Fast internet is quickly becoming a necessity in many sectors. That’s part of the reason we are all so excited about the upcoming 5G. When we talk about Internet speed, we’re generally talking about download speeds; most people want and expect fast downloads. That’s how we stream content and download movies. So, depending on the speed of your connection, you might be limited to certain tasks on the web. Here is a quick breakdown.
2-4 mbps: This is enough for casual Web surfing, including checking email. Can be enough to stream a standard-definition video. However, establishments like airports with speeds this slow usually don’t recommend passengers stream video or download content.
4-6 mbps: Will provide a good Web surfing experience. Often fast enough to stream a 720p high-definition video, and it’s possible to download some videos within about 20 minutes at this speed. But 4 Mbps can still be sluggish.
6-10 mbps: Usually an excellent Web surfing experience. Generally quick enough to stream a 1080p (high-def) video.
10-20 mbps: More appropriate for a “super user” who wants a reliable experience to stream content and/or make fast downloads.
20+ Mbps: A connection like this can handle most tasks comfortably. People who want to run a lot of applications at once, usually for business reasons. Users at these speeds can “blitz the network,”.
In summary therefore, this is the minimum bandwidth you need to stream the following qualities of video comforbaly.
- SD quality (DVD) – 3 Mbps
- HD quality (720p) – 5 Mbps
- Full HD quality(1080p) – 10Mbps
- Ultra-HD (4K) – 25 Mbps
It is important to note that these values are different depending on the service that’s dishing out the videos. YouTube, Netflix and many other popular Video on Demand platforms have a minimum recommended internet speed for the various quality of videos they offer.
The Bottom Line
If video streaming is the main way you access TV and movie programming then the rest of the household also needs to access the internet at the same time. The best way to avoid conflict and bottlenecking other users’ connection and avoid annoying problems with low quality, slow loading, and buffering, as well as ensuring you meet all the speed requirements of the services you want access to, is to subscribe to a data plan that offers enough bandwidth to accomodate all the users in the network.