As more Americans are forced to work from home in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 people are becoming acutely aware about the need for sufficient internet speeds. The truth of the matter is that most people don’t really understand their broadband data requirements.
Most people buy more speed than they actually need just so they don’t have to worry about it. Now that these broadband connections are about to be tested with so many people logging on simultaneously, it’s worth taking a closer look at the actual broadband data needs of the average user.
Most internet services have minimum connection requirements, though most people are not aware of what those are. The popular streaming service Netflix, for instance, required a connection of at least 25 Mbps for high-quality content and a connection of at least 3 Mbps for standard-definition content.
Luckily, anyone with an internet connection should have a connection that can easily handle whatever Netflix can throw at it. However, the speed advertised by your internet-service provider (ISP) may not be the actual speeds you recieve. The best way to find out is to utilize a free third-party test like Speedtest.net or Fast.com.
Many remote workers are going to find themselves using virtual meeting tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts. The requirements for real-time audio and video connections between multiple users can be steep. One of the best tricks for a smoother connection is to turn off the video sharing and rely solely on audio.
Broadband servers will be tested not just by remote workers, but by students as well. Schools across the country are transitioning to remote learning, which means millions of students are about to be relying on their internet connection for their education. So far ISPs have maintained that they are up to the task. Time will tell.