Fast Internet Download Speeds Are Not the Only Thing That Matters. Here’s Why

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Everyone wants it fast internet speed. This often means fast internet download speeds, but your download speed deserves some love and recognition too. After all, you probably rely on them every day.

The information highway is not a one-way street. It’s more like a four-lane, busy and noisy highway (loads) on one side, and a two-lane, light-traffic road (loads) on the other. While this road is certainly less traveled, if it’s closed, you’ll have a hard time surfing the web.

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So what are you using these download speeds for? And what is a good download speed for your home? You’ll find the answers below, but I’ll go ahead and say that you’ll want download speeds faster than what the FCC defines as “broadband.” (Check for more Wi-Fi tips The best place to put your router to speed up your internetand our choices the best Wi-Fi routersthe best mesh routers and best wifi extenders.

Read more: The best internet providers of 2022

Yes, our internet usage is dominated by download speed

Almost everything we use for the Internet depends on the download speed. You probably didn’t think about it when it was last released Dragon House episode or online shopping the new iPhone however, this activity involves downloading data from the Internet.

What determines how quickly and easily you can download that data — as in, how well flow quality is how fast the web page and images load — your loading speed.

The higher your speed, the better your experience. Speeds of 100Mbps and higher are often sufficient download speeds, but a “good” download speed will vary for each household and number of connected devices.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

You can download a lot while using the new iPhone 14, but downloading is also important.

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But fast internet download speed will come in handy every day

I would bet you now indeed Don’t think about it when you post your seventh cat video on Instagram today (keep ’em coming!) or when you log in. Zoom for a meeting, but both of these daily activities involve uploading data to the internet.

Also consider this: When you’re looking for the Dragon House HBO Max, you enter data and send it to the internet — that’s uploading. When you type “new iPhone case” in the search bar and press Enter, you download the data. When someone “likes” your cat video (maybe it was me), they download data. Granted, you don’t need super fast download speeds to do this, but you’re still using the download side of your connection.

There are a few other ways we use download speed:

  • Video chat on Zoom, Skype, FaceTime and more.
  • Online game
  • Submitting work or homework and generally working and studying from home
  • Voice over IP call
  • Posting on social media

What determines how quickly and easily you can perform these tasks? You guessed it: your download speed. When it comes to your download speed, again, faster is better, but you can get by with a download speed that is slower than your download speed.

The FCC says a 3Mbps download speed is “broadband” internet

The FCC considers any download speed of 3Mbps or higher to be “broadband.” However, the FCC set this speed limit (with a broadband download speed of 25Mbps) back in 2015, and has faced bipartisan congressional pressure ever since. raise the bar on what officially counts as broadband.

Still, the FCC standard of 3Mbps is more than enough on paper to meet most of the minimum requirements for apps like Skype and Zoom. Skype recommends a minimum of 100Kbps for calls and 512Kbps for group video chats of seven or more people. Zoom is a bit more demanding, requiring a minimum download speed of 600Kbps for 1:1 video calls and 3.8Mbps for 1080p HD video group calls.

Remember that these are the minimum speed requirements for a single device. So you can benefit from much faster speeds.

Aim for a download speed of 10Mbps or higher

For average home internet usage over a Wi-Fi connection and about 10 devices — computers, telephones, game consoles, smart cameraseven smart TVs will use your download speeds — I would recommend at least 10Mbps download speed. Faster would be ideal, but a 10Mbps download speed should comfortably support most tasks that require downloading data, including HD video calls and online gaming.

How to find your internet download speed

A good speed test will give you an idea of ​​what your download speed is. To get an overall measure of your connection’s download speed performance, run several speed tests using different devices in different parts of your home.

If your download speeds are slower than you think, check out our list of common download speed performance issues and how to fix them. For more tips on how to improve not only your internet connection, but everything else that keeps your home running, visit us CNET Home Tips section.

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