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What you need to know about your Internet speed, how it works and how much you need exactly
We’re living in a digital world and abbreviations like Mbps may seem like geek speak to you, but we all need to learn the language. Because knowing how much Internet speed you need and what it is really, makes life—especially when you want to stream videos and chill, stay connected with friends via messaging apps or play DOTA 2 all day—so much easier.
What is Internet speed and how does it work?
Internet speed is your allocated bandwidth, which is the amount of data that can be sent to you, measured in seconds. For instance if your connection is 5 Mbps (Megabits per second), you’ll be able to download a file or image that’s 5 Mb in size in a second!
To understand it better, imagine bandwidth like a highway and the data like vehicles traveling at the same speed. The wider the road, the more cars it can accommodate and the faster everyone gets to their destination. Just the same, the more bandwidth you have, the more data you can get from the Internet to your device faster.
What can you do with what speed and how much do I really need?
Shopping for an Internet plan can be a dizzying task, especially when you’re not fond of numbers and abbreviations. Don’t sweat; we’ll break it down for you.
Internet connection speed: 2 to 5 Mbps
Internet connection speed: 10 to 15 Mbps
Internet connection speed: 50 to 100 Mbps
Pro-tip: 50 Mbps is for moderate internet usage of a small household while 100 Mbps is ideal for households with multiple individuals downloading, gaming, posting, shopping, streaming all at the same time.
Internet connection speed: 200 to 500 Mbps
When superfast is just not fast enough, and you expect zero waiting or loading time. This speed range is said to be ideal for serious gamers (yas to multi-gameplay!), and activities like downloading massive files in seconds, flawless streaming, lag-free video calls and conferencing simultaneously on multiple devices.
Internet connection speed: 1 Gbps
Hyperfast speed for the ultimate speed junkie, big corporations and even small countries.
Some things to consider before you sign up for a plan
One last tip before signing up for the Internet speed you need: consider the difference between upload and download speeds. Most Internet connections are asymmetric, meaning bandwidth size differs going one way (downloading) compared to the other (uploading). And because there are more people who consume content rather than create it, download speeds are naturally larger than the upload. So the next time you see speeds listed like this: 5/1 Mbps, don’t fret. It only means the plan has a download speed of 5 Mbps and an upload speed of 1 Mbps.
Happy shopping and remember, surf at your own speed!