Computer & PC Help

What is bandwidth/Internet Speed and how much do I really need30 Jun

A reader wrote to me and asked me to post some more information about bandwidth.  I thought it was a great idea so please check this out:

https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/common-home-wifi-problems

It’s pretty informative and easy to understand.  Please have a look

The definition of bandwidth means the amount of data that can be sent from one point to another in a certain amount of time. It is measured as a bit rate expressed in bits per second (bits/s) or multiples of it (kbit/s Mbit/s etc.) For example, internet companies will sell you 5 mbits, 25 mbits, 50 mbits and even 100 mbits and 1000 or gigabit.

Obviously, the more megabits you buy the faster your internet speed will be. Please note the amount of internet speed is separate from the speed of your computer. You can have a fast computer but slow internet speed or a slow computer but fast internet speed.

Download speed is defined by the amount of speed it takes for you to resolve an internet page, or the amount of speed which gets transferred from the internet to your computer. This is mostly what you pay for.

Upload speed is defined by the amount of speed it takes for you to send data to the internet. Or how fast you send data from you to others. Uploading is necessary for sending big files via email, or in using video-chat to talk to someone else online (since you have to send your video feed to them). Most companies set the download speed faster than the upload speed. Upload speed is usually about 11 mbits. Where as download speed varies.

How Much Speed Do I Really Need?
Here are some general download speed requirements based on everyday online activities:
Check email and browse the web: 1-5 Mbps minimum
Stream HD content: 15-25 Mbps minimum
Stream 4K content and play competitive online games: 40-100 Mbps minimum
Stream 4K content, play online games, and download very large files: 200+ Mbps minimum

Wireless is different, that speed depends upon the router you are using. New routers, modems, etc have both 5 Ghz and 2.4 Ghz. Newer devices run on 5 Ghz however, older devices run on 2.4 Ghz making them seem slower.
Wireless is pretty fast and you can stream from it too. That speed will depend upon how much you’ve purchased from your service provider and how many devices are connected. If you try to stream with 1-5 mbps you’ll notice what’s called buffering or simply the video will stop and start. 15-25 mbps will be ok however, but depending upon how many people are connected will determine how fast or slow your connection will be.

Every device shares the total amount of speed you purchase. So, one device will get the full speed, 2 devices will split and the more devices the less speed for each device. I wouldn’t put 10 devices on a 1-5 mbps bandwidth, you will be crawling on the internet. Most homes will be ok with 15-25 mbps. Business generally need more speed because they have numerous devices. They usually purchase 100 to 1000 gbs of speed and sometimes more depending upon the business needs.

I suggest, if you are going to cut the cord as they say, you up the internet speed. You will also need to consider how many devices will be connected at the same time because this will determine how good your internet streaming is. The more you have, the more devices you’ll be able to connect and the faster you’ll stream.

There are many places to check internet speed here are some examples:
This one is for your mobile devices:
https://www.speedtest.net/apps/mobile

Here are some for your home:
https://www.speedtest.net/
https://www.highspeedinternet.com/tools/speed-test
https://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/
https://broadbandnow.com/speedtest

Knowing your speed matters because it will give you an idea of what you’re capable of doing on line and what you are paying for. Don’t let any company determine what you need because they will sell you the top of the line and most of us do not need that type of speed.

I hope this explains what you need and what you should have.

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