Just as no two people are the same, Internet usage varies greatly between individuals, households, and businesses. But how do you know you’re getting the right amount of speed for your lifestyle and business needs? Lucky for you, that’s the very topic we’re discussing today.
Assuming you already know some Internet jargon, the most important terms you’ll need to know are bandwidth, bits, and the difference between downloading and uploading. Put simply, bandwidth is your Internet speed performance which is measured in bits per second (from smallest to largest, you’ve got kilobits (Kbps), megabits (Mbps) or gigabits (Gbps)). Bandwidth includes both your download speed (how much data is traveling to your computer, such as when you stream on Netflix or are downloading a video game) and your upload speed (how much data is traveling from your computer, like when you’re uploading a new video to YouTube, sending an email, or broadcasting on Twitch).
Unfortunately, there’s no hard or fast rule of how many bits per person on your network since one person might only use their phone and another might be an Internet gamer who’s also watching the latest episode of Stranger Things in the background. To that point, a household of gamers and streamers is going to need a lot more bandwidth than two people who are barely home and only use the Internet for email and the occasional cat meme. Of course, websites and Internet-based services can also change how much data they use depending on their own features so while Netflix could use 20 Mbps down one month, a new update to its platform could move that number up or down.
But not all is lost. Since each household and business requires different Internet needs, talking with a trained professional to find the right speeds for you is your best course of action so that you not only make sure your bandwidth is exactly what you need, but you’re not wasting money on too much speed you’re not using.
Here are some questions to ask your service rep or important things to tell them when choosing your plan:
- How many computers, TVs, phones, and other devices will be connected to the network?
- How many will be wired connections (through ethernet) and how many will be wireless?
- How many people will be regularly using the network and how would you categorize their usage (light would be along the lines of just connecting a phone to the WiFi and watching Netflix or Hulu on occasion; heavy would be actively gaming online, streaming every night, or spending the majority of their time using the Internet)?
- Do you create or share livestream content on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitch (this is important for determining upload speed so that your streams don’t lag, especially if you’re trying to build your audience)?
- Do you work from home and need something more robust than a standard residential package?
- Does the property you’re trying to get a plan for have a lot of trees or other kinds of cover that might interfere with our wireless signals?
By asking these questions, we can help give you better, faster service by tailoring your free quote to exactly what you need and what we can offer you. No matter if you have a house full of Netflix addicts or living on your own only checking Twitter, we have service packages that are just right for everyone.