As more individuals become digitally literate, they become involved in more activities that require a stable internet connection. It is very rare to encounter someone using a dial-up internet connection (on a telephone line); most are accessing the World Wide Web at home or at the office via high-speed wireless, cable, DSL or satellite hookups.
How fast is fast enough? It depends upon what you need to do!
If you are unsure of your internet speed, use free online speed tests like the one found at http://www.speedtest.net/
For most, anywhere between 1 and 4 Megabits (Mb) per second is satisfactory for general surfing, email, social networking and the like. As an industry standard, this speed range is considered the lowest end of the scale, the minimum acceptable speed. At times, streaming services such as videos, will falter, and the familiar “buffering” notice will be seen as enough data is gathered to continue. At one time 4 Mbps was considered acceptable.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) now considers 25 Mbps to be the minimum required (2015) when both streaming and all other internet services are desired, particularly when there is more than one device connecting at the same time. However, some gaming functions may experience delay dependent on number of users on the service in a given area or even within local network at home. In an office where Voice over IP (VoIP) phones, webinars, internet faxing and other activities are going on concurrently, there may be intermittent delays on one stream or another. Read: Sorry, your broadband Internet technically isn’t broadband anymore (CNET)
At 6-10 Mbps, the streaming experience is absolutely much better, and so is gaming, which means that other standard activities such as surfing, email and downloading files will be smoother. Should one require more speed due to multiple streaming services running all at once (internet radio, TV streaming, or instant movie watching), perhaps a more comfortable access speed may be considered.
Obtaining speeds between 10-50 Mbps will pretty much ensure that all in the household or office environment will be served adequately, with no wait times for any downloads.
How fast is your internet? We’d love to know. Take the poll, and share it with your friends in the United States Virgin Islands!