Dec 05, 2013

What internet speed is actually needed for most home users?

For “normal” home internet users, how fast does the internet connection need to be? I am getting upgraded to 6mbps, which isn’t particularly fast, but faster means more money. Would I see any difference for normal home use (things like netflix, google docs, general surfing, streaming music, etc.) if I went faster? I don’t want to spend more than I have to.


I’m sure some people will disagree with me, since for you connection speed as with money, more is generally better, I think around 10mbps will work well for almost everything except a lot of torrents. That said, 6mbps should be perfectly adequate for all of the uses you mentioned, and a lot of things that you didn’t. The FCC has a guide that basically says 4mbps is good for home use. 


I always think faster is better, but it all depends on your tolerance for delays. I hate buffering and hanging web pages. I'm in the information business, so those delays cost me work time. Just see how 6 mbps feels to you. It might be great, it might be good enough. If it's less than that, you either have to adjust your expectations or upgrade again.
It's hard to generalize as everybody has different needs. You might want to try having them switch you to a lower or to the lowest speed. Then use it for a day or two. If it meets you needs then you can stick with the slower (and cheaper) speed.
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