The internet speed directly influences the price we pay for the Internet connection to our operator. We’ll see how to choose internet speed for your home according to your habits and devices connected.
The speed Internet connection is a key piece of information that has a decisive influence on internet bill. If it is too low you will have continuous cuts and “freezes”, and if you go too far you will be paying more, and wasting your money.
Choosing the Internet speed that you should contract for the house is simple, but it is not an exact science. It depends on factors beyond our control such as interference, connection saturation, distance to the switchboard, etc.
How Internet speed is measured
From a commercial point of view, the internet connection speed It is measured in Megas. The operators offer you 100 Megas, 300 Megas, 500 Megas, etc.
They actually refer to megabits per second either mbps. Not to be confused with MB/sg, that is, Megabytes per second, which is a different measure, since a byte is 8 bits. Commercially it is used mbps either megabit per secondwhich is approximately a speed of a million bits per second.
In this way, a connection 100 Mig are 100Mbpseither 100 million bits per second. It seems like a lot, but it consumes quickly when there are several devices connected at the same time streaming, downloading games, etc.
Today, measured connections are already offered in Gigas. For example, connection 1 gig. Means 1Gbpseither 1 gigabit per second. A Jigin commercial terms, are 1,000 Migtherefore we speak of a internet speed of 1,000Mbps.
Although the operators sell one speed, in reality there are two: the upload speed of data that you upload to the Internet, and the lowering speedwith which you download things to your devices.
The upload speed It is used to send emails, your video in a video call, when you upload a video or stream on a social network, etc. the one of descent It is used to watch Netflix, YouTube, TikTok and other platforms, download games and emails, etc.
The vast majority of offers offer the same speed in both cases. If it is a 100 Mega connection, it is 100 Mega upload and 100 Mega download. But in very cheap offers or in special connections, such as via satellite, it may happen that both speeds are different. Check it in the contracts.
contracted speed vs. real
What the operator sells you is one thing, and what you get is another. The actual speed always is 10 or 20% lessbecause performance is lost due to the distance to the switchboard, interference, etc.
In this way, if you contract 300 Megabytes, you will possibly only receive 250 or 260 Mbps, even less. And it will be even less if you use WiFi instead of cable.
you can check your internet speed with a speed test. There are many different:
If your real speed is 25% lower than the contracted one, call your operator. You shouldn’t lose that much.
This test gives us another important piece of information: the ping. This is the name given to the response time of our connection from when we do something, until the recipient receives it. If you play a lot online or do a lot of streaming or video calls, it is important that the ping is low.
keep this in mind loss of 10 or 20%when you do the following calculations.
How to choose Internet speed: quick method
at the time of choose Internet speed for a homeyou should consider the number of usersand the number of devices that connect to the Internet.
The FCC, the Federal Communications Commission of the United States, offers a basic guide that you can see here:
The minimum recommended speed is 25 Megabytes or 25 Mbps, enough for 1 or 2 users or devices reading email, browsing the Internet, or watching HD streaming.
In Spain it is already rare to find offers below 100 Megabytes. With this speed it is enough for 2 or 4 devices with 4K streaming and music, online gaming and remote work.
These are somewhat vague recommendations, so let’s be more specific.
He faster method for choose internet speed at homeis to assign between 25 and 40 Mbps to each user. A user is a family member who connects to the Internet with the Wifi from the house
If this user connects with several devices at the same time, for example the mobile or the console, we must assign 40 Mbps. If he spends all day playing online, downloading games or watching streaming, which are the most demanding tasks, it is better to reserve 50 for him. mbps.
On the other hand, if that user only connects to read email, see some websites or consult social networks, undemanding tasks, we assign 25 Mbps.
It is important to note that this is not a limitation. It is to make calculations, since all users will be able to use all the bandwidth that exists, be it 100, 300 or 500 Mbps, as long as nobody uses it.
Let’s see it with an example. Suppose there is at home 4 users. Two only use the Internet for mail, websites and social networks. Another spends the day watching Netflix, and the other spends all day playing online, watching streaming and making video calls on the mobile.
We assign them 25 + 25 + 40 + 50 = 190Mbps.
To this must be added the devices That connect to the internet autonomously. For example, we can have a surveillance camera that sends video over the Internet, a smart speaker with Google Assistant, or a WiFi controllable lamp. In these cases you have to look in your manual how much bandwidth (Internet speed) they consume, and add it to the total.
If we add 10 Mbps from other devices to the 190 Mbps, we have about 200 Mbps left. This speed is not offered, so we would have to opt for 300Mbps. Hiring 500 Megabytes or 1 Gig would surely be a waste of money.
How to choose Internet speed: precise method
The above method is an approximate system. Can you do more accurate calculations.
Ask each user What things do you do at the same time on the Internet?. For example, you might be watching Prime Video while downloading a game and streaming music. Or upload a streaming video while playing, and at the same time chat on Discord.
Then consult this table, according to data provided by AllConnect:
|Activity||Required speed (Mbps)|
|Web pages and mail||1|
|Internet calls (VoIP)||0.5|
|Streaming video (YouTube, TikTok, Netflix)||2-20|
|game download||Max (recommended 15-20 Mbps)|
|Listen to streaming music (Spotify)||1|
He streaming video it varies between the 2 Mbps required for HD video, to the 15 Mbps required for 4K resolution video with HDR.
In the case of the game download, they will use all the free bandwidth. But with downloading at 15 or 20 Mbps, it’s already an acceptable speed.
For home user, add up the tasks you do at the same time. If you play games, watch Netflix at 4K at the same time, and listen to Spotify, you need a bandwidth of 10 + 20 + 1 Mbps = 31 Mbps.
If you only do one task at a time, use the one that consumes the most. Add too what autonomous devices consume: smart speakers, camcorders, etc.
So you will get the precise consumption of all the users and devices in the house, and you will be able to know the internet speed what do you need.
The router: the key piece
Calculate the correct internet connection speed, does not guarantee that everything will go smoothly. You also have to consider the hardware.
Many devices are “capable”. They have a modem or an Ethernet connector with a limited speed. The normal thing is that they are limited to 100 Mbps. This means that even if you contract a speed of 500 Mbps, they will only work at 100 Mbps.
Another common problem, if there are several users and devices at home connected at the same time, is that the operator’s router is saturated. They are cheap and do not hold up well with many simultaneous connections. If this is your case, choose to install a WiFi 6 router, which handles several connections much better at the same time.
You will also have connection problems if the router does not cover everything, or certain objects cause interference. Take a look at this card:
If you keep all these things in mind, you will get a stable connection even with many devices connected at the same time.
Calculate well the internet speed what do you need in homeaccording to your habits and devices, is vital to reduce outages and bottlenecks, and to avoid wasting money. It’s worth doing the math.