Have you recently moved to a new home, or are you simply disappointed with your current internet plan? If yes, you are in the right place! Getting the best internet experience is impossible without knowing your internet speed needs. Internet service providers offer different internet plans that cater to individual internet usage capacities.
Now, you will find guides on most providers’ websites that suggest you the plan. However, some providers may try to oversell plans that you do not need. If an internet plan seems too good to be true, we can provide some perspective in this regard!
Internet speed requirements are highly subjective. They vary from person to person.You need solid uploading speeds and a reliable connection if you are a streamer or content producer. However, your parents who simply browse the internet or perhaps watch Netflix shows do not need the same internet speeds as you do.
Let us break it down further and understand how much internet speed you need.
How Fast Should the Internet Speed Be for You?
To facilitate the process of selecting a broadband service, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a consumer guide. This guide compares internet usage and recommends the best internet speed for them. According to this guide, any internet plan offering more than 25 Mbps broadband speed is providing ‘AdvancedService’. Now, this internet speed would not be enough for most people.
With increased digital exposure and the shift to a smart home setup, internet usage needs have evolved. If you are an avid streamer, have a few smart home devices, orwork from home, you need at least 100 Mbps.This is a rough estimate; you might need less or more depending on your usage.
Here is a quick breakdown of your internet speed for specific usage.
|Internet Speed||Usage||Number of Devices|
|5 Mbps||Browsing, checking emails, and music streaming||One|
|5-40 Mbps||Video Streaming, Zoom conference calls, Single-player online gaming||One|
|40-100 Mbps||Multi-device online gaming, multi-device streaming, heavy filedownloads||Multiple|
|100- 500 Mbps||Ultra-HD video streaming, fast downloads, multi-player gaming||Multiple|
Factors Determining Internet Speed
Do you know there is a multitude of factors affecting internet speed? To choose the best speed, it is imperative to know what affects your internet speed. Here are the factors influencing your internet speed that you should know of.
1. Internet Connection Type
Internet connectivity or internet connection has four types. Cable, DSL, Satellite, and Fiber.These are differentiated based on the underlying technology. Different internet connections offer different internet quality and speeds. Here is a quickbreakdown of the different internet types.
· Cable Internet
It uses the same coaxial cable infrastructure as your TV network to transfer data and provide internet service. According to the FCC, Cable internet is the most widely available Internet type in the US as it is available to nearly 90% of the US population.Cable internet can provide a maximum speed of 1.2-Gbps. However, this is circumstantial. It depends upon your location, available provider, and so on.
· Fiber Internet
Fiber internet is currently the fastest broadband technology available. In Fiber technology, data is transferred as light signals across a glass cable infrastructure. It can provide internet speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
· DSL Internet
In a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet connection, data is transferred across phone lines. It can offer a maximum speed of 140 Mbps. Between cable and DSL internet, the former is a better option as it offers better performance and is more reliable.
· Satellite Internet
Satellite internet access is widely available in rural America. It provides internet access through communication satellites. It offers maximum internet speeds of 100 Mbps.
By location, we mean both the geographical location and the placement of the router in your home. Your geographical location determines which connection types and internet plans are available to you. For example, the fastest broadband service is Fiber internet is only accessible to 43% of the US population. Therefore, not everyone can enjoy the lightning-fast speeds it offers.
Similarly, internet plans are specific to areas and states. You might look at a plan online or have a friend tell you about it only to find that it is not accessible to you. This can be incredibly frustrating. Therefore, it is best to research the availability of a plan before jumping to invest in it.
Furthermore, the placement of the internet router makes a world of difference. The best possible placement for your router is the center of the house. This way, the Wi-Fi signal is not obstructed by furniture, walls, or objects and all rooms can get good signal strength.
