How To Decide What Internet Speed You Need For Your Home

what internet speed you need

Nobody wants to have a slow internet connection; however, going too high will raise your cost to a point where it might be too expensive. However, it's not just your internet speed that makes a difference in your download speeds. How much bandwidth you have can affect how fast your internet connection actually is. For the likes of Optimum and many other high-quality internet providers, they know how much of a role it can play; this is why many of them bundle a certain bandwidth into your internet connection.

However, knowing how much bandwidth you need is down to you and the personal needs of your home. With that in mind, it's worth taking a further look into what bandwidth is and how it can affect your internet. Once you know more about it, you'll be in a better place to make the perfect decision for your internet connection. With a few key issues to understand, you'll have an internet fit for your home office in no time.

Read more: Helpful tips to organize your home office

Understanding Bandwidth

Bandwidth is essentially the maximum speed at which you can download information from the computer. Let's say you need to fill up a 100-gallon tank and you're using a water hose to do so; if you hose only puts out five gallons per minute, then you'll be filling the tank for quite a while. However, a hose that spits out a gallon of water per second will fill it a lot faster. Think of your bandwidth as the hose and a computer as your computer. The more bandwidth that you have, the faster you'll be able to bring in information from the internet onto your computer.

This is why it's key to your internet speed. Bandwidth is always measured in bits per second, which it should be noted is different to bytes; roughly speaking, 1 megabyte (MB) equals eight megabits. With that in mind, in a one megabit-per-second connection you can typically expect a 1MB file to take eight seconds to download. This is what we mean when we say that your bandwidth is essential to your internet speed.

How Much Bandwidth You Need

The bandwidth you get from your internet provider is spread out among all of the devices that are connected to your internet. Because of that, how much bandwidth you need is dependent on the number of connected devices and how often these will be used. For example, if you've got a young family then it may be essential to get quite a large bandwidth; this is to make sure that your internet speed stays fast while each of you is using the internet. How much of a bandwidth you need also depends on what you regularly use the internet for.

For example, Netflix has said that a 3Mbps connection is needed for a standard-quality stream; 5Mbps connection is often recommended for a high-quality connection. The more streams that are on the go at once multiplies the number of Mbps needed in your bandwidth. This is also true for the likes of video games; while they don't take a lot of bandwidth to download, they can often use up a noticeable amount of the bandwidth when playing online. If you regularly need to download large files, then you may want to get an internet connection with quite a large bandwidth as downloading can often provide a significant strain on your speeds. Having said that, though, you could always time your downloads so that you're only doing so when your bandwidth isn't being used up by many other people in the house.

What Else Affects Internet Speed?

Having said all of that, your bandwidth isn't the only thing that affects your internet speed. As we already mentioned above, how many people are currently using your connection can also have a significant impact on speeds. Furthermore, your computer or laptop hardware and router can be a large factor in how quick you can connect to the internet; after all, older model computers or home wifi components can be slower than newer ones.

Local internet infrastructure can also have a major effect; this can also affect if there are a lot of people in your area that are using the same infrastructure simultaneously. This may also end up proving a bit of a bonus, as during low-usage periods you may get faster speeds than you signed up for.

The strength of the wifi signal can dramatically affect internet speed. Wifi signals typically travel 150 feet indoors and up to 300 feet outdoors. Walls and other obstructions can reduce signal strength as can electro-magnetic interference from electronic devices. Wifi signal extenders are a good solution to boost the range of wifi signals in a home or business.

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