Depending on whether you’re a casual surfer, a hardcore gamer, or a professional content creator, your Internet needs might call for something more than the basic plan that comes with your cable package. You’ll need to take a detailed look at how—and how much—you use the web, then carve out a plan that matches up with how you use your home broadband.
Streaming Service Requirements: Netflix recommends a 5 Mbps Internet connection for full-HD 1080p streaming and a 25 Mbps connection for 4K Ultra HD quality. However, you require faster speeds if you intend to connect multiple devices at once. The same principle applies to game streaming services like Twitch and other similar applications.
Factor in The Number of Users: The more you use your Internet connection, the more speed you need. Are you a casual user simply checking emails and browsing the web or a super-user who streams 4K video and plays games from all of your connected devices simultaneously? With a 200 Mbps connection, it’s possible to ‘keep up’ with most online activities in most households.
Explore Gigabit: There’s no such thing as “overkill” when it comes to internet speed. If you can get Gigabit, go for it. That higher bandwidth means more opportunities to improve your home network and faster downloads and streaming speeds.
Do a Speed Test: Visiting websites, streaming video, and downloading files all use bandwidth. Find out the amount of data you’re using by using speed test apps or software to measure download and upload speeds. This is also to ensure you’re getting the bandwidth you’re paying for.
Note the Disclaimer: Many providers that offer “up to” internet speeds aren’t guaranteeing you that speed. So it might seem like you’re paying for 25 Mbps, but 13 Mbps is all you’re getting. Suppose your Internet is constantly buffering or streaming video takes forever, in that case, it’s time to find out what internet speed you need and who has that level of service available at a price that’s right for your budget.
Gamers Need More: Twitch’s video platform is the backbone of live and on-demand distribution for the entire video game ecosystem. Twitch’s broadcasting at 720p resolution and 60 frames per second requires at least 3.5 Mbps of upload speed.
Regularly Analyze Your Internet Speed: Periodically monitor your network speed and throughput to see if you’re getting what you pay for. If not, you may have to reach out to your service provider and discuss a possible speed bump.