You get settled in to watch your latest show. Finally, some time to yourself or with your friends and family to decompress and delve into all the entertainment the ethers have to offer. You press ‘play’ just to sit longer than you anticipated as the screen stays black. That dreaded buffering icon appears. You wait. Your show resumes. Then, freezes again. Now, you’re losing your connection and your cool, wondering “What is a good internet speed for my needs?” Fortunately, we can break the numbers down while boosting your speed up.
Simply put, the speed of your internet is basically the rate at which you can connect to data you are interested in accessing. Namely, gaming online, streaming TV shows and movies, downloading music and browsing various social media and online news outlets or web pages.
The internet transfers thousands of bits per second, so oftentimes, there are added acronyms to help discern how much data is being transferred based on the metric system. You will likely see Mbps (which stands for mega-bits-per-second) and the “M” signifying 1,000,000.
Naturally, your needs for speed are respective to your devices and duration of use. Just like the freeway, the more congested the highway is, the slower you move. The same can be said of your many electronics racing the internet speedway you have at home or in the office.
What should be as simple as asking an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to provide fast, reliable internet can quickly make even wireless access a tangled mess. With so many options, it can be easy to either underestimate the speeds you need or even overpay for what you aren’t using.
Of course, you will want to invest in an internet plan that can manage all the content you consume, at a pace that keeps everything smooth and uninterrupted. Streaming services are increasing in popularity (think Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+), coupled with the grandeur of online gaming (good luck getting your kids off of Fortnite). With everyone online, you want to keep your budget in line.
The most basic need for internet is likely the use of a computer. Checking the inbox and watching the occasional video that populates. Downloading and uploading basics like photo and documents sent doesn’t demand much bandwidth these days. For the conservative browser, you’re good to go with a very minimal, basic package of speeds starting as low as 5 mega-bits-per-second (mbps).
When you start to add in the desire for high-quality, drag-free gaming sessions, you’re going to have to take it up a notch. This allows for smooth transitions and real-time accuracy. The most moderate of Mbps recommended for gaming is 15Mbps.
You can get away with as low as 3Mbps, but you might find yourself left behind when and if your avatar can’t stay in sync with your squad. The minimum speeds are generally related to download needs (just to even grant access to games) and 15Mbps will almost certainly allow both function and fluidity.
Streaming videos requires more bandwidth than many other online activities. You want to watch your coveted shows with quality that is compelling and resolution that is riveting. Once you cut the cable cord, you’ll find that Wi-Fi has to be stronger when streaming. What’s more, if you’re like the 158 million streaming subscribers on Netflix alone, you’re likely taking advantage of their affordable add-ons to have up to 6 registered devices on one account. When you and your partner are binging the latest TV show, the kids can also jump on the internet speedway. They’ll want to be in their room, streaming their popular kid-friendly episodes via their tablet, as your teen is sucking up speed in another lane, via Snapchat or TikTok phone apps. In fact, there is, on average, at least 7 streaming-capable devices per America household, so there’s clearly a benefit to bypassing competition for screen-time.
Before you go haywire on your wireless plan, consider first testing what your gadgets are running at. This is beneficial for a few reasons.
First, you can verify that you’re getting what you’re paying for. If speeds are slow, your hardware could be the issue and a simple replacement could get entertainment flowing again. Second, if everything is moving along swimmingly, you have a solid standard for your needs moving forward and minimum speeds should you decide to add-on more devices or pickup that tempting 4K TV. Thirdly, you can pick a plan that marries your bandwidth with your budget when you compare internet packages.
The best news? It’s free and it’s just easier! Test your internet speeds with one of many online testing tools. Just a few minutes could save you hundreds of dollars and thousands of seconds staring at a lagging screen.
Channel Choice gives you the ability to choose how much internet service speed you want and hooks you up with the best provider. You get the lowest pricing for your internet access. We’ve made it simple to compare all your options in one simple glance.
Even our most basic packages offer Mbps speeds that keep you and your household moving through media without issue.
Simply pick the tier that best describes your needs and we can assist you in picking the provider that works best for you.
Once you click “Order” on the package that you are interested in, we take care of everything else including installation and confirming you’re getting the best price!