When Does Internet Speed Matter?
Fast internet sounds great, but there is always a balance between getting the faster connection possible and what you "need". It's hard to know what you truly need, especially if you don't realize that "a little web browsing and checking emails" actually covers a lot more than many think. You need to ask better questions about your computer use to make sure that you're sized with the right plan, or at least learn about what you can do with faster connections.
What Does "A Little Web Browsing" Mean?
Ask any Internet Service Provider about what new customers want and they'll have a few standard profiles. Some people want enough speed to watch streaming video on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, YouTube, or other video services. Others might play online games and care more about consistency. Many people will say that they just want to do a little web browsing.
That sounds simple, and in the 1990's and early 2000's, it was. Today's internet is different, mostly because it's a battlefield of efficiency versus high quality that doesn't always mesh together.
Many websites have images with high definition that are optimized for a specific internet speed. Websites need to appeal to the largest number of potential users, so the biggest files with the best qualities aren't a good idea. Still, many websites are aimed towards people with something near the United States average internet speeds.
This means that going for the cheapest, lowest speed possible in an attempt to do more with the least can backfire. You won't be able to browse many websites because the content takes too long to load, and there are videos that can take up your internet performance.
Instead, explain which websites you use the most often. If you don't want to describe actual websites, just give general descriptions such as "news websites" or "video websites." For emails, keep in mind that any attachments such as pictures, music, or video are considered downloads and can take a long time to arrive, even if the email text loads quickly.
What's The Point Of Faster Internet?
Have you ever seen a 100 Mbps internet provider or a connection that seems faster than anything you've ever needed? Why would anyone need it? How can you take advantage of it? Although you may not need those speeds in your current lifestyle or business, you could enhance your efficiency by experimenting with higher speeds.
There are many legal music and video downloading services out there. Buy a terabyte (1000 gigabytes) hard drive and fill up on the classics, or download your movie collection instead of tracking down someone with a VHS, CD, or DVD converter. The download speeds to your computer and onto the hard drive will likely be a lot faster and safer.
Do you want to send big files to others? Ask about bigger upload connections to send files without having to tie up your evening. Some internet service plans have lower upload speeds than download speeds, so be sure to ask about the exact speeds in your plan.
Contact an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to discuss your connection, normal use, and plans for the future.