Thursday, May 16, 2019
Bandwidth isn’t always top of mind for Internet users — that is, unless you’ve found that your connection speed has slowed to a crawl. There are, of course, other instances when you should reconsider how much bandwidth your household needs, such as when a new Internet user joins your home, when you’re planning to add more connected devices to your home or even when you plan to work from home twice a week.
If you recall, bandwidth is the volume of data that can be transmitted over the Internet over a certain amount of time. It’s become synonymous with Internet speed and can sometimes be elusive, especially when you’re trying to determine how much bandwidth you need.
You may already know that to calculate your bandwidth needs you’ll want to take into account several factors, such as Internet activity, number of people in your household and more. But, to get those down to an exact T can seem a little worrisome.
After all, you don’t want an Internet speed that’s too slow to accommodate your online activities. On the other hand, you don’t want to be paying for much more bandwidth than what you actually need. So, you’ve got to look for that sweet spot, that Internet speed that is just right.
At Kinetic by Windstream, we want to make that process as easy as possible for you. That’s why we’ve created a quiz to help you get the closest estimate of just how much Internet speed your household needs.
1. How many people in your household use the Internet?
2. How many devices connect to the Internet in your household? (smartphones, tablets, computers, smart home devices, etc.)
3. How often does your household stream content (e.g., shows, movies, music)
4. How many devices are typically streaming at once?
5. How often does your household play video games online?
6. How often do you livestream, video chat or make phone calls online?
7. What time of day is your home Internet most at use?
8. How often do you download large files using your home Internet?
9. How often do you upload large files using your home Internet?
Your Internet usage is likely low to moderate, and when you do get online, it’s most likely for basic web browsing, email and other low-consumption activities. You also might have the connection all to yourself. With those factors in mind, we recommend minimum broadband speeds. That’s currently defined by the FCC as having 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds. This will handily take into account any music, shows or movies that you’ll be streaming, as it’s the recommended Internet speed from most streaming services.
Your broadband estimates are a little harder to get on the nose. Yes, you’ll be somewhere in between 25 Mbps and one Gig in terms of speed, but that spectrum is pretty wide. And, what’s best for you will likely depend on your individual answers to many of the questions above.
For example, if you said that there are usually three or more different streams going on at once, your bandwidth calculation will likely be on the higher end of the spectrum. The same could be said if you’re downloading large files frequently. If, however, you’re streaming one thing at a time, with an extra stream every now and then, and you play online video games often, you may want to go with a middle tier Internet speed, like 50 Mbps.
If you selected mostly B’s, though, and you do a lot of uploading (whether it’s large files or video chatting), you may want to look into getting one Gig Internet speeds, as that is currently the only solution that provides symmetrical download/upload speeds.
Your household has a lot going on. Whether it’s the number of people, the number of devices or the number of people on the number of devices all at once, you’re going to want a robust Internet connection and fast speeds to handle every online need. That’s why we would recommend Kinetic Gig speeds here.
Not sure about Gigabit Internet? It’s the fastest around, offering up to 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps) download and upload speeds. It’s also more reliable than DSL or cable Internet simply because its data transportation method uses fiber-optic cables instead of copper wire. Those cables, made of glass, help protect your connection from outside interference, such as weather conditions, but also helps maintain a strengthened connection no matter the distance from the source.
The one downside to Gigabit Internet is that it’s not readily available everywhere. Check here to see if Kinetic Gig has made it to you area. If not, don’t fret! Our Kinetic by Windstream team is working diligently to add fiber optics to more areas every day to fulfill our customers’ needs. And, in the meantime, see what other high speeds your household can enjoy.
Do you have an Internet connection that best matches your online activities? If not, you may want to look into a speed upgrade. Visit our Kinetic Internet page to see which speeds are available in your area!