Internet is food and water for today’s generation. Disconnect the whole world and see how it comes to a halt. Most of the daily chores are dependent upon the internet whether it be scheduling an appointment, watching movies, streaming TV shows, or playing games. Many of the gadgets and devices have gone obsolete with the evolution of the internet and the latest technological gizmos.

Internet is widely accessible contrary to the past when it was considered a luxury. Moreover, the speed has improved drastically over the years with the emergence of DSL and fiber internet. But one of the biggest problems and challenges that people face is finding the right speed for home use. Most people aren’t aware of what speed is suitable for normal browsing and socializing versus streaming and downloading.

Today we are going to cover every aspect when looking for the best internet plan for home use. Stay tuned and let’s get started.

What Internet Speed is Ideal?

Internet speed varies according to one’s requirement. For masses, around 30Mbps internet speed is ideal. It is enough to keep oneself hooked to social platforms, watching videos on YouTube, downloading files, and surfing websites.

For a normal household, 30Mbps internet speed is enough to do various online activities without any lags. However, if you want to stream 4K videos or play games like Fortnite or Call of Duty, 30Mbps might not be suitable. In addition, the number of devices connected to the network also determines the speed of the internet you need.

Let’s have a look at internet speeds ideal for performing various activities.

0-5Mbps 5-40Mbps 40-100Mbps 100-500Mbps 500-1,000Mbps
  • Checking Emails
  • Streaming Music
  • Google Search
  • Streaming videos
  • Video calling
  • Playing games on one device
  • Streaming HD Videos
  • Multiplayer gaming
  • Downloading Large Files
  • Streaming UHD on Multiple Devices
  • Large files download
  • Multiplayer gaming
  • Suitable for office use with multiple users connected

Calculating Internet Speed

Internet speed requirements depend on several factors including what the internet is being used for and how many devices are being connected to the same network. Different online activities require a different amount of bandwidth. For instance, streaming 4K video on Netflix requires a faster internet connection than watching it on a standard definition. While online gaming requires more speed than normal browsing, socializing, or checking emails.

Internet speed and bandwidth are considered the same, while the fact is they are not synonymous with each other. Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be used for downloading or uploading the data. While internet speed is how fast, the data can be uploaded or downloaded on your device. If you are a heavy internet user and require unlimited bandwidth, we would recommend you to take a look at Spectrum promotions offering speed starting from 100Mbps without any data caps.

In the list below, we have compiled the minimum speed requirement for doing various online activities and recommended speed that you should consider.

Online Activity Minimum Speed Requirement Recommended Speed
Email 1Mbps 1Mbps
Streaming HD video 5Mbps 10Mbps
Social Media 3Mbps 10Mbps
Video Calls 1Mbps 5Mbps
Streaming SD Videos 3Mbps 5Mbps
Video Conferencing 2Mbps 10Mbps
Online Gaming 3-6Mbps 25Mbps
Streaming 4K Video 25Mbps 35Mbps
Web browsing 3Mbps 5Mbps

Number of People Connected to the Same Network

Another important factor you need to consider is how many devices will be connected simultaneously to the same network. Make sure to consider the devices that are operational in the background, for instance, smart home devices like smart doorbells, smart thermostats, smart speakers, etc.

If there are four people in the house with each having, a smartphone and laptop connected to the same network. That means eight devices are connected simultaneously on the network, which requires higher bandwidth and a fast internet connection. While if only two devices are connected, the amount of bandwidth and internet speed required would be lesser.

Upload and Download Speed

Normally internet service providers advertise downloading internet speeds. However, make sure to consider the upload speed as well especially if you have to upload a large amount of data such as uploading videos on YouTube. Internet service providers offer less upload speed than download speed as much as 1Mbps for every 10Mbps of download bandwidth. That means a 100Mbps internet plan would have a 10Mbps upload speed.

If you rely much on cloud storage rather than the traditional one, make sure to pay attention to upload speeds. Check for service providers offering equal amounts of download and upload speeds.


The amount of time it takes for data to transmit from your device to the network and back is called latency. In simple words, how long it takes for data to transmit and come back after you click the link. Latency is generally measured in milliseconds. The lower the latency, the better it is. While a high latency rate would cause buffering and lags while playing video games.

Internet Speed Requirements

If you are an avid gamer, speed is one of the most important factors to win the competition. Pro gamers participating in international gaming competitions need to take internet speed seriously. For instance, the minimum speed required for gaming is around 4Mbps to 8Mbps, only if there is no one else consuming the bandwidth. If you opt for slower internet plans, you will be given lesser upload speed which may result in lags.

Ideally, a 25Mbps internet plan is good for smooth and seamless gaming. However, you also need to consider the ping and latency rate as well for smooth and lag-free gaming.

When it comes to streaming online, video platforms including YouTube TV and Netflix requires 5Mbps to view content on the standard resolution. However, streaming 4K Ultra HD videos require at least 25Mbps speed.

Summing Up

When it comes to subscribing to an internet plan, make sure to consider the above factors. In case of any ambiguities, you can contact customer support of the ISP. Keep in mind that long term contracts and limited data caps would be a huge turn-off. Make sure to check the service provider in your area offering unlimited data caps and contract-free plans.

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