What is a good internet speed? Do you need superfast internet? We’re all connected in some way now, whether it’s via an iPhone or a PC. Some people simply need to be on Facebook every day, while others need to download 3D renderings of engines or buildings for their work. Whatever the reason for your internet use, a poor speed can stop you in your tracks.
So, what is fast or slow internet, and how fast do you need your internet to be?
What Is Fast Internet Speed and Why Is It Important?
Internet speed is measured in Mbps, and it means how much information can be delivered to your internet connection within a given period of time. Slow internet speed means you have to wait longer to see your web page load up, or you might have your YouTube video stop and start buffering, or your songs on Spotify might stutter or even fail to play.
For those who work from home, it might mean not being able to access crucial business information, or a shared server, or the inability to send a large file.
What Is Considered Fast Internet?
Speed is relative to the task you’re doing, but generally, anything above 50 Mbps is considered fairly fast.
Minimum required speeds for specific tasks:
· Streaming 4K videos: 25 Mbps
· Streaming HD videos: 5 Mbps
· Streaming SD videos: 3 Mbps
· Email: 4 Mbps
· Skype: 10 Mbps
· Large file transfer: 40Mbps
Good Internet Speed: The Basics
Here are some terms you’ll come across often when researching internet speed.
Mbps is the way internet speed is measured. It’s an acronym that stands for megabits per second. This means how many megabits of information are able to arrive at your device every second and be decoded either as information on your screen, audio, video, or other media like games.
Download speed is how fast information arrives at your device from the internet. But what is good download speed? Good download speed is normally considerably faster than the upload speed, as most people download far more information than they upload. Download speeds range from 3 Mbps to 90 Mbps (average highest speed recorded as of 12/9/2019 in America).
Upload speed is how fast information gets to the internet from your device. Think sending emails, gaming, or backing up your photos onto the cloud. What is good upload speed? A good upload speed is one that allows you to do all your tasks uninterrupted and may start at around 4 Mbps.
What Is a Good Internet Speed for Gaming?
Gaming is one of the most common reasons that internet users get stressed out about their internet speed. Regular searches online include:
· What is a good internet speed for gaming?
· What is a good internet speed Mbps?
· How much Mbps do I need to avoid lag?
Lag is when the game seems to take a while to respond either to your inputs or the inputs of the other online players. This results in problems like someone taking you out with a headshot because your button push that meant “crouch” took too long to reach the gaming server. Interestingly, internet speed isn’t the most critical factor when it comes to beating lag.
For online gaming, one of the most important factors is a good ping time. Ping time indicates how responsive your connection is, and is measured in milliseconds. Gaming involves thousands of actions sent to your server, which all need a fast response. If your server doesn’t respond for over 100 milliseconds, this is a long ping time and could lead to lag and problems during the game.
Online gaming can be enjoyed at speeds of as little as 8 Mbps, although 25 Mbps might be better for serious gamers.
How to Check Your Internet Speed
PC or Mac
Go to a site like OpenSpeedTest and click the button to run the test. You’ll get a report after a few seconds showing your download, upload, and ping speeds.
Cell Phone or Tablet
For mobile devices, go to the app store and search for “Internet Speed Test.” Check out the reviews before downloading anything. Sites like Wirefly have a special tool for checking the mobile data speed for cell phones, so you can see how fast your internet is on the go.
Subscribing to a Fast Internet Speed
How do you get connected to the internet speed you need? So many internet service providers (ISPs) promise amazing speeds, but if you have to pay extortionate amounts for it, is it worth it? ISPs that promise 100 Mbps internet or even 1000 Mbps for a premium rate have the following issues:
· This is usually a maximum download speed and not the speed you will actually get.
· You don’t need the internet that fast for most home applications. If you’re a business, you might want to pay a little more for consistently superfast internet, but regular users can cope with around 50 Mbps, even for streaming movies. Paying extra for superfast speeds makes no sense if you don’t need it.
· Most homes should go for fiber broadband (internet via fiber optic cable). This is a fast and efficient way to get broadband that’s coming down in price all the time.
Fast Internet Providers
· Xfinity is a cable internet provider that promises shopping speeds of up to 2000 Mbps.
· Verizon Fios is an industry winner with speeds of up to 940 Mbps via Fiber.
· Even Google is offering Fiber broadband now, with some of the fastest recorded (not advertised) speeds in the country.
If your internet is consistently slower than advertised, do let your ISP know. It may be that there is a piece of faulty equipment at the exchange, or there may even be a problem with your router. Many ISPs will take steps to repair or replace faulty equipment- after all, they want you to come back as a customer once your contract runs out!
Remember, your internet speed will usually be a little lower than advertised, and that can be affected further by the number of devices you have online at one time. If you have internet-capable devices that don’t need to be connected to the internet, switch their internet capability off to free up bandwidth for other users. Another tip is to reset your WiFi router periodically, using the reset button on the router itself.
What is good internet speed? Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or a one-email-a-week internet user, you’ll need a certain speed of internet in order to get things done. The faster your internet speed, the more consistently and quickly your device can deal with and provide you with information. Speeds are measured in Mbps and could go up to 2000 Mpbs currently in the U.S.