What Actual Internet Speed Is Needed For Home

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Senior Writer: Nishita

green tickReading Time: 4 Minutes
green tickPublished : June 27, 2019

This is the question that most of us have while we are deciding on buying a high-speed internet connection for home/office or in the moment of selecting data-caps for our cellphones. Just like many others, I believed that watching videos, playing online games, downloading heavy files consumed most of the internet. However, it was quite later when I learned that there are many other activities that consumed internet data which can result in bad call quality of your VoIP call. Let me share with you all the facts so you can make an informed decision the next time you decide to buy an internet connection.

What is the difference between Upload Speed & Download Speed?

Download speed is determined by how speedily the Internet connection is able to retrieve data from the Internet such as web pages, videos, gifs, photos, etc.

Upload speed, however, can be noted by observing how instantly the internet connection is able to transfer/send or receive data from your devices up to the Internet e.g. when uploading video content to YouTube or Facebook, scrolling through Instagram, sending documents through email or any other medium, etc.

What’s the difference between Mbps vs Gbps?

I can bet none of you is reading these terms for the very first time. Mbps and Gbps are parameters for calculating internet and Internet speed. “Megabits per second,” often shortened as “Mbps.” This generally ranges somewhere between 1 Mbps up to 1000 Mbps.

Streaming is also a form of downloading which is not saved nor preserved on your devices; you just view or listen since it is continuously streamed from an online storage platform. Streaming just consumes enough bandwidth so you can watch a video online and you don’t have to download the whole video all at once.

When you hear someone say one Mbps that means one Megabit per second and one Gbps means one Gigabit per second which is equivalent to one thousand Megabits. Moreover, you may notice fiber providers promote “gigabit service” or “gig speed” or “1 Gbps as the maximum speed for the majority of their home Internet plans. 

How much bandwidth is sufficient?

This is a very common question that all of us have asked at one point in our lives where we could not determine the amount of internet we actually needed, opposed to how much we “thought” we needed and the bandwidth is actually divided while using different services. The answer is pretty simple and requires some quick calculation. I will also share a list of data consumption by common activities we do online to help you determine the average amount of internet downloading and uploading speed you need while you are using VoIP for your personal use. Well, simply put, the amount of bandwidth anyone requires completely vary from one family to another as it depends on the number of members one has at their place, and the number of devices needing internet by each member, the online activities they are interested in, and so on. The best idea to figure out, accurately, the amount of bandwidth you may require is by entering the details of internet consumption into an online bandwidth calculator. It will give you a close idea about the amount of internet sufficient for your household. And accordingly, you can give priority to your VoIP service

Enlisting a summary of internet essentials you should consider: 

  • For streaming online videos in standard definition, a minimum of 3 Mbps is required.
  • For streaming online videos in HD, a minimum of 5 Mbps is needed.
  • For streaming online videos in HDR or 4K, a minimum of 25 Mbps is suggested.
  • For streaming online videos in HD on your smartphone or iPad, up-to 2.5 to 7.5 Mbps is advised.
  • For streaming on a desktop computer or laptop web browser at home or office, a minimum of 12 Mbps is proposed.
  • YouTube TV prescribes internet speed of 3 Mbps at least, however, the amount of speed you need may fluctuate as it is subjected to the quality of the video.
  • For streaming videos in standard definition, a minimum of 3 Mbps is supported.
  • For streaming online video on 1 device in HD, a minimum of 7 Mbps is proposed.
  • For streaming video in HD on various devices, a minimum of 13 Mbps is required.
  • For VoIP calls on a single device, minimum 5 Mbps speed is required. The call quality is completely dependant on internet speed. Higher speed will result in best call quality. 

Best internet speeds for working from home or remote workers

There are days when I work from home and plan to continue working from home once I establish my online business, so, I am always trying to figure out how much internet usage I may require. So here is a brief overview of fundamental internet consumption anyone working remotely:

First, you have got to determine the nature of your job. Someone writing online and someone working as a web developer or photographer while some using VoIP tools for connecting the clients have different requirements based on how frequently they upload, transfer and transfer huge files along with simultaneous calls. Therefore, an ideal internet speed for anyone working from home is subjected to their online activities and business requirements. 

  • If someone regularly downloads and uploads large files then they might require internet speeds as minimum as 40 Mbps to conveniently work.
  • Email and mandatory computer programs consume at least 3-4 Mbps. 
  • For Skype or Zoom group video or VoIP calling around 10+ Mbps is needed and for a 2-way video call, Skype suggests 0.3 Mbps at least as an upload and download speed.
  • For transferring large file 40+ Mbps internet speed is advised. 
  • A common email minus any attachment requires around 75 kilobits.
  • The massive internet speed required for updating video games which can exceed 100 Mb for a single update, along with the audio calling services gamers do for communicating with one another.
  • High-quality audio and video require extra bandwidth or speed so as to stream properly.

Updated : June 2, 2022

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