Do you have a business that relies heavily on the internet? Is your office connected to the Internet via WiFi or Ethernet cables? Or perhaps a few members of your family are either working from home or in home school? If so, then it’s critical that you know how much bandwidth is enough for your needs.
Luckily, this article will help answer any questions about bandwidth and what are some of the best ways to measure it. We’ll also discuss when you might need more bandwidth than others, as well as what can happen if you don’t have enough internet speed.
But before anything else, make sure you get the best internet provider, with no lock in contract NBN, so you can pause your plan or minimise any downtime you need to pay for, for whatever reason.
What is bandwidth?
Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over a certain period of time. It’s usually measured in bits per second (bps) or bytes per second (Bps). You may also see it referred to as throughput.
In order to measure your bandwidth, you’ll need a tool like Speedtest by Ookla. This is an app that will test the speed of your internet connection and give you a rating based on how fast or slow it is. The higher the number, the faster your connection is.
A general rule of thumb is that you need at least 25 Mbps for every location in your home. If you have more than one device trying to connect via WiFi, things can get complicated very quickly without enough bandwidth.
Speedtest will measure how many kilobytes per second (Kbps) are being sent or received. This number doesn’t mean much by itself until it’s compared to another speed rating unit called a bit. One byte equals roughly one character when used with text files on computers and smartphones alike.
That brings us back to Kbps vs Mbps again. To make this easier for people who aren’t tech-savvy, think of it this way:
Kbps is like how many gallons of water flow through a garden hose in one minute. Mbps is like how many gallons of water flow through that same garden hose in one second. So, if you have an internet connection rated at 500 Kbps, that’s the equivalent of half a gallon per minute. If you have an internet connection rated at 25 Mbps, that would be the equivalent of 250 gallons flowing through the hose each minute!
Bandwidth and Internet Use
Now that we know what bandwidth is and how to measure it, let’s take a look at some common activities and see how much data they require.
Web browsing typically uses about 400-500 kilobytes per hour (kB/h). If you do this for two hours a day, that’s about 800-1000 kB/h.
If you’re streaming video on Netflix or YouTube and it says your stream quality is Standard Definition (SD), then the average bitrate per hour will be around 600 kbps .
Standard Definition uses 0.512 megabits per second (Mbps) while High Definition (HD) uses between 1500 and 3000 Mbps. That’s more than thirty times as much data! Watching one HD movie every night could use up to 150 gigabytes of bandwidth in a month, so make sure you have an internet package with enough speed before getting too carried away.
Heavy gaming also requires quite a lot of bandwidth if playing online. If you play games with friends or other gamers on the internet, expect to use around 4000 kbps per hour .
Sometimes it’s not your computer that uses up all of your bandwidth. There are a few things you can do to reduce how much data is being used by non-computers in your home as well. For instance, streaming video over WiFi instead of using a cable will also conserve bandwidth and cut down on costs for monthly fees! This way, everyone can watch their favourite movies without worrying about going over budgeting limits.
If someone tells you that they only have dialup speed internet at home but don’t know why their connection doesn’t seem fast enough, chances are there isn’t anything wrong with their service provider. They just need to upgrade their service plan! A dialup modem runs at 56 kilobits per second (Kbps), which is only 0.000056 Mbps.
That being said, if you’re still using a dialup modem and are looking for ways to speed up your connection, there are a few things you can do. For example, disabling images in your web browser or using a proxy server can help reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred.
So how much bandwidth do you really need?
It depends on what you’re doing online and how many devices are trying to use the internet at the same time. As mentioned earlier in the article, aim for at least 25 Mbps per location in your home so everyone can enjoy their favourite shows, games and movies. The internet is for everyone, folks!