High-speed internet is an ambiguous marketing term. It’s a term used by almost everyone who has an internet connection (that’s everyone today). However, before you start (over)using that term, there are a few things that you should look at.
How Internet Speed Is Measured
The internet today is sold in megabits per second and this usually tells you how fast you can download through your connection.
Be watchful, as internet speeds have a second option, the speed at which you can send bits. This includes uploading videos on YouTube, sending emails and making voice calls over your line.
The speed of sending bits or upload rates plays a minimal role when downloading (what most people do) but it can be problematic if it’s too low.
The best internet connection is the one that closely approaches the 1:1 ratio of download to upload rates.
Many forms of internet connections today are reliable i.e. cable, DSL and fiber and so, reliability is not a meaningful definition of high-speed internet.
This is the best metric to use when defining high-speed internet today. Virtually, any broadband internet (non-dialup) is enough to support home user’s browsing habits.
Streaming, that uses the most bandwidth in today’s homes is defined by the pixel width of the video that is loaded. For example, a 480p video requires a minimum of 1Mbps, 720p requires at least 2.5Mbps, and 1080p needs at least 9Mbps to avoid video buffering.
These numbers only consider a single device – if five people are streaming separate 1080p videos on a 10Mbps then that connection does not seem high speed.
There you have it! Use these 3 high-speed internet metrics to check whether your internet connection is really high speed or not.