It’s so easy to just pick an internet package, but do you really know what you are getting in exchange, and if it suits your requirements? Every internet plan comes with a specific bandwidth, and the higher the number, the more expensive your subscription will be. Money may not be an issue but you will realise later on that the Mbps of your internet connection matters.
Mbps is short for megabits per second, but you have to make sure that you won’t be unwittingly short-changed by your internet provider. Don’t be fazed by the term as it simply refers to your internet connection’s bandwidth or download rate. Ever tried downloading or uploading data? If you finish a song or two before you can download a simple file to your device, then better check your subscription if you are getting what you are paying for.
How many Mbps do you need?
The answer to this question will depend on why you need an internet connection in the first place. Do you need it at home for personal or work purposes? Or do you need it for your business? Know the answer before you sign up for an internet subscription. A 100 Mbps internet will suffice for someone who only needs to check his social media engagements or even his emails. However, if you expect the whole family to binge on Netflix at the same time using their own gadgets, then a 1000mbps home internet may be more appropriate.
Do you need 1000 Mbps?
A 200 Mbps internet is already fast enough for the typical internet user even if the network is shared by up to five users. Internet users in rural areas usually get by with a maximum speed of 25 Mbps, but users in most urban areas are lucky enough to enjoy 100 Mbps internet speed.
You need not spend a lot of money to pay for a higher home internet bandwidth if you are the only one using your internet. You can actually estimate your required Mbps by making a list of how you use the internet. A 1 to 3 Mbps internet package is enough if you are using the internet for social media alone. On the other hand, you need 2 to 4 Mbps for video conferencing, 3 to 5 Mbps for watching Netflix, and at least 5 Mbps if you intend to stream HD videos. If all of these are your usual internet activities, then you will need from 10 to 15 Mbps on the average.
If you are using your internet for basic browsing purposes, but you share your network with a few people, then a 25 Mbps would suffice. But if you are a competitive online game player who streams 4K or Ultra-High definition content, or you download a lot of files, then you need at least 200 Mbps.
The thing to remember is that no matter how high your bandwidth is, you can expect your internet to slow down if more people are using your network simultaneously. If your household consists of techies who have a lot of use for the internet, then a 1000 Mbps may be more practical for your home.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing your Mbps:
- how many people will use the internet?
- how many devices will connect to the internet?
- will these devices be used simultaneously?
- are there competitive gamers using your internet?
- what is your monthly internet budget?
Do not be surprised if the internet plan you are paying for does not, at all times, coincide with the bandwidth that you are getting. Bandwidth can fluctuate by up to 80 percent. The speed you get will also depend on your location. Make allowances when choosing your Mbps to get the most satisfying internet experience.
Can I check my internet speed?
There is a way to check the speed of your internet and that is through the free speedtest app. You need not be a computer wizard to test your internet speed since you can just click on the button that says “GO” and then wait for the app to come up with a speed reading for both downloading and uploading. An internet speed test can be done properly by first closing other programs that might influence your bandwidth.
If your actual speed is way below the supposed Mbps that you are paying for, then better talk to your internet provider. Perhaps, you need a new router. But if your internet speed does not improve after replacing your router, then you may not be getting your money’s worth. It may be time to upgrade your internet plan, or change your internet provider.