Everything You Need To Know About Internet Speeds

Hellen Wadman

Everything You Need To Know About Internet Speeds

We all want the internet but we don’t want to deal with the technicalities. What should be the bandwidth? What about the features? Should I get the least speedy internet or the speediest one? These are all the things that tend to confuse you when you go to purchase internet service. Well, here we will do our best to address any questions about internet speed so that you know which one is the right speed for you.

What is internet speed?

First things first, what exactly is internet speed? Internet speed is the volume of information that can travel at any given time before it reaches a stopping point. If we were to describe it in simpler terms, then think of internet speed as the time it takes for several cars to reach from point A to point B on a highway. The higher the bandwidth you pay for, the more the internet speed. Now, consider bandwidth as the number of lanes on a highway. If there are more lanes, there is a lesser chance of a traffic jam but if there are fewer lanes, the chance of traffic jams is higher.

If the road is clear due to there being more lanes, the time at which the cars will go from point A to B will be shorter and the opposite applies if there is traffic due to fewer lanes. So, now you understand what internet speed is. It is necessary to know which speed is the right one for you. If you just decide to go with very speedy internet, you might be wasting your money on a service you don’t really need. On the other hand, if you choose an internet plan that’s too slow, you won’t be able to do anything.

What internet speed you choose depends on your usage level and reason. The same thing applies if you have a family. You need to know how much your family uses it and what for to select the right plan. One more thing you will need to be wary of is that some internet services advertise their speeds and that is a sure way to get some customers. But, it is better to do your research and learn their actual internet speeds. ISPs such as Wave Internet are transparent when it comes to talking about internet speeds. Not only can you find everything on their website, but they are also more than happy to answer your questions, whatever they may be.

Internet speed terms to know

When learning/reading about internet speed, there are some terms that you are bound to come across repeatedly. Hence, we have made a list of these terms and explained them for your ease.

  • Bandwidth – This term refers to the capacity that a network connection can handle at any moment. The more the bandwidth, the more the data that can be transferred at a time. The size of the bandwidth also determines how many devices can be connected to the internet.
  • Broadband – This gives you an idea of the internet speed. It refers to the type of connection you are getting and what limitations it faces.
  • Download – This refers to how quickly you will receive information from external sources.
  • Upload – This refers to how quickly information is sent from your end to external sources.
  • Modem – This is what helps you stay connected to the internet.
  • Router – This connects to the modem and then helps all your devices to stay connected to the internet.
  • Mbps – Short for Megabits per second. It represents how much data is transferred per second.
  • Wi-Fi – Helps your devices to connect wirelessly to the internet without the need foran Ethernet cable.

Bandwidth and Internet speed

While we have already explained that these two terms are different, it is important to know what they actually do mean. Oftentimes, when you go and search for internet service or plan, you find the terms interchangeably used. For example, take any advertisement for internet service and let’s say they are advertising it as “Speeds up to 50 Mbps”. 50 Mbps is the bandwidth that they are offering and it is the top capacity of the internet plan. The internet speed, however, won’t be 50 Mbps until you are using the internet at full capacity.

Download speed and upload speed

The download and upload speeds are some of the first things you see when looking into the details of an internet bundle or plan. So, it is only natural that we discuss these in more detail.

Download speed

Download speed refers to how fast information from external sources can reach your device. Now, you might think it is referring to downloading movies or documents due to it being called download speeds, but that is not the case. Download speed is used when you are surfing the web and scrolling through social media. It is used when you are watching a movie online on Netflix or Hulu. Here are some more times when internet download speed is used:

  • Checking email and opening attachments
  • Streaming music, videos
  • Browsing webpages and blogs
  • Updating software
  • Downloading files from the cloud

Upload speed

Upload speed refers to how fast information travels from your device to any other external source. Upload speeds are usually less than download speeds and the reason for this is they are not used as much as download speeds. Here are some times when upload speeds are used:

  • Attaching and sending files by email
  • Uploading videos to YouTube or any other platform
  • Uploading photos on social media platforms or websites
  • Uploading files on cloud-based storage systems
  • Starting live video on Skype, Zoom, etc.

Symmetrical speeds

Symmetrical plans are the plans that offer the same download and upload speeds. These packages are not very common to see as they are usually only offered with a fiber connection. Naturally, they cost higher than regular internet packages. The reason these aren’t common is that people are affected by download speeds more than they are by upload speeds. Although this is increasingly changing as people are becoming more dependent on technology. Digital reports, copies, schoolwork are replacing paper reports and that’s why the need for higher upload speeds is increasing.

How much bandwidth do you need?

Now that you have a basic grasp on internet speeds and it’s terminologies, it’s time to determine how much bandwidth you need based on what activities you and your family do.

Activities Required speeds
·         Streaming music

·         Checking emails

·         Surfing the web

·         Checking social media

·         VoIP calls

0-5 Mbps
·         Streaming video (one device only)

·         Video calls using Skype

·         Online gaming (one person only)

·         Online classes or meetings

·         Work from home (one person only)

5-40 Mbps
·         Streaming HD videos on 2-3 devices

·         Downloading large files

·         Multiplayer online games

·         WFH and online school

40-100 Mbps
·         Streaming ultra HD videos on multiple devices

·         Downloading files quickly

·         Online multiplayer gaming

100-500 Mbps
·         Just about anything 500-1000+ Mbps


That concludes the basics of internet speed and the important things you will need to look out for when purchasing an internet plan or package. Now, you can recognize for yourself which package to select based on bandwidth, upload, and download speeds. The problem that remains is how to find a reliable internet service provider that is available in your area. Well, you are in luck! BuyTVInternetPhone is a website where all you have to do is to enter your zip code and you will find multiple well-known service providers available in your area! So, go on and click that link!

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