Internet speeds can be blazing fast these days, but how much speed do you need exactly? Is your internet speed too slow for your needs, or are you paying for bandwidth that you don’t really have access to? To answer these questions and more, we first need to understand what defines internet speed to begin with.
What is Internet Speed?
Leaving aside the technical jargon, we only need to consider the following factors to understand and properly estimate internet speeds.
- The download speed: Higher equals better.
- The upload speed: Should be the same or almost the same as your download speed.
- The ping: The lower the better, preferably below 20ms.
You can use an online internet speed tester to find out all of the above information.
How Much Speed Do You Need?
As it’s impossible to answer this question universally, the use(s) and the number of users per connection are the two primary factors that you need to consider. The more users you share your internet connection with, the higher your net speed should be. For example, if a home has a 100Mbps connection that is being routed and simultaneously used by all four people who live in the house, each user will see inconsistent net speeds and a high ping.
Do not presume that the upload/download speed will simply be divided equally between the four users with 25Mbps speed allotted to each user. Someone watching a movie on Netflix will likely end up hogging most of the allotted bandwidth, while the rest may struggle to see their Excel file open. If there is a gamer in the house, they will be unable to play any competitive online games due to the inevitable lag.
For a modern home with three to four people in it, at least a 500Mbps connection is recommended, but a 1Gbps would be preferable, especially if all users are often active simultaneously at the same time. Just search for fiber internet provider near me from your phone with the location tuned on. If you are searching from your laptop or desktop, add your location to the end of the search line to see more relevant results.
How Many Neighbors are You Sharing Your Net Speed With?
Some ISPs tend to provide you with shared net speeds, instead of granting you the full promised speed that they charge you for. To understand how this works, just think about the aforementioned scenario where a family of four were sharing the same net connection via Wi-Fi.
Now imagine that, in addition to your own family, several other neighbors are also sharing the internet speed that you are paying for. Make no mistake, they are paying for it too and yet, all of the ISP’s pre-decided “group” are sharing the same bandwidth, albeit a larger one. Be sure to ask about this and make sure your ISP is not doing the same. If they do, you need to search for a different, more honest internet service provider.