Choosing from different internet plans for your home or office can be a nightmare, particularly if you’re not that familiar with internet speeds and other factors. So, if the salesperson advises you to get a plan that offers a 10Mbps speed, you might wonder: “is this fast enough for me?” Unfortunately, this question is hard to answer since different people use the web in different ways.
To know if 10Mbps is fast enough for you, it’s important to take a close look at what you do when you’re online.
What do you want to do?
If you usually just surf the web, check the weather, read articles and blog posts, and/or reply to emails, you’ll definitely find that 10Mbps are fast enough for you. It allows you to pull up web pages in a quick and smooth way and send your email replies ASAP.
10Mbps for residential use is just fast enough for you if you like to stream music or play online games. It’s also ideal if you stream 1080p videos, although you might find that you have faster load times when you watch 720p videos. This speed is also usually enough when you download regular-sized files every now and then.
Things become slower when you share your internet with other people. If you’re playing an online game while your dad watches football videos on YouTube and your mom listens to Beatles songs on Spotify, you’ll most likely experience a lag in your internet speed. This is also the case when you make real-time video calls through Skype, Facebook Messenger, and other clients.
If you own a business, on the other hand, 10Mbps is the slowest speed you can take without sacrificing your productivity. You can share it with four other computers (a total of five including yours), but only if you and your staff just use the internet to check and reply to emails, browse the web for information, and upload or download small files. If you frequently download/upload large files or share many documents with your staff, or if you employ more than four people, you’ll want to opt for a faster internet speed.
Exactly how fast is 10Mbps?
It probably won’t mean much to you if we’d say that a 10Mbps internet speed allows you to download 10 megabits of data per second — it’s pretty hard to visualize one megabit, or even 10. Because of this, we can measure 10Mbps relative to other speeds.
If you’re currently on a 2Mbps plan, for instance, it can take you around 3 hours and 15 minutes to download a 3GB movie. But, if you upgrade to an internet speed of 10Mbps, you can finish downloading the movie within 40 minutes or so. If you have the budget and can upgrade to a more expensive plan with a 25Mbps speed, you’ll have the movie right on your computer after 15 minutes.
(Note: These are measured without taking TCP/IP overheads into account. Overheads allow you to connect with other computers, but they can significantly increase your download time.)
10Mbps is fast enough especially if you just do basic internet tasks. If you usually have heavy web usage because of your business applications, or if you love watching HD videos and movies, you’ll want to get an internet plan that offers higher speeds.