If your internet service provider has various plans with different speeds, you might wonder what plan, and therefore speed, is right for you every time you pay your bill. You might also ask this question if you are in the market for a new internet service provider. It is great that residential speeds have increased over time, but some people pay for internet that is too slow for their needs, or pay for speeds they will never use. In this article, we look at what you should know when deciding which speed is right for you.
Start with a Speed Test
It is important to know how fast your internet speed is before making any decision on switching or upgrading. The best way to test your internet speed is by using a speed test platform. These tests take about a minute depending on your speed, and they also download and upload a sizable amount of data depending on the speed, too.
What is a Good Download Speed?
Download speed is arguably more critical than upload speed because we download more data than we upload. The perfect download speed will depend on your use case, for which many people will be streaming video and scrolling social media.
If these are your primary uses, consider 10–15 Mbps per device. If you play games online and stream 4K content, you will need between 25 and 50 Mbps per device. Lastly, you should consider speeds over 200 Mbps if you are a heavy user who watches 4K content or have a large household with many devices.
What About Gigabit?
Gigabit speeds are speeds of 1000 Mbps, and they are often synchronous—the upload and download speeds are the same. Gigabit speeds are typical for heavy users and those who do not want internet speeds to be a bottleneck. They are also great for those who work at home and who use video and audio messaging platforms.
If you are a content creator, you will also benefit from the additional bandwidth and upload speed you get with these connections but note that your results may vary due to several factors including your equipment.
Gigabit is also a great option for those with many smart home devices. If you have numerous devices and speeds of less than 250Mbps, you will notice a hit to your internet speeds.
What is a Good Upload Speed?
For most people, an upload speed of about 10 Mbps is enough. You will need more than this if you upload large files, use video conferring apps, or upload home surveillance video from your home. For school and work, most people will be happy with 25 to 50 Mbps, which will give them a much better experience.
As always, Gigabit is an option for those with unique upload needs.
Do You Need More Speed?
Apart from doing an online speed test, you can also determine whether you need a faster internet connection or things start taking longer than they used to. You might also experience dropped video and audio calls.
Fast internet speeds are crucial for modern living, and different people have different internet speed needs. Remember to align the speed with your needs since upgrading to a higher tier often costs more, even though you get a better experience when you do it.