Knowing about your required internet speed is like knowing your Spectrum internet services providers status. And all this leads to knowing about your internet consumption behavior. What is your internet usage? Do you download videos or stream movies? Are you a gamer – who loves playing online games? The total number of people in your home that will use the internet connection?
Remember that, you pay for the speed (YOU NEED) and knowing the speed you need and the speed you don’t is all the more important. Let’s help you in understanding your internet speed requirement and how you can achieve the speed you need – without more lingo.
Internet Terms You Need to Know (Before Getting into the Speed)!
Packets – These are the smaller parts of data that are available on the web containing images, text, and videos. They travel as puzzles and you use all of them (and need) to understand the message.
NOTE: Packet loss happens when you receive an incomplete message or when some packets don’t reach their right place due to inconsistent performance.
Bandwidth – The measure of the capacity of your internet connection is known as bandwidth. It allows sending bigger and more packets at one time – when the bandwidth is greater.
Latency – The time your data takes to travel to its destination is known as Latency. It varies greatly and depends on distance, filters, congestion, and other reasons. The measuring units for latency are milliseconds (ms).
Peering – Not a single carrier can own the internet completely. Peering results when carriers buy connections from each other for routing traffic from one destination to another connected to a network. Internet congestion generally occurs at the point of peering.
The Internet Speed You Need at Your Home
Here’s what you need to do, in order to understand the internet speed you need at your home and the type of internet connection you need to meet your needs:
NOTE: Before we even get on to the steps, the first thing you should do is: test your current internet speed (if you already have a connection). You can find various online sources that determine your current speed through three factors: ping, download, and upload speed. Try measuring the speed at different times.
Step 1 – Understand What Each Internet Highway Covers Best
- DSL Internet Connection – Digital Subscriber Line provides internet on the phone lines which were designed for voice and data. Currently, the minimum download speed provided by DSL top providers is 25 Mbps, while it maxes out at 7 Mbps. Of course, it doesn’t meet the criteria for being called as a broadband provider.
- Cable Internet Connection – Cable internet is provided through lines that were created for TV service. The highway provided by DSL is certainly wider than DSL with a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps and maxes out at 50 Mbps.
- Fiber Optic Connection – This internet connection highway is the fastest among the others. It provides a whopping speed of 1 Gbps, 1000x’s faster than 1 Mbps. Although, fiber isn’t available at all places but covers major areas of the U.S. states.
Step 2 – Understand Your Requirement for Internet
A primary list of what your family uses the internet for will help you understand the speed you need and the offer you can choose. If gaming, binge-watching or movies (download/streaming) is the only concern then pen it down. Count the number of people to use the internet. And here are the speed recommendations according to their specific uses:
- 5 Mbps – This amount of speed (or less) is only good for basic web surfing and emails
- 5 to 10 Mbps – This number is good for online surfing and emails, with occasional streaming and online games (supports only one or two devices at a time).
- 10 to 25 Mbps – You can do moderate streaming, play online games, and download with a moderate number of devices in use.
- 25 to 40 Mbps – You will be able to heavily HD stream, play heavy online games, and download even with numerous devices connected.
- 40 + Mbps – Hardcore streaming, downloading, and playing games with a huge number of devices connected.
Always calculate your speed requirement and choice of high-speed internet provider after considering: the activities that take place in your home on the internet at one time, the number of users, their use of internet etc. For instance, if 4 people are using their devices in your house and all of them are streaming different level of videos, all this will add up to your speed concern.
Step 3 – Now Make a Choice of Your Speed
Once you’ve covered all the questions of how much speed you need and what type of provider will match your internet speed requirement – look for the best ISP in your area and start surfing online. If you are currently on a subscription with a provider then you need to reconsider your choice of the internet package, so you can pay for what you need – actually!
You can always consult the customer support department of your ISP. They will help you choose the right offer and will also provide technical details you need.
Remember that you may see ads that show catching lines as “10 Times Faster and Higher” (than other competitors) – these super high-speed offers are dependent on max bandwidth speed which again is dependent on ideal conditions. This includes the infrastructure of your highway (cable, DSL, fiber), routers, modems, and all the servers connecting to the highway to and from your home. For now, all this is not in alignment as yet, so don’t fall for what you hear!
This is my favorite: