Bandwidth is a word we frequently use when discussing speed. However, bandwidth and speed are slightly different concepts—they’re related, but different.
Speed refers to the actual rate of speed with which data moves through the lines.
Bandwidth speaks to how much internet data can be moved through your network connection during a fixed period of time. The more bandwidth you have, the more data can come into your home when you need it.
The key questions to ask when determining your bandwidth needs are:
- How many people or devices will be using your internet at the same time?
Most people underestimate the number of internet connected devices they have in their home—from PCs, laptops, and tablets to mobile phones, smart speakers, smart TVs, and even doorbells, refrigerators, and thermostats. The average home in the United States has between 21-25 devices in 2022.
- What are your devices requiring you to do?
Some tasks require very little bandwidth, such as checking email and social media. Other tasks, such as online multiplayer gaming and 4K video streaming use quite a bit more.
The holiday season often means one thing: family and friends are in town. More guests mean more devices requiring bandwidth. It’s important to make sure your internet package has enough bandwidth to accommodate more Christmas movies being streamed, more video games being played by cousins, and more video chats with loved ones you can’t be with. We also recommend you set up a guest network to keep your devices free of viruses that your guests may unknowingly bring onto your network. Check out our blog Setting Up a Guest Network.
Figuring out the numbers
Fortunately, there are a variety of bandwidth calculators available online. We recommend the one at the Consumer Reports website. Simply enter the number of each device type you have, and you’ll get a rough idea of the bandwidth that would best serve your home.
Want to know more about how to determine the bandwidth you need? We’d love to hear from you, give us a call at 715-568-4830 and we can help you figure out what you need this holiday season!