To get the most out of your home internet connection, you should know how to check the speed. Are you really getting what you’re being billed for? Nobody wants to continuously pay for slow speeds and in the age of streaming, a fast internet is needed to keep up with your favorite shows, movies and music, Without quick speeds, your streams will begin lagging and who wants to be bothered by that? We’re all trying to sip our wine while enjoying a late-night movie.
Internet speeds also need to be quick because resolutions have switched from HD to 4K. While streaming, if a show is not arriving in high-definition or if the show is randomly pausing, chances are good your connection is not fast enough to keep up. The internet speeds are also shared throughout your home, so the connection is divided between devices. When more people are using the internet at the same time, it could produce more of a lag.
For example, if you’re scrolling on your phone while your child is upstairs playing online video games and your spouse is vegging out in front of Netflix, the connection could begin to slow down. That is beyond frustrating and you will definitely want to check your internet.
Netflix suggests a connection speed of 5 Mbps or faster for HD streaming, but if your home internet is set to not exceed those speeds, that is very slow considering only one device at a time is able to stream with that speed. Internet services offer speeds from below 1 Mbps to more than 1,000 Mbps based off your location.
“Most family-of four households should have at least a download speed of 50 Mbps,” says CNBC’s Todd Haselton. “To put that speed in perspective, it should allow you to download a 2 GB movie in a little more than five minutes. If you pay for 1 Gbps, you could download that same movie in 16 seconds.”
In order to check the speed of your internet, connect your computer to your router using an ethernet cable, which can be found at a variety of stores, including Walmart, Best Buy and Target. Once connected you will open your web browser and go to www.speedtest.net, a website that will show your download and upload speeds. While speeds can vary from a little less to a little more than what you pay for, you never want the speeds of your connection to be horrendously low. Internet speeds constantly fluctuate so do several tests throughout the day to see what your connection speed averages out to be.