From browsing the web to sending emails to online gaming and streaming Netflix, the internet has become an integral part of everyday life. In fact, more than 4 billion people worldwide use the internet.
Because we rely on the internet for so many things, most homeowners and renters would consider internet access a utility, much like water, electric and gas. But how much internet speed do you actually need as an apartment dweller? This article will walk you through internet speed differences and help you determine which type is best for you.
To understand internet speed differences, let's first define internet speed. Simply put, internet speed is the amount of time it takes data or content to travel from the World Wide Web to your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Internet speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
Depending on how you use the internet, you're either using upload or download speeds. Upload speed is the time it takes for data to transfer from your device to the internet. Download speed is the opposite. It's the time it takes for data to transfer from the internet to your device.
In order for the internet to be deemed as “high-speed internet," or “broadband" it must have download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps, according to the FCC.
If you're like most internet users, you're using the internet in a variety of ways. Here's a high-level overview of the recommended internet speeds for some of the most common online tasks.
Each of these rates is measured individually. So, if you download files, stream videos and surf the web simultaneously, you'll need to add up each of those speeds to show how much speed you need.
The number of people and connected devices also play a role in internet speed differences. If you have multiple devices that are using the internet, you need more broadband.
As with anything, it's smart to do some initial research before you sign a contract with a new internet provider. You'll want to assess your needs and lifestyle and ask yourself a few questions:
Each smartphone, tablet, laptop, smart home product and gaming console will count as one device. The more devices you have, the more speed you'll need. Tally the number of connected devices.
Keep a mental note of everyone who lives in your apartment that will use the internet, as well as when they use it and how they use it. People use the internet in a variety of ways and each online activity requires a different internet speed for optimal use.
From making internet or Skype calls to streaming music to playing gaming and streaming movies, think through all the ways you and your family make use of the internet.
Asking yourself these questions to avoid lag time and help you determine how much internet speed and bandwidth you need.
On average, Americans pay roughly $66 per month for the internet, but prices can get as low as $29.99 for basic internet. Prices vary depending on the type of internet and the provider. There are a few different types of internet connections to consider:
Once you've assessed how many connected devices you have, how many people in your apartment use the internet and in what ways, you can choose a provider and pick an internet package that best suits your needs.