WiFi Speed

Internet service is all about speed. And, WiFi speed especially today, must be fast and reliable! Especially for anyone who is working from home. Yet many people aren’t even getting the speeds they pay for. And the worst part about it, they don’t even know it. The problem is, working from home is often more complicated than it sounds. That’s because not every home is set up to double as a home and a workplace. The network is one of the most important systems in a home, yet many people still use the equipment supplied by their Internet Service Provider. Which is why people are always searching for ways to make their WiFi faster.

The bottom line: most households need a WiFi speed of at least 25 Mbps. And you’ll need even more if you download and upload large files. Which is why understanding what upload and download speed actually means is important. Judging by the amount of searches done for the term “speed test” there seems to be a bit of an obsession with Internet speed. Which makes sense, with terms like megabits per second (Mbps), fiber, gigabit, upload speed and download speed, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. For this reason, we are dedicating this month to breaking down the terminology commonly associated with WiFi speed and Internet Speed.

WiFi Speed

WiFi Speed or Internet Speed is the transfer rate of a connection. This is the key selling point of Internet services and usually the first thing any of us will check when comparing plans. Speed is measured in kilobits per second (Kbps or Kb), megabits per second (Mbps or Mb), or gigabits per second (Gbps or Gb).

Download Speed

Download speed is how quickly you can pull data from a server on the internet to your device. Most Internet connections are designed to download much faster than they upload. That’s because the majority of activity, like downloading a file or streaming videos, consists of downloads. Download speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). The exception to this rule is fiber which most of the time generates the same download and upload speeds.

Upload Speed

Upload speed is how quickly you can send data from your device to the internet. Important to make note of, a fast upload speed is helpful when sending large files via email, or in using video-chat to talk to someone else online (since you have to send your video feed to them). Upload speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). Again, the exception to this rule is fiber which most of the time generates the same download and upload speeds.

Compare Typical Activities with the Minimum WiFi Speed Needed Below:

ActivityMinimum Speed (Mbps)
General Usage
General Browsing and Email1
Streaming Online RadioLess than 0.5
VoIP CallsLess than 0.5
Student5 – 25
Telecommuting5 – 25
File Downloading10
Social Media1
Watching Video
Streaming Standard Definition Video3 – 4
Streaming High Definition (HD) Video5 – 8
Streaming Ultra HD 4K Video25
Video Conferencing
Standard Personal Video Call1
HD Personal Video Call1.5
HD Video Teleconferencing6
Game Console Connecting to the Internet3
Online Multiplayer4

What is Download Speed?

Download speed refers to the speed at which information travels from the internet to your internet-connected devices. For example, if you open the Facebook app on your smartphone, your download speed would determine how long it takes to load. And, for some it can seem like an eternity depending things like speed and network design. We use our download speed for common activities such as streaming, downloading music and browsing social media. To help you understand, below is what Netflix recommends for playing shows or movies:

Internet Connection Speed Recommendations

  • 0.5 Megabits per second – Required connection speed
  • 1.5 Megabits per second – Recommended connection speed
  • 3.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for SD quality
  • 5.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for HD quality
  • 25 Megabits per second – Recommended for Ultra HD quality

What is Upload Speed?

Upload speed is the opposite of download speed in that it is the speed at which information travels from your internet-connected device to the internet. For example, if you post something on your Facebook timeline, your upload speed would determine how long it takes for your information to be posted and in turn how long it takes for your friends to see what you posted online. Your upload speed becomes more important when you are using interactive applications like video chat or online gaming. Additionally, sharing large files requires a lot of upload speed. A very important thing to point out for the working remotely environment most of us find ourselves in.

Typical Uploads:

  • Video chatting
  • Sending photos, documents, videos and posting on social media
  • Backing up data to the cloud
  • Gaming

San Diego Home WiFi Network Installation

You’re already paying your internet service provider for faster WiFi speeds. So, it only makes sense to have home network equipment that can deliver it and a team to design, install and configure it. Our San Diego home network installation services are comprehensive in that we will come out free of charge to assess your current home network. Once we do, we will evaluate the solutions that are right for your needs and budget. And, we’ll get you up and running quickly! Contact us at (760) 505-7461 to book your appointment and ask about same day service.