3. Number of Users
If you have chosen an internet plan only suitable for two devices yet there are multiple users in the household, you will notice frustratingly slow speeds. Videos will take ages to stream, downloads will take a long time, and even browsing will seem like a tiresome task. This is because so many devices are hogging the bandwidth and none of them can work online as the plan is not suitable for this many devices! To ensure a smooth internet experience across devices, it is imperative to choose a plan that offers enough bandwidth and speed for the number of users in the household.
It is crucial to keep your network hardware updated. Outdated firmware may be the reason you are experiencing lag and slow speeds. Upgraded firmware ensures bug fixes, enhances security protocols, and enables optimal internet speeds. Ideally, you should update your router every two to three years.
5. Internet Plan
As discussed above, choosing the right plan for your internet usage is imperative to getting the best internet speed. While selecting an internet plan, consider the download and upload speed offered. If you are a content creator, it is important to focus on getting good upload speeds.
Most internet plans compromise on upload speeds, therefore choose your internet plan carefully. If you like to stream content and work from home, it is better to opt for a plan with good download speeds.
Choosing the Right Internet Plan
Wondering how to select the best internet plan? Consider these features before selecting an internet plan.
How reliable is the internet connection? It is best not to opt for an internet connection that uses outdated infrastructure prone to damage and tampering. For example, with fiber internet, you can expect excellent speeds and a reliable connection.
Fiber cables are not prone to rust and environmental damage, which makes fiber internet highly dependable. However, DSL on the other hand uses outdated technology and delivers frustratingly slow speeds. Furthermore, it relies on phone cables to transfer internet, which means you will need an activated phone service to avail of DSL service.
Create a practical budget and look for the best internet plans that you can afford. Remember you do not necessarily need the highest internet speeds available. Just look for an internet plan that provides optimal internet speeds for your internet usage.
3. Data Caps and Time Limits
Providers might be tricking you into buying low-value internet packages! By not paying attention to data caps and plan limits, you might be buying an internet plan that does not provide the best value for money.
Instead of immediately jumping on the cheapest option you can find, try looking for a plan that does not have data caps or other limitations. You are making a bad financial decision by choosing an internet plan that contractually bounds you to bad internet speeds and data caps and charges you a penalty to cancel or upgrade.
The Best Internet Providers
Does all the talk about choosing the right provider and plan confuse you? Are you left puzzled as to which provider is the right choice? Well, here are a few internet service providers you can check out. They are reliable and offer excellent internet services.
Spectrum is the second-largest cable internet provider in the United States. It offers internet coverage and 40 states.Spectrum offers high-speed internet and allows you to bundle it with HD cable TV streaming and home phone services.
Windstream is another leading US internet service provider that is available in 18 states.Windstream Kinetic offers high-speed internet at incredible prices.
Cox Communications is the third largest cable internet provider in America. With Cox high-speed internet, you can enjoy the ultimate internet experience of smooth browsing, lag-free gaming, and seamless streaming.
Here Is What Makes Cox Internet Tempting
Cox offers internet speeds of up to 1Gbps.With this much internet speed, you can stream 4K videos anddownload a two-hour-long movie in a matter of seconds!However, this is not all that makes Cox highly tempting! Here are a few additional features that make Cox worth the investment.
1. Panoramic Wi-Fi
Do you experience dead spots in your house? Dead spots are areas of your house that do not get good Wi-Fi strength. Cox realizes how annoying it can be not to have an important message go through or your call disconnected due to a bad Wi-Fi signal. Therefore, it provides a Panoramic Wi-Fi gateway, which is essentially a modem and router ensuring wall-to-wall coverage.
2. Security Suite
If you are not careful while using the internet, you may fall victim to cyber threats like identity theft, viruses, and ransomware.Cox offers cyber protection powered by McAfee® for up to five devices. This is included in your Cox subscription plan. There are no additional charges! You can simply activate it by logging on to your account on Cox.com.
It is difficult to imagine life without good internet. Internet taps into all aspects of life including work. The truth is with all the technical jargon thrown around, choosing the best internet speed and plan becomes difficult. We hope this post clarified some concerns you had regarding internet speed.
Article Submitted By Community Writer