By Shortcut on October 3rd, 2014 at 3:22 pm
Surfing the Web
Browsing the Web is one of the most basic online activities. It doesn’t use up a lot of bandwidth — and that means it doesn’t require a lot of speed. In fact, the FCC recommends a minimum download speed of just .5 Mbps
for casual Web browsing.
What does that include? Anything from checking your email to reading your favorite blogs to hunting for jobs online. However, it doesn’t
include interactive pages or short videos — for that, you’ll need speeds of at least 1 Mbps.
The speed you need for streaming depends on the kind of media you want. The more bandwidth it requires to load, the faster the speeds you’ll need. Streaming audio, like books and music, has the lowest minimum requirement — under .5 Mbps.
Are you streaming a standard video, like a TV show? You’ll need a minimum speed of .7 Mbps.
A feature-length movie? You’ll need 1.5 Mbps
. And HD movies and online lectures require speeds of at least 4 Mbps.
Video chatting with services like Skype, Google Hangouts or ooVoo is a great way to connect with friends, family, coworkers and even potential employers. But what speed do you need for a high-quality video chats?
Basic video chat require speeds of at least 1 Mbps
, while HD video chatting and telelearning need at least 4 Mbps. But phone calls over the Internet (also known as VoIP) need less than .5 Mbps.
Online gaming is one of the most data-heavy activities you can do on the Internet — and that means it requires the fastest speeds. If you’re an avid gamer, make sure you have an Internet plan fast enough to support your activities.
Gaming on an Internet-connected console requires a connection of at least 1 Mbps.
For two-way online gaming — gaming in real-time with another user over the Internet — you’ll need speeds of at least 4 Mbps.
Keep in mind — faster is usually better for online activities. Faster speeds will give you better video and audio quality, less latency and less buffering time. You’ll be able to game and video-chat in real-time with people across town or across the world.
But not everyone needs the fastest speeds. Before you choose an Internet plan, think about what you do online and what speeds you’ll need to support it.