A few years ago the only real activities you did online were check your email and perform general Internet searches. However, there are far more services and features online now than ever before, all of which require different connection speeds. However, when you look to sign up for an Internet plans you are going to find the recommended speeds they give you are usually a bit higher than what you truly need. While faster is always better it doesn’t mean you need to purchase the highest available connection speed just to watch a streaming video. Instead, you just need to know what the connection speed is going to allow you to do and, if you have specific needs for the Internet, what connection speed is going to work best for you.
For starters, if all you need to do online is check a few emails and perform the basic searches, you don’t really need anything fast. In fact, you can go with the basic package and you should be fine. Dial-up probably isn’t desirable (if you can even find it any longer) because of all the Flash animations now present on websites it will take a considerable amount of time for any site to properly load. Instead, the low end Internet connection available from your Internet provider should be more than enough to help you out.
If you want to watch streaming video with your Internet connection there are connection speeds you are going to need. For starters, if you are going to watch basic standard-definition video on your laptop, it is necessary to obtain at least a connection speed of 1 Mbps. The lowest tier package of Internet connection probably should have this, so this probably won’t be a problem. If you want to watch standard-definition video content on your television, you need at least a 2 Mbps connection. If you make the jump to 720p high-definition you need at least 4 Mbps. When starting to move up to these connection speeds you might find you need to upgrade to the second level of connection speed, but there are several different options available to you. Last, if you want to watch 1080p high-definition then you need at least a 5 Mbps connection speed. Faster connection speeds are going to prevent buffering from occurring as often, so a faster connection is desirable, but these are the lowest speeds you can go for when watching video content over the Internet.
Online Video Games
There is a rather large misconception of how strong a connection you need for playing video games. This is because most individuals are going to see the graphics rendered on a computer or television monitor and assume all of that rendering is going to require extensively high Internet bandwidth. This is not the case though, because most game controls and features are rendered locally and not over the Internet, so only small bits of data are required. Instead, you just need to make sure you have a responsive connection. If you don’t, your device is going to delay sending and receiving data. You only really need a connection speed of 1 or 2 Mbps instead of a ping rate (how responsive your connection is) of 100ms or so. Of course, there is nothing wrong with going for a faster Internet connection, as it is not going to hurt your performance and it does help if you are streaming multiple devices at the same time, but ultimately, you don’t really need the super-blazing Internet connection speed most other companies are touting or saying you must purchase.