How to Choose the Internet Speed You Need, Part 3

Whether you are signing up with an internet service provider for the first time, or you are in the market for a new plan, it can be hard to decide what exactly you need from your next plan. “High-speed internet” sounds nice, but what does “high speed” actually mean? How much speed or bandwidth do you truly need? Clarus Broadband wants to help meet your internet needs in the rural areas, whatever those needs may be.

The first step is determining what kind of plan you’ll be able to put to good use, so in today’s blog, we finish our three-part series on choosing the right internet speed with guidelines we hope will help you make the best possible decision. Keep reading to learn more about where your internet usage falls on the spectrum, and call Clarus Broadband today to bring high-speed internet to your community in Texas, Oklahoma, or beyond!

How Do You Use Your Connection?

The true determining factor in what kind of speeds and bandwidth you should look for in your internet service plan is how you plan to use your connection. Different activities have different requirements, so we have split them into a few different categories to make it easier to understand. You can find estimates for the megabytes – or gigabytes! – per second you’ll need for each level by utilizing your favorite search engine.

Remember: you want to calculate for your most demanding activities, so you’ll always have the bandwidth you need, and you’ll need to add together the recommended Mbps for each user in your household to understand the total speed you will want for your service plan.

Level #1: Web Browsing, Email, and Social Media

In this category, we are grouping general usage. If you don’t plan to use your internet-connected devices for anything more than looking up the weather, catching up on work emails, or liking your friends’ pictures, then you won’t need a lot of speed. This is especially true if you are the only internet user in the house.

Level #2: Online Gaming

Online gaming doesn’t require too much bandwidth — there are other factors you’ll want to look for in order to have a great experience. Low latency, for example, will affect gameplay much more than bandwidth. Latency is the time it takes for your computer to talk to the game server, so you’ll want to prioritize finding an internet service plan with a low latency connection rather than larger bandwidth. If you download your games, however, look for our recommendations under Level #5.

Level #3: Video Conferencing

The bandwidth needs for video conferencing may differ depending on how you use it. If you simply like to get in touch with family members across the country every now and then, your needs will be relatively low. If you work remotely and you need face-to-face time with your clients or co-workers, on the other hand, then you will likely need bandwidth on the higher end of the spectrum. This category also includes features like screen sharing, which may also require more bandwidth than recreational internet users typically would.

Level #4: Video Streaming

No matter what your favorite platform may be, if you like to crash on the couch with an instantly available movie or TV show, then you probably fall into this category. Your bandwidth requirements will depend on your standards. Standard-definition streaming obviously requires fewer megabits per second than high definition. You also need to account for whether or not there are multiple streaming addicts in the household, and if they all want to watch different shows simultaneously.

Level #5: Downloads

If you download files often, and you tend to download big files, then you will need the most bandwidth out of anyone on this list. In some cases, there may be a work-around where you can upload and download things when demand is low and there is more bandwidth available on the network. If you don’t want to plan your downloads on a schedule, however, plan to upgrade your plan for the privilege.

Do the Math

Once you have determined what kind of demands each user in your household will put on your internet service, add it all together. You should also consider how many devices you have in your home, and not only what they will be used for, but also when they will be used, and whether or not they will be pulling from the network all at the same time.

For most internet users, the plan with the most Mbps is far more than you need, but it’s important that you investigate and do the math for yourself. A single casual internet user will have different expectations of their network than a property manager offering internet service for an apartment complex full of tenants. You deserve an internet service plan that meets your needs and your budget.

Bring High-Speed Internet to Your Community

When you live in a rural area, it’s not always easy to find an internet service plan that can meet your expectations. Clarus Broadband is dedicated to changing that. We want to bring high-speed, fiber optic internet to rural areas throughout the U.S. However, we can only bring our services who express a demand, so show your interest and contact us today!