How fast your internet connection is can significantly affect your productivity at home. But what is internet speed called, and why is it so important?
Internet speed is called bandwidth, measured in megabits per second, often shortened to Mbps. The higher the Mbps, the faster your internet connection should be.
This means you can complete downloads faster, load webpages faster, and stream music and videos without delay.
Keen to learn more about internet speed to get the best possible connection for your home? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
What Does Internet Speed Refer to?
Internet speed measures how long it takes a specific amount of data to transfer from a server to your device.
The performance of your devices, whether you’re connecting with someone on Zoom, watching Netflix, HBO, or streaming music on Spotify – depends on your internet’s speed.
As mentioned, the speed of an internet connection is measured in Mbps, and the higher the rate, the faster the connection will be.
In almost all cases, higher internet speeds come with higher monthly bills for the users.
So, when looking for the ideal internet package for your home or workplace, know that 1Mbps is extremely slow, while 5,000Mbps is incredibly fast.
You can use this as a barometer to determine the best connection speed for you and your budget.
Why is Connection Speed Important?
The speed of your connection to the internet is crucial because it influences what you can and can’t do online.
Having a connection speed with sufficient bandwidth (measured in Mbps) means you can stream videos, surf the web, and make video calls without issue.
However, suppose your internet connection is too slow.
In that case, you will be met with long load times and experience buffering issues and blue light problems when downloading and enjoying content online, making things particularly frustrating.
Having a good connection speed ensures:
- Fast downloads
- Quick load times
- Reduced chance of buffering and dropped connections
- Smooth connection during video calls and live streams
- Ability to multitask online while using several devices
What Internet Speed Do You Need?
Given that the internet can be expensive (depending on where you live), knowing what speeds permit you to do is helpful.
Here’s what you can expect from the various internet speeds available from internet providers:
- 0-5 Mbps – Send emails, use search engines, and stream videos and music on a single device.
- 5-40 Mbps – Stream HD on multiple devices, play games online without interruption and run several smart devices in your home.
- 40-100 Mbps – Stream in 4K on several devices, download big files quickly, run 3-5 smart devices, and play games online via multiple consoles.
- 100 Mbps + – Stream in 4K on 5+ devices, download huge files very quickly, and run 5+ smart devices.
The key thing to remember is that every household, including home servers, has different needs for the internet, so you need to consider what you plan on using your connection for.
That being said, most households are likely satisfied with an internet speed of between 40-100Mbps especially if you have a reliable Asus router for better performance.
What’s the Difference Between Download and Upload Speed?
You might have noticed that internet speeds are often given at two different rates – upload and download. And it’s important to differentiate between the two.
Activities that require download bandwidth include streaming videos, scrolling through social media, and downloading files. Conversely, activities that require upload bandwidth include participating in video calls, posting on social media, and hosting a live stream.
In most instances, download speeds are much faster than upload speeds, as most people download more than they upload.
But given that more and more people are working from home, upload speed is becoming increasingly important as far as staying in touch with colleagues is concerned.
What is the Fastest Internet Available?
The fastest internet you can get is called fiber-optic internet. Fiber internet can reach speeds of up to 940 Mbps per second, thanks to a fiber optic cable that can send data up to 70% of the speed of light!
One of the critical characteristics of fiber optic internet is that it offers symmetrical upload and download speeds, meaning that uploads are as fast as downloads.
People who can access fiber optic internet can typically enjoy significant periods of uninterrupted internet connectivity, no matter what it is used for.
Fiber optic internet is faster than cable and DSL alternatives and is highly sought after by businesses and consumers alike.
If you live in an area where fiber optic internet is available, you will likely benefit from excellent upload and download speeds.
Internet speed is referred to as bandwidth and is measured in Mbps. The higher the Mbps, the faster your internet connection will be, meaning you can upload and download without issue.
While everyone has different requirements in terms of their internet use, a speed of between 40-100Mbps should be more than sufficient for most households.