A fast Internet connection delivers a wide range of exciting media options to your home computer. Users looking to stream HD movies, access the latest iTunes tracks and play the latest online video games will need a connection with sufficient data speeds for smooth playback and speedy downloads. This guide to Internet speeds will help you determine which Internet connection you'll need from a local Internet provider and choose a service bundle that best fits your budget.
Households with current video game consoles or dedicated gaming computers will want to invest in the most robust Internet connections available. The Federal Communications Commission recommends speeds over 4 Mbps for online gaming. Likewise, the FCC advises that a comparable connection will be needed to stream HD video without delays.
Flexible, affordable connections
Users looking to make the most of the Internet without choosing the priciest option from their Internet provider should aim for a 1.5 Mbps connection. Download speeds at 1.5 Mbps should be sufficient to handle graphic intensive websites, utilizing video conference applications and streaming video. Streaming service Netflix suggest users upgrade to a 3 Mbps connection to stream standard definition feature-length films.
Minimum Internet access
The FCC notes that basic online activity like email, web browsing and YouTube videos will only require an Internet connection as fast as 1 Mbps. However, websites and online applications are becoming increasingly complex and data-intensive. Minimum Internet speeds are likely to increase as access next-generation fiber connections become more readily available.
Planning for the future
Homeowners may want to invest in more Internet than their minimum needs for the sake of convenience and flexibility. Faster connections allow for quicker downloads and seamless multi-tasking while Internet browsing. These capabilities can be critical for homeowners attempting to work from home or students trying to do school research from their laptops.
Another factor to consider when purchasing a Internet connection is the recent gigabit trends among major Internet providers. The rise of Google Fiber, which delivers speeds up to 100 times faster than standard high-speed Internet connections, has prompted several telecom to increase Internet speeds for customers for no extra charge. Homeowners will likely be able to get more Internet for their money as gigabit connections approach standardization.