Most people know that bandwidth is the maximum speed for your connection. But many have only a vague idea of how it works. Your Internet connection, your router speed, and the computer’s network card speed are the three things that determine your bandwidth. If you use the internet regularly, odds are, at times, you are both uploading and downloading files, with the bulk of files being downloaded. Think of when you read an email or view a Web page, a photo, or a video online. Each time you do so, it’s a download. You upload when you log in to a site, send information, send files to the cloud or add images to social media sites. Uploading and downloading both use protocols that indicate how to handle the data being transferred. When you’re uploading anything, your download speed will be affected if you are maxing out your upload bandwidth.
While uploading and downloading use similar technologies, you’ll notice the difference when it comes to speed. Upload speed is the amount of data you can send in a given second. Download speed is the amount of data you can receive in one second. Uploading is usually slower than downloading. If you use the internet at home, odds are you don’t need to worry about a fast upload speed. But if you run a small business, it can be important. If you’re frequently uploading (sending photos, sending data to the cloud, running full backups, just to name a few), it can slow your overall bandwidth and connection. If you’re using Wi-Fi and your connection is slow, you may want to switch to a wired connection. Most routers and modems support standard Ethernet cables to connect your devices. Relying on Wi-Fi connections can be slower due to possible interference with Wi-Fi from other devices in your home or even next door neighbors. Interference can be a real problem in densely populated areas, like DC.
How much bandwidth does your household use? Email and music streaming requires at least 1 to 2 Mbps, while web browsing requires a range of 3 to 5 Mbps, and social media requires 3 to 10 Mbps. Video streaming and online gaming eat up the most bandwidth, ranging from 5 to 25 Mbps. All of our plans are great even with multiple people on your network. However, if you have several people streaming at the same time, we recommend one of our plans above our basic plan.
If you have questions about your usage and how much speed you actually need, feel free to Message us or call DC Access at (202) 546-5898.