file on your network at the same time, it’s possible that a 10 Mbps plan would not deliver enough bandwidth to you to complete those tasks.
One of the advantages of fixed wireless internet is that most providers allow you to change your plan easily. This flexibility keeps things simple for growing or changing families and businesses.
If you use the internet for basic tasks like web surfing, reading content and news on websites, and checking Facebook or other social media platforms, you may be able to get by with a low Mbps connection.
However, while it may save you money, it won’t save you time or frustration. If you opt for a slower connection, know that you won’t have great, crisp visuals or excellent response times. In most cases, plans under 10 Mbps will not offer enough bandwidth if there is more than one person on your connection.
If you occasionally stream videos from sites like Netflix and Hulu, you should be able to do so with a 10 Mbps connection, depending on your desired video quality. This also works well for those who would like a responsive connection to websites without having to wait too long for images and other rich media to load.
If you’re sharing your network with one other person, depending on their activities and the timing of them, you may run into some frustrations.
25 Mbps is the threshold for broadband internet, according to the FCC. If you’re looking for high-quality video resolution, or you have a few people or devices that will be using your network at the same time, this is likely the minimum level for you. Be aware that if there are two or more people streaming in 4K at the same time, or a few people downloading a large file or updating a video game, you may have some issues.
Depending on where you live, 25+ Mbps service may be difficult to find. While DSL and satellite offer internet options to many remote and rural areas, generally only cable, fiber, and fixed wireless internet deliver speeds beyond this level.
Internet service providers don’t often invest in cable or fiber infrastructure for areas with a low population density, leaving families and businesses in rural areas in the dark when it comes to broadband internet. However, fixed wireless internet is beginning to change that, bringing high-speed internet to rural and secluded areas.
Depending on how many people plan on using your internet connection at the same time, 50 Mbps could be the perfect plan to keep your videos in HD, your games running smoothly, and your downloads lightning fast. It will support multiple devices, depending on how many and what they’re doing.
If you’ve got a few gamers and a few binge-watchers, here’s the level for you. Scaling up to 100 Mbps should keep your people happy even if they’re all using the internet for data-demanding activities at the same time.
At Upward Broadband, we offer internet packages ranging from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps. If you’d like to learn more about what is the best internet for your situation, feel free to reach out and give us a call or send us a message.