Tips Demystifying Download & Upload Speeds
Let’s take a minute to demystify download and upload speeds.
Does it Even Matter?
Yes, it does matter. Having the right speeds can make the difference between a good and bad internet experience. If you want to have an online experience free of buffering, broken audio, frozen screens, or frustratingly slow web browsing, then listen up.
For the average internet user, download speed is more important than upload speed. That’s because the most common online activities rely heavily on fast download speeds — streaming a movie or music, shopping online, reading a blog post, or scrolling through social media on a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or other connected device.
What are Downloading & Uploading?
Downloading means your connected device is receiving data from the internet. Uploading means data is being sent from your connected device to the internet. Click on the speeds in this interactive tool to compare different speeds.
What is Bandwidth?
Bandwidth has been compared to a highway, garden hose, and even the whimsical transport tubes depicted in The Jetsons. Watch this video to get a crash course in bandwidth.
When Do Upload Speeds Matter?
Some activities require a bit more upload bandwidth: video calls or conferences, live tournament-style gaming, sending emails with large attachments, backing up data to online or cloud storage services, photo sharing and uploading videos to social media, working on live, cloud-hosted documents like Google Sheets or Docs.
What’s the Difference Between Downloading & Streaming?
Downloading creates a copy of a file on your connected device that you can access later. With streaming, you’re still downloading data, but it doesn’t save a file to your device. Streaming allows you to view a temporary file while the data transfer is in progress. This explains why your video or song sometimes buffers — the data is unable to transmit fast enough through your connection to provide a seamless stream of video and/or audio.
So What Speed Do You Need?
While a good place to start is 25 Mbps download speed with 3 Mbps upload speed, the internet speed you need depends heavily on your online activities and how many internet users and devices you have at home. The type of activity is also important. Video streaming, gaming, and smart home devices really rack up the bandwidth usage. The pandemic continues to bring a whole new set of challenges for home networks too — with parents working, and children learning, from home — often video conferencing all at the same time!
The bottom line is that more bandwidth (which provides a faster internet speed) will make everything you do online a smoother experience. Call SKT at 888.758.8976. We can help you sort it all out.