What speeds and data to I actually need?
Here are just a few factors our tool considers when providing recommendations about your ideal
Number of Users
We factor in how many users in your home might be on the internet utilizing different devices at one time. This is a primary factor in determining what internet speeds you’ll need at the point of peak usage. We want to assess when you use the internet the most because that will determine the maximum speeds you might need to ensure an enjoyable internet experience without lag or latency issues.
Patterns of Use
You’re downstairs watching the game in HD and the kids are busy gaming, watching Netflix, and chatting online. Estimating the speeds needed to support all those activities simultaneously is going to be a little more complex. That’s why our tool helps identify what your peak usage looks like so you can select a provider and a package whose speeds won’t lag behind your needs. A recent
Deloitte Digital Democracy Survey reported that more than 90% of people multi-task while watching
TV or streaming video so our focus on simultaneous use is an important factor in determining speed.
Today’s average household has a myriad of devices that utilize the internet, including smart
appliances. Our speed tool asks you to consider all the items in your home that might be tapping
into your bandwidth. These include:
LCD, LED, HD, and more
Xbox, PS4, Nintendo Wii U
Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire
Types of Activities
Some activities eat up bandwidth more than others. Streaming video in HD is certainly one of them.
Our speed tool takes into account how you use your internet speeds and allows for additional
bandwidth to accommodate the activities you enjoy the most.
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube
Low-definition:1.5 Mbps Standard:3 Mbps
HD (1080p):5 Mbps
Ultra HD (4k):25 Mbps
PS4, Xbox, PC
Skype, Facetime Standard:.5 Mbps HD:1.5 Mbps
Downloading large files
HD movies, Torrents Slow:5 Mbps Fast:50 Mbps
.5 – 5 Mbps
Here’s our guide on how to work out the amount of data you really need.What uses up the most mobile data?
HD video: 3-5GB per hour
4K video: around 7GB per hour Music streaming: 120MB per hour Web browsing: 1-4MB per minute
Facebook: 1-2MB per minute
Skype / FaceTime / Video chat: 100MB to 1.5GB per hour (depending on video quality)
How much data do things like video and music use?
One of the greediest mediums for data is video streaming. Netflix states that an hour of standard definition content will use around 1GB of data, while HD content can gobble up a portly 3GB or 7GB if you want 4K UHD. This should be the same across similar streaming sites like NowTV, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and others.
You can set the Netflix app to default to lower quality when on data, but unless you’re happy with blurry images you’ll still be ploughing through your data plan at a hefty pace. There is a plentiful supply of content you can watch offline, so if you want to keep your data usage to a sensible amount here’s how to download Netflix.
Music is less of an all-consuming black hole, but if you’re someone who wants to stream everything then it will bite into your data limit after a while. If you’re using Apple Music, Google Play
Music, Spotify, or one of the other popular music subscription services then there’s a good chance that your content is set at the higher 256Kb/sec rate which provides great quality without going
This roughly equates to around 120MB for each hour of streamed content. At this rate, you’d go through 1GB of data every eight hours or so. To put this into monthly terms, listening to an hour a day would amount to just over 3.6GB.
It’s important to know that most music and video streaming services adapt their quality to the speed of your connection. This is why a YouTube or iPlayer video can revert to a blocky mess when
you have a weak connection, then upgrade to a sharper, higher-quality picture and soundtrack when the connection is better.
The reason you need to bear this in mind is if you’re in a city centre with a strong 4G connection, then you might end up watching the HD version of a video and using up much more data than when you’re served the lowest-quality version.
How much does browsing and social media take up?
Webpages don’t match the large file sizes of video streaming services, but there has been an increase in the number of videos that are now shown on news and review sites. EE estimates that web
browsing now equates to between 1-4MB per minute, depending on how visual the site may be.