Technology

How Much Broadband Speed Do You Really Need? Let’s Find Out!

No one wants to run into the little buffering speed icon when they are browsing online. On the other hand, no one wants to pay extra for an internet plan. It’s all about finding the sweet spot when it comes to these internet plans. So, how do you find that sweet spot?

To find the right internet plan for your wifi connection, you need to ask all the right questions. Starting with how much broadband speed do you need? How many devices in your home use the internet? What do you generally use the internet for? Only after finding the right answers to these relevant questions, you can find a plan that will serve its purpose and not cost in terms of low internet speed and extra money.

Let’s try to understand more about the relationship between data usage and internet speed.

How much internet speed do you actually need?

The easiest way to determine how much internet speed you need is by asking the following questions to yourself.

How many people will use the internet in your home?

It is important to know how many people will be connecting to the internet. More the people connecting to the internet, more internet and speed will be required. Refer the below chart for better understanding.

Speed Number of users What can you do?
5-25 Mbps 1-2 Checking email, streaming SD videos, music, web browsing
25-50 Mbps 1-3 Stream HD and 4K videos, online gaming, music, work from home
50-100 Mbps 2-4 In addition to the above, use home security devices like wifi-enabled cameras, alarm system, etc.
100-500 Mbps 2-5 In addition to the above, running a home office, smart devices
500-1000 Mbps 3-5+ Stream in 4K live, and above-mentioned activities

Therefore, if you are a small family of 4, the 50-100 Mbps plan might work for you. But, your internet needs can be lesser or bigger than 100 Mbps depending on the number of devices each user is connecting to the internet.

How many devices are connected to the internet per user?

It’s possible that you might have only 2 internet users in the home and yet need a bigger plan. As each person might be connected with multiple devices to the wifi at the same time.
For example: connecting their smartphone, bedroom TV, game consoles like PlayStation or Xbox, security system, streaming devices, smart appliances, and many other internet-enabled devices.

You need to calculate your internet needs accordingly.

What do you and other users in your home do online?

Your internet requirement also depends on what activities you do online. Casually web browsing needs less internet compared to attending video calls every day. Recognizing these needs are essential.

All activities conducted online require a different kind of speed. Let’s say, you go for the basic 5-25 Mbps plan for yourself. Your plan allows you to seamlessly browse, stream SD videos & music, check your email, and use social media. But, what if you start working from home and are required to attend video calls thrice a week. Your internet plan won’t be sufficient for your needs. Hence, you will experience lags, call drops, frozen screens, and more during your work calls.

Moreover, every user multitasks when it comes to internet. Your wifi connection will be used to power your video calls and simultaneously help you to browse on the internet, open your email, check social media, etc. It’s quite a rarity for someone these days to simply pick one task at a time. Therefore, your internet requirement is greater than speed used in a few tasks.

How to finally determine how much internet you need?

We have talked about all the contributing factors which affect your internet requirement. Now, let’s help you calculate the final result.

Use this standard theory before you start the calculations.

  • Consider every user in your home will use 25 Mbps
  • Every device will use 10 Mbps
  • If these are 4K devices, consider their usage as 25 Mbps/device

Now let’s use an example. You have a home with 2 adults including you and your partner with a child attending high school. That becomes 3 users for your home.

So, the internet used per person will be 25 Mbps X 3 = 75 Mbps. Now, let’s calculate usage for each device as per our agreed theory above.

  • Laptop: 2 X 10 Mbps = 20 Mbps
  • Personal Computer: 10 Mbps
  • Mobile phones: 3 X 10 Mbps = 30 Mbps
  • Smart TV (4K) one in the home: 25 Mbps
  • Wifi Printer: 10 Mbps

Now, add everything. The total is 170 Mbps. This is just an estimated ballpark number. It is assumed that all these devices and users are online at the same time. So, you will need a plan which offers 170 Mbps.

You can either go for a plan which offers up to 200 Mbps or adjust your online activities to knock it down to 150 Mbps.

Once you decide on these factors and are done with your calculations, find a good internet service provider for you which fulfills your fast internet needs properly. You can check internet speed online post your internet connection is installed and activated.