Internet speeds

Internet packages start at a few Megabits per second and can go up to Gigabits per second. These notate how fast your Internet speed is. Your internet service provider (ISP) will always have the fastest speeds in the most expensive packages. The higher-end packages will have sales points like good for gaming or designed for multiple devices. Even so, how much Internet speed to do you need?

The reason there are so many packages is not everyone needs the same Internet speed coming to their home. When choosing a service plan, you must consider what you will be using the Internet for, and how many devices are on it.

The easiest thing to do is to create a plan for what you want to use. For example, sites like YouTube or Netflix require a 5-10 Mbps Internet speed for HD video. If you’re going to stream in 4K, the minimum speed should be 15-25Mbps, but you should budget 40-50Mbps. The extra speed can be useful during dips in service speed when under a heavy load. These speeds are rated per video, however, so the more devices are doing these things at once, the more you will have to budget.

Latency

Gaming is also a drain on your Internet speed. However, gaming only requires about 10Mbps for an enjoyable experience. Latency is going to be a problem, though. Latency is the delay in your device requesting data from the server and the server sending it back. It is possible to have a fast download speed but a high latency (the higher the latency or ping on a speed test, the slow the response time). As a result of high latency, the game will feel laggy or choppy.

There may be faster Internet speeds that you can get, but the latency will not improve throughout the different tiers. Complete some research about the ISPs you are considering before you pick to find out how the latency is from actual users.  Low latency is essential for video chatting. It is also important to make sure you have a good upload speed for these activities.

Transfers

Transferring large files like video files or game installers also need fast speeds. If you were to download a 2GB movie, it would take about two minutes and forty seconds to complete on a 100 Mbps speed.

Data Caps

Some ISPs will apply data caps to your package. These can result in hefty fees or throttling if you go over the specified amount. Data caps won’t matter for everyday web browsing but will come into play for streaming.

Consider this, if you game for an hour you will use about 40-300MB of the Internet. If you stream in HD, you are looking at 1.5GB per hour of usage. Streaming in 4k will result in consuming 7GB per hour of your Internet allotment.

With this information, you can figure out how long you will be doing these activities per day and then figure the math for a monthly total. The result could result in you purchasing a different package with a larger allotment.

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