What speed internet do you need?

Updated: Apr 15, 2019


Good home internet speeds depend on what you use the internet for. Broadband internet speed is generally defined as anything faster than 5mbps.




What is a fast internet speed?


Download speeds of at least 25 Mbps should accommodate many families’ needs, but the best download speeds and upload speeds for you depend on how you use the internet at home and how many people use the internet at the same time in your home or business. General browsing uses very little internet bandwidth, so a speed for 1 to 10mbps would be quite sufficient if that's all you do. As soon as you add Video Streaming (ie Netflix, YouTube) to the equation, then you will require more speed, especially if you are playing games online.



What is the fastest home internet speed?


The current fastest home internet speed in Sudbury is 1000 Mbps in select areas. You can attain those speeds with either Cable or Fibre connections. If you live in rural areas outside of town however, the fastest speed you'll probably get is around 5mbps which is still quite sufficient to watch Netflex on one device. If you live out in the country, you'll probably need to rely on Satellite Internet or internet via a mobile network such as a Mobile Hub provided by a Cell Phone Provider. Both of the last two options generaly come with low data limits and probably won't allow you to watch more than a few movies per month before you reach your data limit.


How do you figure out your current internet speed?

You can measure your current internet speed by taking an online speed test on a computer that’s connected to your home Wi-Fi. Many internet speed tests also tell you your ping time and differentiate your connection’s upload and download speeds.



Best internet speeds for streaming


How much internet speed do I need for streaming?


In general, to stream most videos in standard definition, you’ll need internet speeds of at least 3 Mbps. You need at least 25 Mbps for 4K streaming video on your computer or Ultra HD enabled devices.


For instance, the minimum internet speed recommended for streaming Netflix is 3 Mbps, but recommended speeds vary by the quality you want to view. You can still watch Netflix with 1-3mbps connection but it may buffer or provide you with a lesser quality image.


To stream videos in standard definition, at least 3 Mbps is recommended. To stream videos in HD, at least 5 Mbps is recommended. To stream videos in HDR or 4K, at least 25 Mbps is recommended.



Best internet speeds for gaming


You need minimum speeds of 4-8 Mbps to game online, but for a consistently good gaming experience, 10-25 Mbps tend to be best. As you search for the best internet for gaming, keep in mind that download speed isn’t the only factor in a good gaming experience.

Speed is important because it’s how quickly your device transfers information from the gaming server. However, ping time and latency also matter.


What’s a good ping time for online gaming?

Ping time is more important for gaming than internet download speeds. A ping time of 20 milliseconds or less is great while 20-100 milliseconds will give you a good gaming experience.

Ping time can improve based on your download and upload speeds. However, factors such as your local area connection and internet latency affect your ping time more than internet speeds.


What’s the best internet for online gaming?

The best internet for online gaming is usually cable internet or fiber-optic internet since they both provide low-latency internet connections, which means lower ping time.


Satellite internet tends to have high latency, even with fast download speeds, because the internet signal must travel so far between its source (a satellite) and its end destination (your device).


Can you use satellite internet for gaming?

It depends on the type of game you’re playing. Satellite internet does not work well with sports games or shooter games because they require rapid data response times. Other online games such as online card games, role-playing games, strategy games or puzzle games tend to work fine with satellite internet.


What internet speed do I need for working from home?

The best internet speed for working from home depends on what kind of work you do. If you frequently download and upload large files, internet speeds of at least 40 Mbps are recommended.

Email and basic computer programs: 3-4 Mbps is recommended


Types of Internet:


Dial-up.

When the internet first arrived, it did so on standard phone lines. Back when the internet was text-based, this was quite sufficient but today it would become almost unusable at such slow speeds. Dial up internet is usually used only when nothing else is available and generally for vary basis things such as banking or email only.


DSL (Digital Suscbriber Line)

DSL is a higher speed internet that still uses phone lines but transmits a digital signal in order to get fast speeds. There are a few type of DSL still avaiable today in areas not generally served by Cable or Fibre connections The speeds are significantly faster than dial-up and usually max out at about 8mbps in Sudbury and surrounding area. DSL is usually offered by discount Internet Companies as a cheaper alternative to high speed service.


Cable


Cable internet has come a long way over the years and is available in Sudbury reaching speeds of 1000mpbs or more. Because they still use a "shared' infrastructure however, peek times speeds tend to go down significantly when a lot of people are online, usually in the early evening hours when everyone is home and peak Online Streaming tends to occur.


Fibre

Glass Fibre is generally considered the Gold Standard when it comes to internet. There are few limits to the speed and and bandwidth and upload speeds generally match or come very close to download speeds. Fibre connections tend to provide the best user experience when multiple family members or office staff are using the connection as once. The ping speed is generally superior and the lantency is quite low, perfect for Streaming and Gaming. For these reasons it tends to be the most expensive type of internet and is not generally available to all areas because of the high cost of bringing in new lines to new neighbourhoods.


Wireless.   

Wireless, or Wi-Fi, as the name suggests, does not use telephone lines or cables to connect to the internet.   Instead, it uses radio frequency.  Wireless is also an always on connection and it can be accessed from just about anywhere.  Wireless networks are growing in coverage areas by the minute so when I mean access from just about anywhere, I really mean it.  Speeds will vary, and the range is between 5 Mbps to 20 Mbps. This type of internet in Canada tends to be very expensive because you quickly reach your data cap and you Cell Phone company will usually charge you overage charges.


Satellite

Satellite accesses the internet via a satellite in Earth’s orbit. The enormous distance that a signal travels from earth to satellite and back again, provides a delayed connection compared to cable and DSL.  Satellite connection speeds are around 512K to 2.0 Mbps. If you live out in the country or an area that doesn't have power or phone lines, this is usually the service of last resort. It also tends to be very expensive. You also need to purchase the equipment which could have a high startup Cost.


Internet speed terms


What is ping?

A ping is a test that figures out if a server is reachable. The ping is done by sending a data packet to the server to see if the data comes back. If so, the server is reachable.

What is ping time?

Ping time is the responsiveness of your connection, or how fast that data packet travels to the server and back. Ping time is measured in milliseconds. If your connection doesn’t register the data request for a couple of seconds, you may still see a lag in your game, file upload, online submission or other activity.

What is latency?

Latency is how fast data transfers between a source and its destination — basically a delay of information communication. For instance, if you’re in the U.S. playing a game with a server in China, you will have a higher latency than someone playing the same game in China.

What is Mbps?

Mbps is how internet speeds are gauged and it means “megabits per second.” It measures the bandwidth of an internet connection — how much data can be transferred each second.

What is the difference between download and upload speeds?

Download speed is how fast your internet connection can transfer data from a server to you. Download speeds are important for downloading files, loading a website, streaming a video or streaming music. Upload speed is how fast your internet connection can transfer your data to a server. Upload speeds are important for sending emails, sending files to other people, live video chats and gaming. Fibre networks generally offer a much higher upload speed than Cable or DSL connections.


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