How to Choose the Internet Speed You Need, Part 1

When you are choosing a new internet service plan, the dilemma is often how to choose between speed and cost. Everyone wants “high-speed internet,” but what does that mean? And how much speed do you really need? Clarus Broadband was created to help you get the right internet service to meet your needs, even if you live in a rural area. In today’s blog, we’ll be explaining what components make up an internet plan and how you can determine what’s right for you. Read on to learn more, and contact us today to bring lightning fast fiber optic internet to your neighborhood!

What You Need

There are a few metrics that internet service providers like Clarus Broadband will advertise with their service plans. The numbers you’ll most often see will represent the bandwidth of your connection, and the download and upload speeds. In today’s article, we’ll be discussing what those metrics mean so you can have a better grasp of what you get with every service plan. Look for later blogs in this series for more advice on what speeds match your needs.


First things first, what is bandwidth? Simply put, it’s the maximum rate at which you can download data from the internet to your computer. That rate is measured in bits per second, but because internet speeds are so fast these days, you’ll more often see it listed as megabits per second (Mbps). Megabits are not the same thing as megabytes (MB), which are often used to measure the size of a file, but a simple conversion can help you determine how effective your rate will be. A megabyte is 8 megabits, so if you have a 1 Mbps connection and you want to download a 1 MB file, it should take about 8 seconds.

You can think of your connection bandwidth like a hose, and measuring the bits per second connection is like measuring how many gallons it can pump in a minute. If your hose can only pump 5 gallons of water a minute, it will take several minutes to fill a 20 gallon tub — just like it will take a while for your computer to download a big file. If you have more bandwidth, however, your hose can pump more water and you can fill the tub – or download your file – much faster. There is a caveat to this “more is better” approach, however, which we’ll discuss in a later post.

Download and Upload Speed

The download and upload speeds of a potential connection are often listed together, and the download is almost guaranteed to be the larger number listed. Download speed is often the more important metric, because it determines how much you can pull from the internet and how fast you get it. Depending on how you use your connection, however, upload speed can be equally important. Upload speeds will affect how long it takes to upload photos or videos to social media, as well as the time your device spends trying to sync files with cloud storage. You can learn more about whether or not upload speeds should matter to you as we continue this series in later blog posts.

Explore Your Options Today

Now that you understand what internet service providers are truly offering, you can start to investigate the internet plans available in your area. If you live in a rural area, then your options may be limited. Clarus Broadband is dedicated to changing that. We want to bring fiber optic internet to rural Texas, Ohio, and beyond to help encourage social and economic growth in your community. Explore our site to learn more, and contact us today to get started!