What Are Mbps & How Many Do I Need?

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What are Mbps? Figure Out Your Internet Speed

Are you researching internet plans, but the speeds listed have you confused? Whether you’re working, learning, gaming or streaming online, you’ll need an internet plan with effective speeds at a monthly rate you can afford every month. The easiest way to get an affordable internet plan is to only pay for the internet speeds you’re actually going to use. Let’s dive into internet speeds and what you need to know here.

What Are Mbps?

Mbps is an abbreviation for megabits per second that is used in measuring download and upload speeds. The internet is also measured in Kbps and Gbps, but any speeds listed in Kbps will be too slow to do any of the things you love to do online. Gbps is 1,000 Mbps and can handle nearly all online activities. All these abbreviations can be difficult to understand, but think of it as how fast what you’re doing will be available for you to see or watch. The more Mbps your internet plan has, the faster the data for your online activities will reach your device.

How Fast Is Fast Internet?

The Federal Communications Commission or FCC defines high speed internet or broadband internet as internet service with 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed. While these speeds might work well for you or your neighbor, they don’t work for everyone. It’s important to find out for yourself based on how you use your internet what internet speeds are fast enough to handle what you like to do without long loading times, buffering or otherwise limiting how you’re online.

Depending on what internet providers are available at your address, you can find internet speeds as low as 768 Kbps and all the way up to 2 Gbps. Higher internet speeds are good for large families with many devices connected online simultaneously, TV streaming in HD or UHD/4K, multiplayer online gaming, smart home devices and more.

What Internet Speeds Do I Need?

To find the perfect internet plan for you, one of the things you’ll need to do is figure out what internet speeds you need. Even if you get a plan from the highest rated internet provider, but subscribe to a plan that’s too slow for you, it’ll leave you unhappy. To figure out what internet speeds you need you need to:

  • How will you and everyone in your household be using the internet?
  • How many people will be using the internet?
  • Is your current internet speeds sufficient for what you do online?

Once you have answers to these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what internet speeds you and your family truly need.

Popular Online Activities & Recommended Internet Speeds

To help you decide what internet speeds you need, we’ve put together this handy chart with popular online activities and what internet speeds you’d need. Just keep in mind, the more devices your family has online working simultaneously, the more speeds you’ll need.

Internet Speeds Popular Online Activities
Up to 5 Mbps ●     Check emails

●     Web surfing

5 Mbps to 40 Mbps ●     Streaming SD video

●     Streaming music and podcasts

●     Video calling

40 Mbps to 100 Mbps ●     Streaming HD video

●     Online gaming

●     Downloading large files like movies or games

100 Mbps to 500 Mbps ●     Streaming UHD/4K video

●     Multiplayer online gaming

500 Mbps to 1000+ Mbps ●     Smart home devices

●     Multiple devices working online simultaneously