Have you ever waited 5 minutes to watch a 2 minute YouTube video? Most people have experienced slow internet and know that they don’t want to experience it again. Slow internet even has the potential to double stress levels, which is genuinely bad for your health.
The best way to avoid dealing with slow internet is by using good internet speeds. This also means understanding what makes up good internet speeds, so you can know what to look for.
To do this, you need to know why good download and good upload speeds matter. Then, you can learn exactly what speeds you need. This article will cover all of this information, plus a little more!
What Goes Into Internet Speeds?
Good internet speed comes from two different factors: download speed and upload speed. The speed of each has a different impact on how online interactions function.
Internet speeds are an expression of how much data is flowing and are measured in megabits per second (Mbps). Faster speeds can handle more data, while slower speeds handle less.
You may have heard the term “broadband internet” associated with internet speeds that were particularly fast. A while ago, this was true but now, it isn’t.
Broadband internet speeds are considered too slow for most modern users. The CRTC has set minimum speeds they want available to all Canadians. This is at least 50 Mbps for download speeds and 10 Mbps for upload speeds.
Why Does Download Speed Matter?
Download speeds are necessary whenever your computer, phone, or other device gets information from the internet. This is required to pull up a webpage, view an email, stream a video, and do plenty of other activities.
All of these activities require different amounts of data and, thus, will load at different speeds. Pulling up an email or viewing a webpage doesn’t usually require much data. Meanwhile, streaming videos, downloading files, or playing online games requires more data. Activities that require more data require higher speeds to function well.
For most people, download speed is slightly more important than upload speed. If you’re on a website about to watch a video, you click to select the video you want to watch, and it starts playing. When you click, your computer uploads information that tells the site what you clicked. However, in response, the website needs to stream the entire video to your computer, which involves a lot of downloading information, often over an extended period. When streaming a movie, a single moment of upload can lead to hours of downloading.
What Is A Good Download Speed?
The minimum download speed required to get most tasks done comfortably comes in at around 10 Mbps per person. Good download speeds range between 10 Mbps and 25 Mbps per person. Where each individual falls in this spectrum depends on what they need from the internet and what they do with it.
If you are just using the internet for web browsing or email, you don’t need very fast download speeds. In this case, 10 Mbps should suit you fine.
However, if you use the internet for more, you will require faster speeds. Doing things like watching videos on YouTube, streaming on services like Netflix, participating in a video call, or even just more video-intensive internet browsing will leave you wanting more from your slow internet. In these cases, you’ll find that your experience is lessened by internet speeds of 10 Mbps and will work better with internet speeds of around 25 Mbps instead.
There are even cases where higher speeds are necessary. 4K file sizes are massive, and because of this, streaming 4K video is often difficult. Watching 4K video can require speeds of around 100 Mbps to operate smoothly. An internet plan capable of handling online streaming may be necessary in this case.
Plus, the number of people on a network needs to be considered. If four people are streaming video at the same time, they won’t be satisfied with 25 Mbps speeds. Instead, they will need speeds around 100 Mbps.
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Why Does Upload Speed Matter?
Upload speeds are most often used to interact with anything online. Whenever you click a page on a website or select a video on a streaming service, the site needs to know what you did in order to respond. So, your computer uploads small pieces of information.
However, there are also cases where larger pieces of information are uploaded. These are most common when uploading files or streaming video. People who regularly upload things for school or who need to use Zoom for work will be affected by this.
While upload speed is generally less important than download speed, it has become more important recently. People working from home or attending school online rely on upload speeds more often. This is because these individuals often need to place video calls, upload documents, or even upload large video files. So, good upload speeds matter more now than ever before.
What Is A Good Upload Speed?
When it comes to good upload speeds, you want to aim for somewhere between 5 Mbps and 25 Mbps per person. Like download speeds, where you want to aim depends on how you use the internet.
For very basic tasks, 5 Mbps is fine, and you can sometimes get away with less. If you are just browsing the internet and checking email, speeds of around 1.5 Mbps will be alright. Things may not load as fast as you want, so you still may want speeds around 5 Mbps, but 1.5 Mbps is manageable.
However, higher speeds are necessary for people who work from home, take online classes, or regularly stream video for any other reason. 25 Mbps will be suitable in most of these cases. However, some people, particularly online streamers who want a stable upload experience, still prefer to aim higher. In these cases, people opt for speeds around 50 Mbps to ensure a truly smooth online experience.
Ultimately, good upload speeds depend on your situation. Someone living alone who never has to do video calls will probably be fine with 5 Mbps or less. Meanwhile, someone living in a 4-person household where two people work online may require speeds around or over 50 Mbps.
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Good Download and Upload Speeds
What exactly qualifies as good download speeds and good upload speeds is different for each person. What you do online and what kind of experience you want will impact what speeds you need. To get truly good speeds, though, aiming high is always better than aiming low.