Life without the internet these days feels like it has come to a halt. Internet is much more than what it was intended for, with people depending on it for media consumption, socializing, and work, among others. To browse the internet, you will need a stable connection to prevent data drops.
While we have moved on from the era where the maximum speeds were limited to 256 kbps, the definition of good download and upload speeds is still up in the air. Here I shall discuss what is a good download and upload speed for optimum usage.
Download And Upload Speeds Explained
Before moving on to what optimal settings should be, let us take a brief look at what download, and upload speeds represent. When you go for a new connection, you may be confused about the various “speeds” presented to you by your provider.
The term internet speed can be a bit misleading, as you cannot actually measure the speed of the internet. What you get is actually bandwidth, which is the amount of data that your provider sends you. This is measured in packets, and the numbers presented to you is the packet data sent to you over a period of time.
2 MBPS data speed directly means your provider will be sending you 2 MB data per second, which is the speed referred to in the pamphlets.
Two Way Traffic
If you are wondering why there are two different internet speeds mentioned, upload and download speed serve different purposes on a network. Both these speeds are the transfer speeds between your router and/ or modem, and the server located at your ISP. Here is a brief discussion about them, so you can get familiar with them:
Download speed: This is the speed of data transfer from your ISP to your device. Thus, a download speed of 10 MBPS means that your provider sends 10 MB data per second to your device. On a home network, this is primarily what you will be dealing with, as a lot of your work will make use of the download bandwidth.
Your download bandwidth determines a lot of what you do on your computer. Such activities include media consumption, web browsing, listening to music, and much more.
Upload speed: This is the speed of data transfer from your device back to the ISP server. The measurements of upload speeds are done similarly to download speeds mentioned above. On a home network, the upload speeds need not be extremely high, while the same is not true for office networks.
Upload speeds are important for many tasks, such as sending big files over the internet, or while video chatting and conferencing. If you plan on making a lot of video calls, you will get better quality by taking a plan with higher bandwidth.
Symmetric internet refers to the situation when download and upload speeds are the same on a network.
What Is A Good Download And Upload Speed?
Then bandwidth that you opt for depends a lot on the work that you will be doing on the network. Thus, you first need to decide your priorities on where you want to spend your data. Also, you need to understand that the values advertised are actually the highest possible transfer rates, and you won’t be reaching near that value unless you live very close to the network towers.
That being said, here are the good internet speeds that are recommended for most tasks.
If most of your task will involve web browsing, the optimal speeds you need to be looking for is 10 MBPS download and upload. You should be able to open even the heaviest of websites without any issues, and even send emails with big files. This internet speed is not ideally recommended for streaming and video conferencing, as you may face some stutters.
If you are a binge-watcher like me, good download and upload speed should be 25 MBPS. This is also the value recommended by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as good internet speeds. However, bandwidth allocation highly depends on the quality of the internet streams.
Netflix recommends 3 MBPS download and upload speeds for streaming in standard definition (SD), 5 MBPS for streaming in high definition (HD), and at least 25 MBPS for streaming HDR or 4K content.
For live streaming TV in HD on your computer, you will need at least 8 MBPS download and upload speeds. This value will increase if you want to stream on more than one device, in which case you need more than 13 MBPS bandwidth.
Even for online gaming, you need good bandwidth to be able to compete with the players over the internet. While you also need to keep in mind other factors, you can begin by making sure you have good download and upload speeds to be able to quickly transfer data between your device and the server.
Apart from the bandwidth, you also need to make sure you have low ping and latency while gaming. Cable connections and fiber optic lines are preferred by gamers primarily due to this reason, as lower ping and good bandwidth eliminate the possibility of the game not responding in high-intensity situations.
Good Ping For Online Gaming
Good ping is more important than the bandwidth for almost all internet gamers. Ping can be affected by your LAN latency, and a good bandwidth can improve your ping, however slightly.
For competitive shooters, you will benefit by making sure your ping times are closer to 20 milliseconds (ms). However, you can have decent gaming experience up to 100 ms ping, beyond which you will notice desync.
Good Internet Speeds For Online Gaming
Better bandwidth will result in less latency and ping, which will help you getting better network performances during online gaming sessions. For online gaming, a good internet speed should be around 25 MBPS. Make sure your ping stays in the values mentioned above.
So there you have it. Now you have a brief idea about what is a good download and upload speed according to your usage. Comment below if you found this useful, and to discuss more your internet plan and doubts about it.